Ton (pork) jiru (soup) is a soup with pork in it. See, washoku (Japanese cuisine) can be that simple!
What’s complicated is pinning down its origins. Some say tonjiru was based on a wild boar hot pot dish, others, that it was the Japanese Navy’s adaptation of curry, using miso paste instead of curry powder. Another theory is that the recipe developed out of the practice of removing pork’s gaminess with negi, ginger and miso paste (our version doesn’t use ginger, but feel free to experiment). And then you have regional differences in terms of ingredients, and even what to call this dish (the word for pork can also be read as buta, and in some areas this soup is referred to as butajiru). And then there’s my argument, that although its namesake is pork, I think the real star ingredients of this dish are its yummy and nutritious root veggies!
Well, all we know for sure is, tonjiru is a healthy, hearty and oishii (delicious) Japanese recipe, so give it a try!
- 100 g thinly sliced pork
- 1 stalk naganegi (welsh onion) just the white part
- 60 g carrot
- 120 g daikon
- 10 cm burdock root
- 100 g konnyaku
- 1 potato
- 100 g tofu soft or firm
- 1 tsp vegetale oil
- shichimi togarashi to taste
- 1 tbsp sake (A)
- 1 tsp soy sauce (A)
- 3 cups water (A)
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- Cut the pork strips into 1cm long pieces.Chop the naganegi into rounds.Peel the carrot, quarter lengthwise and slice.Peel the daikon, slice and cut the slices into 6thsRinse and scrub the burdock, roughly peel with the back of a knife, then cut into pieces with a whittling action, as if sharpening a pencil with a knife.Put the konnyaku into a pot of water, bring to the boil, then drain and rinse in cold water (skip this step if using pre-boiled konnyaku). Slice the konnyaku into 2cm long strips.Peel and quarter the potato, then chop into medium slices.Dice the tofu into 2cm cubes.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan or medium-sized pot, add the pork and stir fry til coated with oil. Add the naganegi, carrot, daikon, and burdock root in that order, stir-frying each in turn.
- Add the konnyaku, pour in (A) and simmer for 5 minutes over medium. Add the potatoes and continue to simmer until cooked, about 15 minutes. Add tofu and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
- Add the miso paste, blending well. Ladle it into bowls and top with a bit of shichimi togarashi to taste.