Japan Eats

Daikon and pork cooked in soup

‘Butabara’ is the Japanese name for pork belly. It’s a rich cut, and one which goes well with a root vegetable like daikon. This soaks in the flavour, creating a wonderful broth. Ginger is added to offset the oiliness of the pork.

For this recipe, a casserole is ideal, however, if you don’t have one, you can make do with a stainless steel saucepan. Just be sure to be patient as using a regular saucepan will take longer.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Daikon and pork cooked in soup

Daikon and pork cooked in soup

  • Iron casserole dish
  • 1/2 to 1 whole daikon
  • 400g butabara (fatty pork belly)
  • 1 x ginger
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • Mirin
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 to 1/3 cup soy
  • Water


Peal the daikon and slice it up ‘rangiri’ style. Cut the pork into 5cm by 5cm pieces. Next, slice the ginger into thin pieces. Put the sesame oil into the pan and cook the pork, browning it on all sides.

Place the pieces of daikon in the pan and stir them so they are coated in oil. Cook them until the surface of the daikon becomes clear.

Add the ginger and then the sake and mirin to the mix. Next, pour enough water into the pan that the liquid doesn’t quite cover the ingredients (1cm or so).

Turn the heat up to to ‘full’ and once the mixture comes to the boil, turn the heat down and skim any gunk from the top of the mixture.

Let the soup cook on a gentle heat for 15 to 20 minutes, so that the ingredients have softened slightly and pour 1/3 cup soy into the pan.

Continue cooking so that the soup reduces 3 to 4 cm. Now slice another piece of ginger into thin strips and use it to garnish the dish. It is ready to serve.

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