I am a big fan of one-dish meals. So is my husband since I cook and he cleans. Therefore, the fewer dishes he has to wash, the better. 😉
Japanese Butadon Pork Bowls is a favorite in our house because it is a simple and comforting meal, all in one bowl. It is also a great weeknight dish, perfect when I don’t always have a lot of time or I don’t really feel making anything more complicated!
“Butadon”, by the way, is a Japanese word that literally means “pork rice bowl”, a very simple dish despite its fancy sounding name!
Thin sliced pork is slowly simmered in a flavorful braising concoction of dashi broth, tamari (or soy sauce), mirin, and honey. Onions are added in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
What do you end up with? Really flavorful and tender pork that you then pile high on a bowl of hot steamed rice. So good!
My favorite, though, is to take it a step further and top it with some pepper mix, green onion, and pickled ginger! Perfection!
By the way, butadon pork bowls also make great leftovers! It’s so easy to reheat in the microwave for a meal the next day, and especially makes for great school lunches. My boys love getting this as a hot lunch!
If you’re looking for a simple way to bring a taste of Japan to your table, these butadon pork bowls may be just the ticket! Flavorful and satisfying, it may become a regular in your weekly menu!
Japanese Butadon Pork Bowls
- 1.5 lbs thinly sliced pork belly
- 1 small onion, cut into chunks
- 3 tbs dashi broth granules (Japanese fish soup stock granules, found in Asian grocery stores)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce if don't have gluten allergies)
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 2 tsp honey
In medium pot over medium heat, combine water, dashi granules, tamari, mirin, and honey.
Cut pork belly strips into bite-sized pieces, about 2-3 inches in length.
Add pork to the pot, stirring to separate meat slices. Bring to a gentle boil.
Cover pot with lid, leaving a slight gap and reduce heat to a low. Simmer for at least 30 minutes (45 minutes is best).
Remove lid and add onions. Mix well and simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes.
Serve over hot rice, spooning some of the braising liquid over the meat. Sprinkle with Japanese pepper mix and serve with pickled ginger.
- Dashi: When looking for dashi broth granules, read the labels and try to avoid ones that are loaded with salt and MSG. Also it may not say "dashi" anywhere on the jar or packet, and instead may be labelled simply as as "fish soup granules". The healthier versions might be easier to find in a Japanese-specific grocery store, but definitely take a look around the Asian supermarket. This is what I use:Alternatively, look for dashi bags, which are like tea bags that you soak in water to get the dashi broth.
- Turn this Butadon into Gyudon by using beef! Look for "hot pot" thinly sliced beef in the Asian supermarket.
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