This porky soup is a hearty winter dish that’s popular in Japan – you could make it using chunks of pork belly or small pieces of pork spare ribs cut through the bone, but you’d need to increase the cooking time accordingly. You could even use pieces of chicken thigh fillet; this is a highly adaptable recipe. For a meal in a hurry, you can’t beat using the frozen, thinly sliced pork belly you find in the freezer section of good Asian grocers. It’s brilliant in this dish.
- 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 300 g very thinly sliced pork belly, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
- 600 g orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
- 200 g shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and separated
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2.5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sake
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
- 4 green onions, trimmed and very thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 100 g (⅓ cup) red miso
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until softened. In a frypan, heat the sesame oil over medium, add the pork and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until it has changed colour. Add the pork to the onion in the saucepan, with the sweet potato, ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until the garlic and ginger have softened slightly. Add the sake, bring to the boil, then cook for 1 minute or until it has reduced. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until the meat and sweet potato are tender. Add the mushrooms, stirring to submerge them, then cook for 3 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Stir in the miso and green onions to combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.