Ginger Pork Donburi


There are a few essential things that I never want to run out of in my kitchen, one of the most important of which is a big lump of ginger. I use it almost every day in so many forms; minced for stir-fry; grated for a noodle dish garnish; candied for scones or biscotti; pickled as a sushi accompaniment; and sometimes as a natural remedy, juiced into honey and lemon flavored hot water to help cure a sore throat.

Lately, I’ve been eating my way through lots of cheeses, pasta dishes and pizzas, and finally felt that I had to cook something nourishing and get a Japanese fix this week. That is my all-time go-to-dish: ginger pork donburi, AKA shouga-yaki, with rice. It’s an ultimate, one frying pan, easy meal that I have been enjoying ever since I was a child. For varied textures, I add some veggies to my grandma’s standard shouga-yaki (ginger and pork), but I remember her absolute favourite accompaniment for this dish at dinnertime was a chilled Japanese potato salad! Oh, no matter how old I have become, I can still devour this dish because the greasy soy ginger sauce elevates the simple protein and vegetable meal to a whole new level!


Ginger Pork Donburi

The key to successfully create this dish is to make sure the pan is smoking hot before cooking the pork, so that the pork’s moisture is sealed inside rather than letting the juice out of pork and creating a watery finish.

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons ginger, grated
4 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1.5 lbs boneless pork loin chops, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 small yellow onions (about 3 cups) cut into ½ inch thickness
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into ¼ inch wedges
3 cups baby spinach leaves
Cooked rice for serving

Combine the ginger, soy sauce and cornstarch well in a large bowl, and marinate the pork, covered and refrigerated for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables.

Heat a large, well-seasoned frying pan with half of the oil over high heat. Sautee the onion until slightly transparent, and then add the peppers. Continue until onions turn transparent. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the oil, and then add the pork when the pan is smoking hot. Do not stir until pork turns nicely brown. Repeat this to cook the other sides. When the pork is no longer pink in the centre, return the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the spinach leaves, combine well, and then immediately remove from the heat. Let the spinach wilt.

Serve hot on a bed of rice in individual bowls.


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28. November 2013 by Emi Uchida
Categories: Japanese Food, Main Course, Meat, Recipe, Rice | Tags: , , , , , | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I think I would agree with you on the ginger. It’s really crosses the sweet to savory spectrum. I love Japanese food and it’s a great way to eat clean and healthy.
    You might like Alton Browns ginger snaps. I just made them for a crust but the cookies were excellent with the recipe calling for dried, fresh and candied ginger. Triple whammy! cheers… wendy

  2. This is my comfort food too! Whenever I’m in need of a little TLC, or am feeling under the weather, or in a bad mood, I turn to Japanese food and donburis like this one. Reminds me of my childhood. And I totally agree about the ginger! I’ve been boiling fresh ginger tea all week, thanks to a cold. Beautiful blog!

  3. Emi, how delicious! This is the kind of comfort food I crave this time of year. I’ve never made Donburi – but I think I need to now:)
    Wishing you wonderful holidays,

  4. i was surprised at how well the red bell pepper worked with this dish. i also really enjoyed what ginger did for the dish. i am a freak for all things donburi and i am happy to say this just joined the list. thank you x10000 🙂

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