Pork Shōgayaki Bento (Ginger Pork) is one of the very popular bento and it is very filling. A thinly sliced sautéed pork has full of ginger and soy sauce flavour. By placing Pork Shōgayaki on rice, the sweet soy sauce flavour goes onto the rice, making it so flavoursome.
In my last bento post, Bento Box – Teriyaki Salmon Bento, I talked about how the majority of households prepare bento ahead of time. Today’s bento consists of 5 items in addition to rice but two of them are leftovers from 1-2 days ago. Other items are quick to prepare.
What’s in Pork Shōgayaki Bento
The ingredients for today’s Bento Box are listed below.
COOKED RICE – it is best to cook rice fresh in the morning if possible but can be made ahead. Please refer to How to Cook Rice the Japanese Way. Pack the cooked rice in a bento box while the rice is still hot or warm as it is easier to shape it. Let it cool down before adding other ingredients. Do not fill rice too much as you will put the Pork Shōgayaki on it.
PORK SHŌGAYAKI (GINGER PORK) – left over from dinner or make ahead. The pork in this bento is about 100g/3.5oz – two slices in my case. I used pork loin for this bento but you can use pork neck/collar. See more about Pork Shōgayaki in the next section.
LOTUS ROOT AND SPINACH SALAD – this is a variation of Lotus Root and Mizuna Salad in my post. Instead of mizuna, I used blanched spinach, but of course you can use mizuna as per the recipe. You will need about 1/8-1/10 of the quantity made in Lotus Root and Mizuna Salad recipe. You can make this salad the day before.
BOILED EGG – make ahead a few days earlier if you want. Cut it in half just before packing with a tiny pinch of gomashio (胡麻塩, black sesame seeds and salt) as decoration. Please visit Rice with Azuki Beans (Osekihan) for details about gomashio including how to make it.
SHREDDED LETTUCE – Fresh salad leaves to add green colour to the bento. It can be other salad leaves or sliced cucumbers.
BABY TOMATOES – I needed red in my bento. Boiled carrot pieces or red grapes can work, too.
Pork Shōgayaki (Ginger Pork) on Rice
This is a great way of packing a bento when the dish comes with some sauce. The sauce from the Shōgayaki drops onto the rice and makes it so flavoursome.
In this recipe, I cut the pork into large bite size pieces so that it is easier to pick up with chopsticks and eat. But if you want, you can place the pork slices as a whole on the rice to get a gutsy feel when you bite into it.
Boiled Egg is Great for Bento
Boiled egg keeps a few days in the fridge and it is a handy food to have for bento. The yellow of egg yolk gives an instant colourfulness to the bento. When you feel like you need a bit more protein or colour in the bento, just cut it in half and place them.
If you don’t have enough space to add two, just one half egg will be sufficient to brighten up the bento box. You can also dice them and sprinkle over the salad.
So always have some boiled eggs in the fridge.
About Furoshiki (Traditional Japanese Wrapping Cloth)
When I took a bento box to school or to work, I always wrapped the bento box in a square cloth called furoshiki (風呂敷). It is used to not only wrap a bento box but also a gift box, a bottle of sake, an important envelope, etc. It is a very authentic way of carrying a present in Japan.
The photo below shows how to wrap today’s bento box with a chopsticks case. Carry the bento box by holding where the bow is.
Material for furoshiki can be silk, rayon, cotton, polyester, nylon. For a bento box, I use cotton furoshiki as it is easy to clean. Some of them have beautiful patterns on them. Some are woven to have different colours on each side to make it reversible.
It is an art to wrap different shapes in a furoshiki. You can see the examples of wrapping methods here. Examples are all in Japanese but you get the idea from the step-by-step images.
Enjoy great looking delicious bento – Pork Shōgayaki Bento!
One of the very popular bento, Pork Shōgayaki Bento is very filling. By placing Pork Shōgayaki on rice, the sweet soy sauce flavour goes onto the rice, making it so flavoursome.
Pork Shōgayaki (Ginger Pork) Bento consists of cooked rice and just a couple of dishes with a boiled egg and fresh veggies.
Because bento is usually made mostly from left-over dishes or make-ahead dishes, the time indicated in this recipe only shows the time to pack the bento box.
- 1 cup cooked rice (note 1)
- 100g/3.5oz Pork Shōgayaki (Ginger Pork) with sauce (note 2)
- 50g/1.8oz Lotus Root and Spinach Salad (note 3)
- 1/2 cup shredded lettuce (note 4)
- 1 boiled egg cut in half
- A pinch of gomashio (optional, note 5)
- 2 baby tomatoes
- A bento box of your choice
While the rice is still hot or warm, place it in the largest compartment of the bento box (note 6), allowing for the pork slices to be placed on top. Let it cool.
Cut the Pork Shōgayaki into large bite size pieces. Place them on the rice so that the rice is completely covered. Then pour the sauce over it.
Put Lotus Root and Spinach Salad in one of the empty compartments. If your bento box does not have compartments, use a foil cupcake liner to put it in.
In the other empty compartment, spread lettuce and place boiled eggs with the cut side up. Sprinkle gomashio in the centre of the egg yolks if using.
Put the tomatoes in the corner of the main section next to the Ginger Pork.
1. It is best to pack cooked rice in a bento box while hot or warm as it is easier to shape the rice into the bento box.
2. When you put aside the cooked pork for bento, make sure to save some sauce too.
3. I used the recipe Lotus Root and Mizuna Salad, but I substituted mizuna with blanched spinach. The spinach was cut to 5cm long after blanching.
4. I am one of those people who can eat fresh salad leaves with no dressings. But if you need to add flavouring to the lettuce, bring salad dressing of your choice in a small container with the bento box and pour it over when eating.
5. Gomashio (胡麻塩) is black sesame seeds and salt sold in a bottle or a packet. Please visit Red Rice with Azuki Beans (Osekihan) for details and photo of gomashio.
6. If your bento box does not have separate compartment, you can use a sheet of baking paper or a couple of pieces of salad leaves to separate the rice from the rest of section.