Shogayaki means cooked (yaki) with ginger (shoga). The mouthwatering smell of ginger makes shogayaki a very popular staple in the Japanese household. But the ginger isn’t only there for the smell or taste – it contributes to the meat’s tenderness and flavour as well.
Ginger contains protease. This enzyme naturally breaks down protein, responsible for meat’s toughness, into amino acids. When cooked, amino acids release the irresistibly savoury taste we’ve come to know as umami. And because ginger is heat-sensitive, its zingy flavour weakens when cooked. This ensures that the ginger doesn’t overpower the other flavours that go into the dish.
What’s more, ginger is said to prevent colds, increase metabolism and improve blood circulation. All this on top of tenderising your meat and enhancing its flavour! Shogayaki keeps well, so in addition to being a tantalising main dish, it makes a great addition to any bento.
- 200 g thinly sliced pork
- some leaves lettuce (to garnish)
- ½ Japanese cucumber (or 1/3 English cucumber; to garnish)
- 5 cherry tomatoes (to garnish)
- 2 tsp grated ginger (A)
- 2 tsp soy sauce (A)
- ½ tbsp sake (A)
- 1 tbsp grated ginger (B)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (B)
- 1 tbsp mirin (B)
- 「PREP」Put the thinly sliced pork into a dish or container with A and mix together to make sure the meat is coated. Leave in the refrigerator to marinate for 20 minutes. While waiting, wash the vegetables, slice the cucumber and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Set a skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, tipping the pan to distribute evenly. Add the marinated pork slices and cook both sides, flipping over when the pork starts changing colour.
- Reduce heat to medium and add B. Flip the meat to coat both sides.
- When it’s cooked, remove from heat. Arrange the lettuce leaves on plates and garnish with the cucumber slices and tomatoes. Add the meat and serve.
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