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When I was in high school I had a sweet-a** cafeteria that had offerings like ramen (not the 68-cent stuff, massive bowls of noodles, veggies, and pork), curry with beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried fish, and spaghetti with meat sauce.

Wanna know the weird thing?

It was all good.  Really good.  

One of my favorite things that the cafeteria offered on a weekly basis was ginger chicken.  Whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts were simmered for hours in a thin fresh ginger-soy sauce and it. was. amazing.  Everyone loved ginger chicken day!

I, uh, borrowed this sweet Japanese cookbook from my mom – she took a cooking class from the author when we moved to Tokyo and learned to make some fabulous dishes from it!  I use it often, and the ginger pork recipe is one of my favorites – I’ve used it on chicken too, and it tastes just like high school!

Ginger Pork

I’ve altered the recipe a little bit due to personal preferences and the ever popular whatihaveonhand, so this is how I make the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oil (olive, here, but any light oil is fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger would be ideal, but I didn’t have any.  Sad.)
Mix all the ingredients in a dish using a fork or whisk.  Taste it, and if it’s a little bitter for you add a sprinkle of sugar and another splash of soy sauce.
Yum!  Now, grab some pork.  Tenderloin would be lovely, but I had one thick-cut 8oz. pork chop that I needed to use.   Whatever pork you have, slice it into thin flat pieces.
Then toss the pork in the marinade….
And toss it all around to get it nicely coated in the marinade.
Then, let the pork sit for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours – depending on how much time you have.  When you’re ready to cook the pork, heat a pan to medium-high heat and quickly sear the pork for 2 minutes on each side until it begins to brown – save the sauce!
Once the pork is brown, slowly pour in the marinade and turn down the heat – we’re going to cook it so it won’t hurt you, I promise.  Really.
Now, cook gently for 3-5 more minutes until the sauce is thickened, reduced, and bubbly.
Now, serve with white rice and enjoy!
This would be great with any veggie of your choice, but I especially like it with a dark green veggie cooked very simply, like braised bok choy.  Yum!