Tokachi Butadon pork bowls have recently gained nationwide fame. At restaurants, pork slices are dipped in a secret sauce, which Miho Tachikawa, my friend in Hokkaido imagines would contain soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), during heating over a charcoal grill.
Miho’s way is to cook the meat in a frying pan, sprinkle sugar over it during the process, pour soy sauce over the surface, and then simmer after adding Worcestershire sauce.
Miho handed on her Butadon recipe to her daughter. But her daughter cooks it in her way, putting all ingredients in a pan before turning on the heat.
“It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you make sure to cook the meat thoroughly and simmer the sauce to a tasty gooey texture,” Miho says. She recalls fond memories of cooking Tokachi Butadon and slicing it for guests when she was in the U.S. for her husband’s job.
You may be shocked at the amount of sugar used for the meat, but in the same way, we add sugar for sushi; Japanese food is sweet.
Tokachi Butadon (Pork Bowl)
- frying pan
- 200 g thinly sliced pork loin
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Spread pork slices in a frying pan; sprinkle with sugar. Pour soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce over the meat and turn on the heat.200 g thinly sliced pork loin, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1.5 tbsp sugar
- Cook over medium heat. Turn over when the color of the meat changes. Remove from skillet when done.
Kabocha Squash Pieces Boiled in a Sweet Sauce
- 250 g kabocha squash
- 150 ml water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Cut kabocha squash into bite-size pieces. Place them into a small pot.250 g kabocha squash
- Add sugar and water; put it on the stove. Bring to boil, lower heat to medium, and cook about 10 minutes until most liquid is gone.150 ml water, 2 tbsp sugar
Okra Seasoned with Sesame Seed Sauce
- 8 pods okra
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
- Sprinkle salt over okra; press and roll against cutting board to remove the fine hair on the surface.
- Add salted okra to a pot of boiling water and boil for about a minute.
- Remove from heat; place in a bowl of cold water to cool. Wipe off the water.
- Halve okra diagonally and horizontally; place in a bowl. Add soy sauce, white sesame seeds, and sesame oil and mix.
- 1 egg
- Boil for about 11 minutes after reaching boiling point if you’ve just taken them out of the refrigerator. Place in cold water, peel the shell, and let cool. Cut in half.
- 3 radish pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Add salt to a pot of boiling water; add radish and boil for about a minute.
- Remove and place in a bowl of cold water to cool. Cut in half.
Packing Your Bento Box
1. Set the rice in your Bento box. Place leafy greens if desired.
2. Pour sauce over the rice.
3. Place pork slices on top of the rice.
4. Add side dishes.