Butadon pork bowls are an easy way to bring a humble, homey Japanese meal to your table. Tender flavorful pork over hot steamed rice, it's a simple and delicious bowl of satisfying comfort.
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!
And if you prefer beef over pork, try my Japanese Gyudon Beef Bowls which are just as delicious and comforting!
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
- ½ cup tamari (or soy sauce if don't have gluten allergies)
- ⅓ cup mirin
- 2 teaspoon honey
- Chopped green onions
- Pickled ginger
- Shichimi Togarashi Japanese mixed chili pepper seasoning
- 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.
- Garnish with chopped green onions, Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese pepper mix) and pickled ginger, if desired.
- This the brand of dashi granules I use and what they look like. Compared to some other brands, I find this one to have the simplest list of ingredients:
- Alternatively, look for dashi bags, which are like tea bags that you soak in water to get the dashi broth.
If you make this dish, share your photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @dayinthekitchen!
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Recipe notes regarding dashi broth granules updated April 15th, 2019.
Hi Lisa, any alternative in place of dashi to cook this dish..? Have all ingredients except dashi 😩
Thanks for your question, Heidi. Dashi is a tough ingredient to substitute, but the closest thing I can think of is to use fish sauce. Soy sauce could also be a substitute, but there is already soy sauce in the recipe, so I don't know if adding another tablespoon would make that much of a difference. Let me know what you end up doing and how it turns out!
actually i used half a cube of chicken stock thinking it wouldn't work (no 'fishiness' flavour) but hey it turned out so good! I found the sauce a bit bland for my liking so I added a tablespoon of terriyaki sauce to boost the flavour. It was sooooo good!
Glad you liked it!
Is there a reason you use honey instead of sake and sugar other similar recipes call for? Is it to make it healthier? Or does it give a better flavor? Just wondering. Looking forward to making this recipe soon. Thanks!
Thanks for the question, Rina! I use honey because I try to avoid cooking with refined white sugar whenever possible. Another reason is that many people already have honey in their cupboards, so this dish is easy to put together without having to buy unfamiliar ingredients. I hope you like the dish!
I find it ironic that you suggest staying away from dashi with high amounts of salt and MSG, yet the example you use has salt in the first ingredient a swell as MSG (Yeast extract) 😂
I actually did not realize yeast extract is also known as MSG, and I have updated my notes. I appreciate the lesson, Nancy! Thanks!
Good recipe, but ingredients list is missing some of the key flavours!: green onions and shichimi togarashi - I'm sure that's what you meant by pepper mix. We can figure it out tho! Great job!
Shame this site can only display imperial measurements, rather than a logical system based on base 10 (metric)
Thanks for your comment, Andrew. I did, indeed, forget to include the garnishes that I often I use myself when I eat this! I have updated the ingredient list to include them!
Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
That thinly sliced pork belly looks delicious Lisa! What a great recipe! My hubby does most of the dishes too, so he appreciates one-dish meals as well!
Kim @ The Puffy Biscuit
I love a one pot meal, too! I have never heard of this before but it sounds (and looks!) amazing. It would be perfect for busy weeknights.
Yes, it is a great simple meal on weeknights...no fussing and very satisfying!
Lisa, I'm loving your recipes! We've visited a few places in different parts of Asia, and love all of the various foods and cultural dishes, but the food is always in a restaurant. I love that you're in your kitchen showing me delicious one pan, easy meals in Hong Kong! Thank you ♥
How thick should I ask my butcher to cut the pork belly?
Ask the butcher to slice the pork belly as thin as he can without it falling apart. Cutting as thin as bacon might be a good reference. Hope that helps!