Beef lovers, you’re going to have sit this one out, or at least be willing to get your pork on, for “buta shoga-yaki” (pork and ginger pan fry) just isn’t the same when done with beef. You’ll also need to have some rice at the ready, because eating this without could be considered downright morally offensive in some circles. Besides, the rice, ginger, pork, and not-yet-revealed other flavors all just work so well together. It would be a shame to buck tradition.
When making this dish, you start with not ginger, but onion. Minced up nice and tight, you add minced ginger (fresh, or if convenience is your game, from a tube) and — surprise! — some finely chopped apple. Once this dish gets cooking, both the apple and the onion add their own signature sweetness to the effort. With the spice in place from the ginger, and the sweet in place from the onion and apple, it’s time to add the soy sauce and rice wine (a bit of both the drinking kind — sake — and the sweeter, cooking kind, which is known as mirin). Good! Now every part of your tongue should have something to do once this dish is cooked up, which is in fact the next step. It won’t take long to pan fry the pork, since it is boneless and sliced thinly. Once it’s just cooked through, the apple/onion/etc. sauce is mixed in. It should take not much more than a minute from this point until it’s ready to eat.
A well made buta shoga-yaki will have that perfect balance of sweet, salty, spicy, with just a hint of rice wine flavor. Enjoy it while hot, being sure to alternate every bite or so with some white rice. Even you beef lovers won’t be the least bit disappointed in this dish!