While teriyaki is famous abroad, shogayaki is an equally popular preparation method within Japan. An example of “ofukuro no aji” (literally “Mom’s taste”), shogayaki is a common dish to prepare at home. Made in just 20 minutes, try making shogayaki for a quick and comforting weeknight dinner!
“Shoga” means ginger while “yaki” means fried, referring to the cooking method of stir-frying in ginger. While other types of meat can be used, shogayaki typically uses pork specifically. If you are shopping for ingredients at a Japanese grocery store, try looking for “ginger pork cut” which refers to pork loin sliced about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Alternatively, you can use paper-thin “hot-pot cut” pork, though be aware that it is more prone to shrinking and curling.
To begin, prepare your pork by seasoning it with salt, pepper, and potato starch. The potato starch helps to lock in moisture and will also absorb the ginger sauce, resulting in juicy, tender meat.
In a separate bowl, make the ginger sauce by combining ginger, soy sauce, sake, mirin, and chili oil. We add the untraditional ingredient of chili oil for a little kick, though feel free to adjust the amount or omit it altogether depending on your spice tolerance. The aromatic ginger, salty soy sauce, and sweet sake and mirin come together to form a deep, umami-rich sauce that soaks into the slices of pork.
Fry the pork in sesame oil until fully cooked, then coat it in the savory ginger sauce and stir to combine. Lastly, melt in a teaspoon of butter for an extra dose of richness and velvety texture. Serve hot with steamed rice and enjoy!
- 240g pork loin (thinly sliced)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Potato starch (sprinkling)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp butter
- Poke holes in each piece of pork with a fork to prevent it from shrinking.
- Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and potato starch (conservatively). This will help the sauce to stick to the pork.
- In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan on medium heat and cook each side of the pork until golden brown.
- Add the sauce from step 3 to coat the pork.
- Just before removing from the pan, add butter and coat the pork evenly. This adds extra flavor and richness to the dish, but be sure not to add too much. Serve hot and enjoy!
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Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.