Shogayaki means cooked (yaki) with ginger (shoga). The pork is tenderised by marinating it in a ginger sauce before cooking. It keeps well, so in addition to being a tantalising main dish, pork shogayaki is a great addition to any bento.
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, an enzyme that 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, ensuring that it doesn’t overpower the dish.
What’s more, ginger is said to prevent colds, increase metabolism and improve blood circulation – all the while tenderising your meat and enhancing its flavour!
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.