Have you ever had a bowl of rice and wondered what to eat with it? Have you ever had two slices of plain bread and wished for a new and exciting sandwich idea? Well, yearn no longer, folks! We have a quick and tasty 2-in-1 Japanese recipe that will see you through dinner and leave you with a delicious, packed sandwich lunch the next day!
What we’re about to show you is a quick and easy teiban recipe. Teiban, or standard, staple recipes, are the lifeblood of Japanese home kitchens. Although Japan is well-known around the world for sushi and beautifully presented meals, step into any Japanese home and you’ll find that it’s all about the teiban. Quick and easy home-cooked dishes perfect for busy weeknights and working parents who have to pack lunches the next day.
Try this recipe and impress your Japanese friends, relatives and colleagues with your knowledge of teiban cooking!
Today we’ll show you how to make one of Japan’s most popular home-cooked dishes: Japanese Ginger Pork, known in Japan as Buta no Shogayaki ( 豚の生姜焼き). Once you get the knack of this simple dish, you’ll be making yourself a healthy dinner and lunch in less than 20 minutes!
Ingredients (serves 2):
– 200g pork loin, thinly sliced
– 2 tablespoons sake (Japanese rice wine)
– 1 ½-2 tablespoons soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking sake)
– 1 knob of ginger (enough to make 2 teaspoons of grated ginger)
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 2-3 cabbage leaves (these will be served finely chopped and fresh on the side)
*If you’re in Japan, you can find thinly sliced pork especially prepared for this dish at the supermarket (labelled 生姜焼き用). Otherwise, just ask your butcher to slice it for you, or simply slice it yourself at home.
*If you can’t get your hands on mirin, you can substitute it with about 1 teaspoon of sugar (adjust to taste).
1. Cut off the pork sinew at the lower end of the sirloin slice. During the cooking process, sinew shrinks and hardens so cutting it off will give you a more tender, juicy slice of pork at the end. It’s not a big deal though, so if it’s too much of a bother you can skip this step.
2. Make the sauce. To do this, simply grate the ginger and mix it together with the sake, soy sauce and mirin.
3. Lay the pork slices on a shallow tray and pour the sauce over them. Leave them for five minutes to soak up the saucy goodness. This also helps to get rid of any pork smell (something that Japanese people often complain about). If you don’t have a tray then a bowl will do the trick. Also, if you don’t want to wait five minutes, that’s okay; just pour the sauce on the pork and go straight on to the next step.
*Important! DO NOT discard any leftover sauce in the tray or bowl! You’ll need this sauce for the cooking process later on.
4. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and place them in a bowl of cold water. Doing this will give you really crunchy, crispy cabbage at the end, which, when eaten with the juicy pork, will give you an amazing food texture sensation.
*If you prefer, you can do step 4 at the very beginning of the preparation process.
5. Put the vegetable oil into a hot frying pan. Then, removing excess sauce from the pork as you go, lay the slices side by side in the pan. Remember to keep that sauce in the bowl or tray!
6. Fry the pork on both sides until browned. Once browned, it’s best to take the pork out for a bit to avoid burning the meat. Again, if this is too much hassle, don’t worry; just leave it in the pan and move onto the next step.
7. Now you get to use that precious sauce! Pour the leftover sauce you’ve been saving into the frying pan. When it bubbles and begins to boil, return the meat to the frying pan and mix it all together. Once it’s heated through, turn off the heat and serve.
To serve for dinner: place the pork on a plate and pour on the remaining sauce from the pan. Drain the cabbage and place it next to the pork on the same plate. Don’t forget your bowl of rice!
To serve for lunch: place the saucy pork and cabbage together in between two slices of bread for a delicious Japanese Ginger Pork sandwich!