every now and then, i get a craving for this dish called “nikudon,” which is pan fried marinated pork slices on top of a bowl of white rice. to be precise, it should be called “buta (pork) don” instead of “niku (meat) don,” but it is just the way my mom always calls it for whatever reason.
i am not a big fan of meat dishes to be honest, but i do love this donburi dish. it has many elements of what i like in food. it provides you this tasty juice of the pork, mixed with the saltiness of soy sauce and a little sweetness from the mirin sauce and sugar, and then this meaty texture gets blended into the purity of freshly cooked rice and the crunchy, cold texture of the cabbage slices… oh heavenly.
the recipe below is how my mom prepares it. make sure to get the correct ratio in the marinade mixture!
mom’s nikudon (pork on rice)
ingredients (for 2 people):
200 – 250g pork slices (sliced just like bacon. better with some fatty part too)
2 tbsp of salad oil
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of japanese sake (if you don’t have it, use white wine)
2 tbsp of soy sauce
3+ tbsp of mirin (if you don’t have it, use honey, but 2 tbsp only)
2 bowls of freshly cooked rice
2 – 3 leaves of fresh cabbage, thinly sliced and washed in cold water (drain the water thoroughly)
1) pour in the marinade mix into a medium sized bowl
2) place the pork slices into the marinade. leave them aside for 30 minutes or so
3) heat a medium to large sized frying pan in medium heat, pour in the oil, and place the pork slices into the pan (be careful not to put the heat too high, otherwise the oil gets splashed due to the marinade). you can put all the marinade in as well
4) cook the pork slices until the colour gets golden brown and the marinade juice thickens
5) sprinkle the sugar over the pork slices and mix one last time
6) put the rice in a bowl each
7) place the sliced cabbage on top
8) on top of 7), nicely place the pork slices
it satisfies your taste buds as well as your appetite! great food for kids too, as it’s very yummy and nutritious.
hope you’ll like it!
– if you like donburi dishes, here is a recipe for “tori-don” chicken donburi
– have a look at my dauaghter’s kindergarten nikudon bento
– here is another popular recipe, oshiruko (sweet red bean soup), from Small Tokyo Kitchen