Thursday, September 27, 2007

Want Super-easy Gourmet? Ginger Pork to the Rescue

Super-easy, super delicious, and not a bit ordinary—at least on this side of the planet, none other than Butano Shogayaki, or Gingered Pork.

Why is shogayaki so great? That inscrutable ginger flavor
flash-cooked into the porkyum! Irresistible. Now, I tried making shogayaki using turkey meat, and, while yummy, it didn't pack the same punch. The fat and savoriness of pork makes it the ideal accompaniment to ginger. This same dish is also made with beef, but again, pork rules the ginger universe.

The dish takes all of, oh, 15 minutes from preparation to plating, so have all your other dishes ready to head to the table before you cook the shogayaki.

Tonight I served shogayaki over a bed of spinach with sliced cucumbers doused with rice wine vinaigrette and topped with sesame seeds, accompanied by miso soup, and onigiri rice balls I made using shiso leaves (shiso is Japanese mint, also known as perilla or beafsteak plant), umeboshi plum pickles, and shisofumi furikake (shiso-flavored rice seasoning). A lovely, easy, light, and interesting meal. Great for leftovers too.

Here's how to do make Butano Shogayaki:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced pork. If you can't find it thinly sliced and cannot slice it yourself, buy pork cutlets and slice those into thin strips. This works almost as well.
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger root juice (takes about 2" of grated ginger to squeeze out 2 tablespoons of juice)
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons oil (if you have lard or bacon fat, now is a great time to use it!)


Mix ginger juice, soy sauce, and sake in a bowl. Marinate pork for five minutes, stirring to distribute the juices. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Stir-fry the pork slices on medium heat just until cooked through, but no more. This should take only four or five minutes.

Served ginger pork (and its juices) over a bed of shredded fresh cabbage or spinach or lightly sauteed mung bean sprouts.