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Butadon (Pork Donburi)

Butadon (Pork Donburi)

Originated in Hokkaido, Japan, Butadon is a rice bowl dish featuring grilled pork slices with caramelized soy sauce. The sweet and savoury flavour is a major win. Easy to make and ready in 15 minutes.

Ready in: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Complexity: very-easy

kcal: 583

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227 g thinly sliced pork loins
2 tbsp rice bran oil
4 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
8 tbsp boiling water
6 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp saké
20 cm Negi (long spring onion, use white part only)
Red pickled ginger


SAUCE: Make sure 4 tbsp of boiling water is ready before you start.
In a heavy-bottom, high-sided saucepan on medium heat, combine 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp water.
Cook, stirring at the beginning with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, until sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is beginning to bubble, stop stirring. Let the sugar and water cook together. As the water continues to evaporate and the heat of the sugar rises, the sugar begins to caramelize. You can gently swirl the pan to achieve even caramelization. Watch the pan closely as the process moves quickly.
When the caramelized sugar has reached its amber colour, turn off the heat. Add 4 tbsp boiling water with one hand (wear a kitchen mitten) and hold a lid with the other hand to protect yourself from splattering as you pour in the boiling water. Once splatter stops, turn the stove back on and mix well. If there is crystallized sugar, it will melt again.
Add 3 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp saké then bring to simmer, and turn off the heat.
PREPARE THE GARNISH & PORK: If you can get negi (long spring onion) from a Japanese grocery store, you can garnish the donburi with “Shiraganegi”. Cut the negi into 10 cm, and make an incision lengthwise to remove the green core. We only use the white outer layers. Cut them to julienned pieces and soak in water to get rid of the bitterness. Soaking in water also curls up the julienned pieces.
Make several slits on the connective tissue between the meat and fat. The reason is that red meat and fat have different elasticity, and when they are cooked, they will shrink and expand at different rates. This will allow the meat to stay nice and flat and prevent it from curling up.
COOK BUTADON: In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add pork slices in a single layer. Because the frying pan won’t fit all the meat, we need to pan-fry the pork in batches. Flip the meat only after the bottom side is nicely brown but only flip once. When both sides are nicely brown, remove the meat to a plate. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE MEAT, as you will cook in the sauce later again. Here you only need to sear the meat.
Add the new slices of pork.
Pour the sauce to the pan, reserving some for drizzling over the steamed rice and meat. Coat both sides of the meat with the sauce.
TO SERVE: Serve the steamed rice in a large bowl (donburi bowl) and drizzle over some sauce. Place the meat on top, layering the slices. Drizzle more sauce, (if you prefer) and season with SIDS SALT & PEPPER on top.
Garnish with Shiraganegi and red pickled ginger then serve immediately.