Motsunikomi – Japanese Tripe Stew

When you visit an izakaya next time, make sure to order “Motsunikomi.”

Montsunikomi, Japanese tripe stew, is a popular izakaya dish. The recipe calls for innards, a variety of vegetables, konnyaku jelly made from a konjac. The ingredients are cooked in dashi soup stock and seasoned with soy sauce, Japanese sake, etc. Motsunikomi is an irresistible dish for meat-lovers. The tripe is firm and springy but easy to chew because of the fibrous texture. You will appreciate the characteristics of offal and the umami from the meat and vegetable loaded soup.   

Motsunikomi can be found on a menu at any popular izakayas in Japan. It is an izakaya staple and sometimes offered in miso flavor as well soy sauce flavor.

Japanese tripe stew is said to have been created for the blue-collar workers as a cheap yet nutritious dish after the Meiji era (1868 – 1912) when eating meat became generally accepted.        

Because the innards have a very strong smell when cooking, Motsunikomi has always been a meal to order at a restaurant. Anyhow, an excellent Motsunikomi requires time and labor, and expert skills. Chefs select several kinds of fresh and high-grade offal at a market, and thoroughly prepare the meat in order to remove the distinct smell. All the ingredients and seasonings have to be added to the stew in a peculiar order. The dish needs to be simmered for a long time with a careful attention to the heat. A perfect Japanese tripe stew offers a rich flavor without the smell.

It is not too much to say Motsunikomi reveals how skillful a chef is. Some confident restaurants make Motsunikomi as their signature dish. The following restaurants are considered to be the Motsunikomi authorities in Japan.

Address: 3-15-12 Tsukishima, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 105-0052
Phone: +81.3.3531.1974

Phone: +81.3.3633.1638

Address: 3-46 Senju, Tadachi-ku, Tokyo 120-0034
Phone: +81.3.3881.6050

All of them offer a superb Motsunikomi, and also great izakayas to visit.

Author profile

Yasushi Kurita was born in Tokyo. He has spent the last 30 years as a writer for print publications and TV. When he was in college, he spent two years in New York. His favorite band is the Atlanta Rhythm Section, making him one of about 15 Japanese people who actually like that band.