Pan-fried ginger pork belly from ‘Kodoku no Gurume’ 豚バラ生姜焼き

Pan-fried ginger pork belly. photo by Namiko Chen

Featured in the popular Japanese drama “Kodoku no Gurume,” this pan-fried ginger pork belly is cooked in a savory soy sauce base with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spicy ginger.

It’s a quick meal that you can prepare in less than 20 minutes.

After requests from many JOC readers, I started to share recipes featured in the popular Japanese TV drama – ‘Kodoku no Gurume’ (孤独のグルメ). The main character Gorō is a Japanese salaryman who is in sales. As a salesman, Gorō travels across

Japan, visiting restaurants and street booths to sample the local cuisine. Each chapter features a different place and dish.

This TV drama has been around for years in Japan. Unfortunately, it is not available on Netflix like “Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories” here in the States, but it’s available on Netflix Japan and other sources.

Whether you have access to the show or not, I want to share all the delicious foods the main character Goro-san enjoyed in the show and I hope you’d join me cooking up the dishes wherever you are. Today we’re making pan-fried ginger pork belly (豚バラ生姜焼き) from season 6, episode 2.

Featured in the popular Japanese drama “Kodoku no Gurume,” this pan-fried ginger pork belly is cooked in a savory soy sauce base with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spicy ginger.

Pan-fried ginger pork belly recipe from ‘Kodoku no Gurume’

The show shares a quick glance of how the dish is made, so I give my best attempt to cook the dish in the same way from the few seconds of the scene. It’s different from how I normally cook my ginger pork (shogayaki), but I would like you to know that there are many ways to make this popular home cooked dish.

This particular ginger pork — or shogayaki (生姜焼き) in Japanese — uses pork belly slices. My recipe uses thinly-sliced tender pork loin, which has more meat and less fat. The pork belly slices have more fat, but they are juicier, tastier, and fulfilling (especially for those who enjoy heavier food). And this ginger pork uses more sauce too. More sauce means “bring on your appetite!” Even the drama character requested a (complimentary) second bowl of steamed rice to enjoy the delicious sauce.

Pan-fried ginger pork belly ‘set (meal)’ or ‘teishoku’

In Japan, lunch menus typically comes in a “set (meal)” called teishoku (定食). The set usually comes with a main dish of your choice, along with steamed rice, miso soup, some pickles, and one to two side dishes (you get to pick sometimes). The “set meal” menu is based on Japanese “One Soup Three Dishes” or the “Ichiju-Sansai (一汁三菜)” concept when serving a meal; you can read more details about it on this post: www.justonecookbook.com/ichiju-sansai/.

In the show, he ordered a “pan-fried ginger pork belly set (meal);” the set comes with:

Steamed rice
Asari miso soup (Clam miso soup) https://www.justonecookbook.com/clam-soup/
Simmered Bamboo Shoots (https://www.justonecookbook.com/simmered-bamboo-shoots)
Pickled tomatoes with minced onion (https://www.justonecookbook.com/pickled-tomatoes)
Pickled cucumber and pickled napa cabbage (https://www.justonecookbook.com/pickled-cucumbers-with-ginger)
Mentaiko with grated daikon
Natto with chopped green onion
As you can see, the menu covers carbohydrate, protein, vegetables, pickles, fermented food, and a considerable amount of Omega-3 rich seafood. No doubt, a highly nutritious and wholesome meal, it is also a representation of how much thought that goes into a typical Japanese meal.

In case you’re wondering how we can cook up so many dishes for one lunch, the strategy is advance planning. Most of the side dishes can be prepared ahead of time, and last for the entire week. For those of you who are interested in making Japanese home-cooked meals more often, I hope this set menu gives you some inspirations.

JOC ‘Kodoku no Gurume ‘Recipes Series
• Champon
• Kushikatsu (kushiage)
• Pan-fried ginger
pork belly
• Pickled tomatoes

Pan-fried ginger pork belly
Featured in the popular Japanese drama “Kodoku no Gurume,” this pan-fried ginger pork belly is cooked in a savory soy sauce base with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spicy ginger.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients
1/4 head cabbage (11 oz, 312 g)
1 Tokyo negi (naga negi; long green onion) (you’ll need about 2-3 Tbsp; or 2-3 green onions)
1 knob ginger (1 tsp grated)
8 oz sliced pork belly (cut in half or smaller sizes, if needed)

Sauce (enough for 2 servings)

3 Tbsp sake
3 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce (or use GF soy sauce for gluten-free)

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/ingredient-substitution-for-japanese-cooking/.

Originally posted on https://www.justonecookbook.com/pan-fried-ginger-pork-belly.

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