Classic Japanese ginger pork (Shogayaki) recipe. Tender sliced pork loin in a sweet ginger sauce, Ginger Pork is one of my favorite homemade dishes. Ready in 20 minutes!
Ginger Pork, or what we call Shogayaki I loved it when I was growing up and still enjoy it very much these days. When I miss home, I’d often cook this.
My ginger pork recipe is simply sliced meat with ginger flavoured sauce. Another method of making ginger pork is to use sliced bite sized pieces of pork and sliced onions. The flavour is similar. The latter is almost like a stir fry. In my household, shogayaki was always made without onions.
In some recipes, the pork is marinated in the ginger sauce before sautéing but I don’t do that. The sauce has a strong flavour and the pork is thinly sliced so I don’t think it is necessary to marinate the pork slices in the sauce before cooking them.
I do, however, marinate the pork slices with some sake (Japanese rice wine) and ginger juice for a short while. This is to remove the meat smell as well as tenderizing the meat. But many recipes on the internet don’t marinate the meat before cooking and I think that this could be skipped if preferred.
What is Ginger Pork :
In Japan, this dish is called Shogayaki (生姜焼き). Shoga (生姜) means ginger and yaki means grill or fry. Here, thinly sliced pork is cooked with soy sauce, sake, and mirin along with ginger.
Each family makes their ginger pork slightly different so you’ll find some variations. Some cook it without onion, some make it without any sweetener (no mirin or sugar), some may include garlic, and some may use different cuts of the pork.
Ginger Pork Marinade :
The marinade for Shogayaki is super simple with equal parts soy sauce and sake, a half part ginger juice and third part sugar. The resulting sauce is redolent of ginger with a mild sweetness that balances out the saltiness of the soy sauce. I love the way the umami in the sake amplifies the savory goodness of the pork, but this is a marinade that will work well with just about any kind of meat or fish, including lamb, chicken, beef, and cod.
What to Serve with Ginger Pork :
You will notice that ginger pork is usually served with thinly shredded cabbage. You can cut the cabbage into thin slices with a sharp knife, or you can use a cabbage slicer as I do. My mom recommended it years ago and I love it!
I love eating the shredded cabbage with extra ginger sauce from the ginger pork. You can serve it with salad dressing of your choice, such as Japanese Sesame Dressing.
Easy Homemade Shogayaki !!
For Ginger Sauce :
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 2 Tbsp sake
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 knob ginger 2-5 cm
- ½ onion
- ¾ lb thinly sliced pork loin (I use sliced pork for "ginger pork" from a Japanese grocery store; If you can't find paper-thin meat, slice the meat on your own. See the tutorial on how to cut meat paper-thin.)
- 1 Tbsp sake (for pork)
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour) (for pork)
- 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (for cooking)
- freshly ground black pepper (optional sprinkle at the end)
- gather all Ingredients ahead
To Make the Ginger Sauce :
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the ginger sauce.
- Scrape off the outer ginger skin with a knife (or spoon) and cut off any tough parts.
- Using a grater (I love this one!), grate the ginger, keeping the juice. Collect the grated ginger and squeeze the liquid. You will need 1 Tbsp ginger juice.
- Add ½ Tbsp ginger juice (keep the rest for later) and add grated ginger as much as you like. We like the gingery taste, so we add about 2-3 tsp.
- Next, grate the onion until you get 1 Tbsp of grated onion, including juice. Keep the rest of the onion for later.
- Add the grated onion to the ginger sauce and mix it all together.
To Prepare the Ingredients :
- Cut the rest of the onion into thin slices.
- If your pork slice is more than ⅛ inches (3 mm), you should make several slits on the connective tissue (white area) between the meat and fat. Red meat and fat have different elasticities, and when they are cooked, they will shrink and expand at different rates. These slits will allow the pork slices to stay nice and flat when pan-frying and prevent them from curling up.
- Sprinkle the rest of ginger juice and 1 Tbsp sake.
- If your pork slices are paper-thin, which is less than ⅛ inch (3 mm) thickness, you do not need to dust with flour. When you're ready to cook the pork slices, lightly sprinkle with flour. It prevents the pork from drying up and keeps the moisture/juice inside the meat.
To Cook the Pork :
- In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, cook the pork slices in a single layer, turning them over once the bottom is golden brown. Cook in batches so the meat can be seared properly without steaming the meat. When the pork is no longer pink, transfer to a plate; make sure not to overcook the pork at this stage as we will continue to cook in a sauce later.
- Once the pork is done cooking, add oil (especially if your pan is not a non-stick) and onion.Saute the onion on medium heat until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. When the onion is tender and translucent, add the pork back in.
- Mix the sauce one last time and pour over the pork. Bring the sauce to simmer and spoon the sauce over the pork for about 2 minutes.
- When the sauce is thickened, transfer to a serving plate.
- accompany the dish with shredded Cabbage,
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month.
- can you change the pork with chicken breast