Ginger Pork Stir-fry

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Buta no shogayaki is an extraordinarily simple and satisfying meal with many variations. Shoga-yaki means ginger stir-fry, but of course shoga (ginger) refers to the dominant flavor rather than to the main ingredient. Buta (pork) is the most popular choice in Japan because the meat becomes so tender and juicy. I found recipes using beef, chicken, squid, or tofu as the protein of choice. It is often served with or over raw shredded cabbage which absorbs the pungent sauce while providing a contrasting crunch. Some recipes use bean sprouts to hold the sauce. Soybean sprouts are especially good because they are larger and crunchier than mung-bean sprouts.
I’ve made ginger pork several times with Ms. Shimbo’s recipe in The Japanese Kitchen, but this time I was inspired by an impulse buy of okra.
I bought the okra only because it looked so fresh, green, juicy, and I recalled how much I loved it last spring. It is an odd vegetable with its unusual sparkly slimy texture. In fact, if overcooked, it can be more slimy than bright. I came home from the grocery store and found some pork loin in the freezer, and being the efficient sort of person I am (also not wanting to go back to the store) I googled “pork and okra.” My adaptation of this recipe from Eri has more sauce than the recipe I’d made previously and turned out to be a very lovely dinner.
Butaniku-no-Shooga-yaki
Pork Fried with Ginger
serves 3 to 4
Meat: 

  • 12 to 14 oz. (300-400 grams) of thinly sliced pork usually available as thin slices in Asian grocery stores, though I just jullienned some pork loin chops
  • a Tablespoon or two of neutral cooking oil for frying

Marinade:

  • 2 Tablespoons of sake
  • 2 Tablespoons of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine for cooking)
  • 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons (10 grams) of grated ginger (I squeezed out the juice rather than using the ginger fibers)

Vegetables:

  • 1 package okra, rubbed with salt, blanched and sliced diagonally
  • 2 small sweet red and yellow peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 3 to 4 green onions, sliced for garnish

Mix up the marinade-sauce. Pour some over the sliced pork and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the peppers and garlic. When fragrant, remove and reserve.
Shake off the marinade and sear the pork over high heat. Don’t let it cook through: this takes seconds! Remove from pan and reserve. Note: the sauce will leave a lot of delicious frond on the bottom of your pan.
Deglaze the pan with a bit of water, scraping to incorporate the caramelized sauce. Add the marinade from the meat and the sauce. Turn heat down, and warm the meat, pepper-garlic mixture, and the okra slices.
Serve over rice, spoon extra sauce over, and garnish with green onions.

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3 thoughts on “Ginger Pork Stir-fry

  1. Pingback: Japanese Pan-Fried Chicken, Part 2 « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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