Pork Belly and Daikon Radish Stew
English speakers often call a bad actor a "ham", but in Japan we would compare him to a white radish and say "daikon actor"!
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi
Calorie count is per serving.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1/2 daikon radish (500 g)
- 1/2 daikon radish greens
- A pinch of salt
- 200 g pork belly (for barbecue)
- A pinch of vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp sake
- 1/2 piece ginger (small)
- 1 dried red chili
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
Cut the daikon into 2.5-3 cm rounds, peel and cut into half-moon slices. Cut the daikon greens into 3 cm lengths. Add a pinch of salt to boiling water. Parboil the daikon greens over medium heat for about a minute and drain. Cut the ginger into thin slices. De-seed the chili.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pork, and fry for a couple of minutes. Turn over and fry for two more minutes. Add the daikon, sprinkle with sake and add 400 ml of water, ginger and chili. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Browning the pork before simmering minimizes surface scum and enhances the aroma.
Once the daikon slices are tender, add the daikon greens and stir in [A], in the order in which the ingredients are listed. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
Stick a bamboo skewer in the center of the daikon. If the skewer goes through without resistance, the daikon is done.
Hangetsu-giri (cutting into half-moons)
Used to cut cylindrical items into half-moon slices. Suitable for simmered dishes because the ingredients cook evenly in less time.
- Cut lengthwise in half.
- Place the halves cut-side down, and make uniform slices.
Carrots, daikon radish, eggplant, lotus root, etc.