Buta no shogayaki or Japanese pan-fried sliced pork with ginger sauce is a classic dish that I used to eat regularly when I was younger. While I would be busy making sixteen kilos of tonkatsu for the LSE Japan Society annual party every year, my Japanese friend would make the same amount of buta no shogayaki. So whenever I order it, I always think of her. It’s a very simple but satisfying dish and perfect for a one dish lunch or supper.
This recipe comes from one of my recent cookery book purchases, Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking, although I could just as well have asked my Japanese stepmother-in-law for her recipe. Harumi Kurihara is a Japanese food writer & TV presenter, well known for her ‘home cooking’ recipes and owns a cookware line as well as a chain of shops. It seems that some Japanese women, most of whom now work, find her ‘home-maker’ image a little old-fashioned, but I was glad to have found this recipe in her book, and it worked really well. You may be interested to read my recent review of her latest book Everyday Harumi, which incidentally is a far better book.
Ingredients: (serves 4, but I adjusted the quantities to serve 1)
- ½ tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mirin
- 200g finely sliced pork
- sunflower or vegetable oil
What to do next:
Mix the grated ginger, soy sauce and mirin together and briefly marinate the pork (Harumi doesn’t specify how long for, so I dipped each piece in the marinade for a few seconds using chopsticks, making sure it was properly coated).
Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and add to the pan, making sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick together or curl up.
Turn over after a couple of minutes and cook until both sides are browned. Don’t leave the pork for long, as it cooks surprisingly quickly, but make sure it’s cooked through.
Buta no shoga yaki is delicious served simply with steamed Japanese rice and a small salad.
Harumi notes that she uses pork shoulder or loin as the fat will make the meat more tender, and that the thickness of the pork slices depends on one’s preference. The meat should also be at room temperature when you are ready to cook.
Incidentally, she recommends buying a Japanese ginger grater, which almost pulps, rather than slices, ginger. As you read this, I’ll probably have found one already, on Kappabashi-dori in Asakusa, Tokyo, the restaurant supply area and every food lover’s dream destination…
You may like some of the other Japanese recipes on Lay The Table. And 8 Useful Japanese Ingredients would be a useful read for those who are not so familiar with Japanese ingredients.
@ Lay The Table