Buta no Shōgayaki (Ginger Pork)

Shogayaki: grilled pork chops glazed with a caramelized sauce redolent of ginger and earthy miso.

With meetings in the city every day this week and a cold that doesn’t seem to get the clue, I haven’t exactly been looking forward to spending time in the kitchen. That’s why I have tried and true standbys like this Shōgayaki to get me through the week.

Shōgayaki (生姜焼き), literally means “grilled with ginger” and is a super simple, fabulously flavorful way to prepare your favorite protein. In Japan, it’s usually made with thin pork chops (I’ve used both rib and shoulder chops), but this marinade will work equally well with lamb chops, chicken thighs or even tofu.

Savory, aromatic, and pleasantly sweet, the marinade caramelizes around the outside of the meat, giving it a magical mahogany glaze that’s redolent of ginger and earthy miso. But this pairing is about more than just harmonious flavors. The enzymes in both miso and ginger help tenderize meat. That’s why this ginger pork is ready to cook in minutes rather than hours.

Because the pork chops are thin, it’s important to cut slits into the meat to break up the connective tissue, otherwise the chops will curl as they fry making it difficult to cook evenly. If you’re using chicken thighs, you can skip the slitting, but you’ll need to make sure it’s filleted to an even thickness so it cooks evenly. You’ll also want to start off with a cool pan , otherwise the marinade will burn before the chicken is cooked through. As for tofu, use a firm tofu and dry it thoroughly with paper towels before marinating it to keep the marinade from getting watery.

Equipment you'll need:

Shogayaki: grilled pork chops glazed with a caramelized sauce redolent of ginger and earthy miso.
Buta no Shōgayaki (Ginger Pork)
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Grilled pork chops glazed with a caramelized sauce redolent of ginger and earthy miso.
Shogayaki: grilled pork chops glazed with a caramelized sauce redolent of ginger and earthy miso.
Buta no Shōgayaki (Ginger Pork)
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.75
You:
Rate this recipe!
Grilled pork chops glazed with a caramelized sauce redolent of ginger and earthy miso.
Ingredients
  • 330 grams pork chops 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 2 tablespoons sugar - granulated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger peeled and grated (about 20 grams)
Units:
Instructions
  1. Use a sharp knife to slice shallow slits about 1/4" apart in one direction all the way across one side of each piece of meat. Pork for Shogayaki
  2. Flip the cutlets over and make the same slits perpendicular to the directions of the slits on the first side. If you make the slits in the same direction you run the risk of cutting all the way through the meat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sake, miso, sugar and ginger to make the Shōgayaki sauce. Shogayaki Sauce
  4. Dip each piece of pork in the ginger miso marinade and place them on a tray. Pour any remaining marinade on top of the pork. Let this marinate as you prepare the rest of dinner. Five minutes should be plenty of time, but you can let it marinate overnight if you want. Ginger Pork Marinade
  5. To fry simply heat a frying pan over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking hot). Lightly oil your pan (if you're using a lean piece of pork or other meat you may need a bit more oil) and add the marinated pork chops in a single layer.
  6. Brown on one side, flip and brown the other side. Because the sweet marinade will burn easily If the pork starts to burn before it's cooked through, turn down the heat. Grilled Ginger Pork Recipe
  7. Serve your Shōgayaki with steamed veggies, or shredded cabbage and rice.

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  • jadegreen_eyz

    Nothing compares to the “bite” and flavor you get from fresh ginger (non-existent in ground). I have a question on how to best store it. I buy small amounts, enough for about 3 recipes, and then end up having to freeze it to keep it from molding. However, I have noticed that the frozen version ends up soggy (more difficult to grate on my ceramic ginger grater). How to remedy this problem or is it just something I will have to live with? I’ve seen ginger in a tube at the supermarket.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi jadegreen_eyz, there are a couple routes you can take here. The first is to grate it before you freeze it. Then just put the grated ginger into an ice cube tray so you have tablespoon sized buttons of frozen ginger that can then be put into a freezer bag and stored until use. The second option is to peel the ginger and then put it in a jar and cover it with cheap vodka. The high proof alcohol will preserve the ginger indefinitely. The only drawback is that you won’t be able to use the ginger raw since it will have a lot of alcohol in it. You’ll also have some ginger flavored vodka you can then use in cocktails or marinades.

      • jadegreen_eyz

        Thank you, Marc. I may just give the vodka solution a try. It seems to offer the longest storage period.

  • http://thefairkitchen.com/ The Fair Kitchen

    Wow. A mouth-watering recipe. I like it how you tackled the steps one and clear at a time. Yum!

  • Channon Doughty

    This looks wonderful. I think I want to use it on some tempeh I have. Do you have any suggestions for cooking tempeh?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Channon, to be honest I’ve never been a big fan of tempeh as a meat substitute, so I haven’t worked with it much, but the times I’ve enjoyed it the most, it’s been fried until crisp around the edges. You could do something similar here, skipping the marination and then pan frying the tempeh before adding in the marinade and caramelizing around the outside of the tempeh.

      • Channon Doughty

        great idea! Thank you so much. Going to go do it right now :-)

      • Channon Doughty

        you called. It wasn’t good at all. I just crave tempeh sometimes and enjoy using it on occasion, but this wasn’t “it”.

  • Isabel

    Can I use mirin instead of sake and just cut down on the sugar?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Isabel, you could probably replace all the sake with mirin and eliminate the sugar. But be sure you’re using real mirin as many “mirins” contain high fructose corn syrup.

  • Paula

    Hi Marc!

    Do you think I can bake this instead of frying? Also saw your “best pork chop” recipe and I was wondering if I can bake that as well… What temperature and for how long?

    Thank you!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Paula, I don’t think you’d get the same caramelization on the outside of the meat by baking. You could try using the broiler with the rack in the top position. That should work for this recipe because the pork is relatively thin, but it won’t work for the pork chop recipe because that one is relatively thick. What’s your concern about pan-frying? If it about the oil, you hardly need to add any as the pork should render out some of it’s own oil. If anything I think the high temperature of pan frying should render out more oil than baking it in the oven.

      • Paula

        Hi Marc, Yep that is exactly my concern…I just don’t want to add anymore oil. But you’re right… It should render out more oil so that works for me :) I’m excited to try both both of the recipes! Thank you!

  • nick brown

    Hello,
    i enjoyed this recipe, just wondering if their were any other recipes that are as good as this one, possibly one that implements tofu and soba. Thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Nick, have a look through the site. You can also search for soba or tofu using the search box at the top.

  • Lindsey

    Hi
    This recipe looks amazing but i was wondering if it would become better or worse with a different cut if pork, specifically shoulder instead of the spinal area

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Lindsey, I actually used both rib and shoulder chops. The shoulder is the one with more fat in it. It’s going to be a bit more tough, but but if you do the slits with the knife it should not be a problem and the meat is more flavorful.

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