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Apr 22, 2007 12:53 AM

Where can I find Kurobuta Chops in the Bay Area?

I am dying to try these pork chops or anything that is remotely close to it. I am willing to go to SF, South Bay or East Bay to purchase it.


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  1. It's my understanding that "kurobuta" is Japanese for "Berkshire". T.J.'s used to carry it,but no more. Best bet is Range Bros. (nee Prather Ranch) at FPFM. They sell several varieties of heirloom pig,all a bit dear, but the best pork I've ever eaten.

    1 Reply
    1. re: little big al

      kurobuta is not japanese for berkshire. much like kobe is a type of wagyu beef, kurobuta is a type of berkshire pork.


      "All Kurobuta pork is Berkshire but not all Berkshire can produce Kurobuta pork.

      The Berkshire breed is well documented as having superior meat quality when compared to other commercial pig breeds but Kurobuta pork is one step higher as the 'best of the best'.

      Japanese scientists have studied the genetic makeup of Berkshire pigs and have developed gene technology that allows the Berkshire breed to be further divided into 4 genetic sub-types: North Island, South Island, Western and Oriental types.

      The Oriental type is the basis for successful Kurobuta production. The fat composition is soft, white and flavourful and the meat has a fine, rich texture that is tender and juicy. Many people describe Kurobuta as the Kobe Beef of pork production."

    2. You want to cook them yourself of have them already prepared? I'm unsure where to get the raw product, but I have eaten them at Ame.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218

        For the raw product you can get it at Niji-ya Japanese markets, which have locations in Mountain View, San Jose, San Mateo, and San Francisco. Also available at Suruki in San Mateo (Fourth Avenue) and probably in general at other Japanese markets.

        1. re: Wendy_san

          I've gotten it at Nijiya market in SF and been very pleased with the cut. Got a boneless piece and braised it. It was heavenly.
          Last time I was there, they had chops, no boneless pieces, so be warned the selection varies. They are accomodating though, try asking if you don't see what you want.

      2. I bought something labeled kurobuta at Trader Joe's. Good but not nearly as good as the heirloom pork I've bought from Fatted Calf. Most of their pigs are Berkshires from a small farm in the Ozarks.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I haven't done much comparing with the Fatted Calf pork, but I agree that their smoked pork chops are top notch, and perhaps even a notch above that!

          1. re: Paul H

            A Fatted Calf pork rib roast I had recently was the best pork I've ever had, so far as I can remember, and that's not the sort of thing I usually forget.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I believe that Fatted Calf receives purchases their pork from Heritage Foods suppliers. Heritage Foods also offers some mail order options for the home consumer. Their pork offerings include both fresh and cured cuts as well as butchered quarter hogs.

              Check them out online at

              1. re: grishnackh

                I've found Heritage Foods wildly expensive compared with local specialty retailers.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Their prices are high, but they do include express shipping to your door, and you don't have to pay sales tax as a CA resident.

                  Here's a General Chowhounding topic I made yesterday about my experiences with a Heritage Foods cured ham:

                  1. re: grishnackh

                    You don't have to pay sales tax on unprepared food in California, period.

        2. The kuro in kurobuta means black (pork). Try your local Korean supermarket, meat section (they typically have black pork belly sliced which is great for all sorts of things).

          1. Second the rec for Prather Ranch. As for restaurants, Bacar and Boulevard both do wonderful things with pork chops, although I believe Boulevard uses Bershire.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jeff

              Have you been to Bacar since the big shakeup?