Okinawan Shoyu Miso Pork Quesadillas

December 29, 2013

A couple of years we had friends visiting and my sister suggested making quesadillas with a slow-cooked Asian pork. I admit it sounded just okay to me and I was a little skeptical. Shows you what I know, it turned out to be a hit.

What is Okinawan shoyu miso pork?

Rafute is Okinawan Shoyu Pork. It’s traditionally made with shoyu (soy sauce), bonito broth, and maybe some sake or mirin, ginger, and brown sugar for flavoring. My sister uses a recipe found in the Star Advertiser newspaper as a guide. Included in that article is the quesadilla recipe from Russell Siu, owner and executive chef of my favorite Hawaii restaurant, 3660 on the Rise. Here is our version:

Making Okinawan shoyu miso pork

We start by trimming a 3-pound pork butt and cutting it into thirds.

In a crock pot we mixed the braising ingredients then placed the pork into the liquid. We set the crock pot to high and let it cook for an hour then turned it down to low and let it cook for at least another 3 hours.

Our mother’s original crock pot, at least 25 years old and still going strong

Making the quesadilla

Once the pork was cooked we removed it from the braising liquid and shredded it. The pork is so tender we barely needed to do anything, it was falling apart. Then we prepped the vegetables and assembled everything. Oddly enough it’s the veggies that really make the difference in the final product.

Ready to eat
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Okinawan Shoyu Miso Pork Quesadillas

  • Author: Hui O Laulima and Russel Siu
  • Total Time: 7 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This Okinawan meets Mexican fusion is always popular. It was printed in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 1, 2010



3 pounds pork butt

For the braising liquid

½ cup shoyu

1 cup water

⅜ cup sugar

1 tablespoon sake

1½ teaspoons miso (we use white miso)

1½ teaspoons grated ginger

1½ teaspoons grated garlic

For the quesadillas

Flour tortillas

¼ small green cabbage, shredded

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

Sesame oil

Shredded Mexican blend cheese

Chinese parsley (cilantro)


To make the pork

Trim the pork butt of visible fat and cut into thirds.

In a crock pot, mix the braising liquid ingredients. Put pork in braising liquid. Turn crock pot on high and let cook for one hour. Turn heat down to low and let cook for 4-6 hours.

Remove pork from braising liquid and shred meat.

To make the quesadillas

Lightly sauté cabbage and green onions. Use a little sesame oil for flavor (careful because sesame oil burns easily).

To assemble quesadillas, layer pork, cabbage, cheese, and Chinese parsley on half a flour tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half. Grill on a lightly oiled griddle until golden brown and cheese is melted.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Cuisine: Okinawan, Mexican


  • Calories: 528.90
  • Sugar: 9.77 g.
  • Sodium: 172.04 mg.
  • Fat: 34.91 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 12.72 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 10.79 g.
  • Fiber: 0.24 g.
  • Protein: 40.45 g.
  • Cholesterol: 149.61 g.

Keywords: Okinawan, miso, pork butt, soy sauce

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