This rich dish, consisting of slices of tender pork that are sautéed then coated in a ginger-scented sauce, is called buta no shogayaki in Japan, where it is a favorite for bentos and at-home meals. The braised new potato accompaniment is my invention, to use up as much of the delicious sauce as possible.
- Yield: 1 Servings
- 5 tiny new potatoes, washed, unpeeled, and halved, or 1 medium regular potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- sansho or black pepper, to taste
- vegetable oil, for sautéing
- 3 oz (90 g) pork, in one piece or thinly sliced
- ½ Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp saké
- 1 tsp mirin
- lettuce to line the box
- Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5–6 minutes until tender but still firm. Set aside.
- Heat a little vegetable oil in a nonstick frying pan over high heat. Quickly sauté each piece of pork on each side until browned, taking care not to overcook the meat. Remove the meat from the pan and wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
- Put the ginger, the 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, the saké, and the mirin into the hot pan and let it come to a boil. Return the meat to the pan and coat with the sauce. Remove the meat.
- Put the butter and boiled potatoes in the still-hot pan with the sauce. Add the 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Toss the potatoes around to coat them thoroughly in the pan juices, then leave to braise over medium-low heat for 5–6 minutes, turning occasionally until they turn a little crispy, while you make the other dishes that go into the bento. Sprinkle with sansho or black pepper.
- Line the bento box with lettuce. Let the meat and potatoes cool completely before packing. Sweet Pepper and Bean Sprout Stir-fry
- This crunchy, low-calorie dish is a great accompaniment to ginger pork. Since the ginger pork is quite strongly flavored, this is simply seasoned with salt and pepper.
Serving Size: 1
- oil, for frying
- ½ green or red sweet pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 cup (100g) bean sprouts, roots trimmed
- salt and pepper, to taste
Boiled Cauliflower with Mayonnaise
- Heat a little oil in a small frying pan. Add the sweet pepper and sauté until slightly limp.
- Add the bean sprouts, and sauté for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool before packing.
- Serving Size: 1
- 4–5 cauliflower florets
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- lettuce used as divider
Basic White Rice
- Cook the cauliflower florets in boiling salted water until just tender.
- Drain well and let cool. Pack with lettuce divider and the mayonnaise in a sauce cup.
- This bento is made with 1 cup (200 g) cooked Basic White Rice.
Serving Size: 1
- Have hot precooked rice ready to go.
- Either set the timer on your rice cooker the night before so that the rice is ready in the morning or defrost some precooked frozen rice in the microwave.