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Japanese Ginger Pork (Shogayaki)
Shoga means “ginger” in Japanese, and yaki translates as “grilled,” though the term is sometimes applied to foods that are fried or griddled. In the popular dish known as shogayaki, thinly sliced pork is cooked with a lightly sweetened, very gingery soy-based sauce. We use pork tenderloin cut into quarters and pounded into thin cutlets. A quick soak in a marinade that later becomes the sauce ensures the cutlets are thoroughly flavored. Shredded green cabbage and steamed rice are the classic accompaniments.
01In a wide, shallow bowl whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, miso and ginger. Cut the pork tenderloin in half crosswise, making the tail-end half slightly larger, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Place 2 pieces of pork between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder, gently pound each piece to an even ¼-inch thickness. Repeat with the 2 remaining pieces. Add the cutlets to the soy mixture and turn to coat, then let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
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Dear Sir/Madame, Would you recommend a sake to use in your recipes please. I see Mirin in the Milk Street pantry but no sake. Much appreciate all the Milk Street recipes I have made and can't wait to try the Japanese recipes (as soon as I can lay my hands on the sake!). Thank you.
Hi Marilyn -
The world of sake is wide—flavors might be fruity, floral, even bubble-gummy—but for cooking, we opt for basic, inexpensive bottles. In the same way that you want to buy a wine you would want to drink you should buy a sake you would want to drink as well. A wine or liquor store can guide you to an affordable, drinkable option. However, unlike wine, fresher is better. Most sakes do not age very well so buy a small bottle if you are only using it for cooking. Some other ideas to use it up: steaming fish or shellfish, in a marinade for steak, or really anywhere you would use white wine you can substitute sake.
The Milk Street Team
This was a ginger bomb. I quite liked it but my family ate it... well, gingerly, and then stopped after a few bites. Yes, I know, the title of the recipe is "Japanese GINGER Pork" [emphasis mine], so all together now, "DUUHHH." But if you've never tried this sort of thing, be prepared. (Next time--if there is one--I'll reduce the ginger by 3/4 and call it teriyaki.) If you don't serve it with sake, try an artisanal ginger ale or the spicy Blenheim's.
This is really fantastic! I couldn't find any decent quality mirin available locally, so based on suggestions on other sites I used 3 tablespoons of unseasoned rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey as a substitute. I also purchased a knob of ginger that was too small, so ended up with only 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, but as David E. points out that is actually plenty!
Will be making this again and again.
Succulent, sweet, savory, scrumptious. This is in the top ten of our Tuesday night dinners. The pork's delightfully tender and the sauce envelops the cutlets beautifully. When no one was looking, I even licked the pan (after it cooled)—it's so addictive. When we first tried this, we were surprised the cabbage was served uncooked and undressed, but it became a great accompaniment to the pork and the rice. (I may have had some Kewpie Mayo on hand just in case, keeping it in a Japanese vein.) Easy and delicious, and highly recommended.