Japanese Ginger Pork (Shogayaki) is a recipe hailing from Milk Street. They explain that shoga means “ginger” in Japanese, and yaki translates as “grilled,” though the term is sometimes applied to foods that are fried or griddled. In the popular dish known as shogayaki, thinly sliced pork is cooked with a lightly sweetened, very gingery soy-based sauce.
Here, pork tenderloins are cut into quarters and pounded into thin cutlets. A quick soak in a marinade that later becomes the sauce ensures the cutlets are thoroughly flavored. Shredded green cabbage and steamed rice are the classic accompaniments so we paired them with the entrée.
In Japan, the meat of choice for shogayaki is thinly sliced pork loin. The thin cuts of meat cook quickly and make it easier for the seasonings to penetrate. But because making thin, even slices requires some challenging knife work, the thin slices of pork tenderloin are pounded even thinner. As a bonus, the pounding breaks apart the muscle fibers, making it even easier for the meat to season. Additionally, ginger has an enzyme called zingibain that helps tenderize meat.
After another recipe once-over, we decided to double the sauce—soy sauce through fresh ginger. We’re glad we did, but would not double the white sugar next time, it was a tad too sweet. Another major change we made was to coat the shredded cabbage with a one-to-one mixture of rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil with a pinch of salt. Overall, we feel the cabbage should be increased by utilizing the entire head, especially if this meal is to feed four. Finally, we also added an extra half bunch of scallions.
TIP:Don’t crowd the skillet when cooking the cutlets. It’s usually best to cook them in two batches so they brown rather than steam. But how they fit in the skillet depends on their shape after pounding. If you can fit all four in your pan without them touching, cook all at once using the 2 tablespoons of oil.
½ small head green cabbage, cored and finely shredded (about 3 cups)
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Cooked Japanese-style short-grain rice, to serve
In a wide, shallow bowl whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, miso and ginger.
Cut the pork tenderloin in half crosswise, making the tail-end half slightly larger, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Place 2 pieces of pork between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder, gently pound each piece to an even ¼-inch thickness. Repeat with the 2 remaining pieces.
Add the cutlets to the soy mixture and turn to coat, then let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Mix the rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil together then add to a large bowl with the shredded cabbage and a pinch of salt. Mix well, and set aside.
In the meantime, cook the Japanese rice according to package directions.
Remove the cutlets from the marinade, letting the excess drain back into the bowl; reserve the marinade. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the cutlets in a single layer and cook undisturbed until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip each piece and continue to cook until the second sides are well browned, about another 2 minutes.
Transfer to a large plate, then wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining oil and cutlets.
Return the skillet to medium-high and add the reserved marinade, the sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the mixture thickens and a spoon drawn through it leaves a 1- to 2-second trail, about 3 minutes. (Because we doubled the sauce, it took twice as long to thicken properly.)
Stir in the scallions, then add the pork and any accumulated juices. Cook, stirring gently, until the scallions are wilted and the pork is heated through, about 1 minute.
So simple, with minimal ingredients, using only one sheet pan, but packs a lot of flavor. Do I have your interest now? Here, fruit, vegetables, and pork tenderloin all roast on one pan for this hands-off dinner recipe. The sweet, wine-y flavor of grapes intensifies while roasting, a perfect pairing for the natural sweetness of pork.
I tweaked the recipe a tad by purchasing already-prepped butternut squash. I mean, who really likes peeling those things? Plus, the original directions had you buy a 2-pound squash, peel it, but only use half of it. Save yourself time and aggravation and buy it already cubed.
In addition, the original amount of grapes was 1 cup. If you try to measure 1 cup of whole grapes, it doesn’t amount to many. Therefore, I changed the quantity to 8 ounces, which ended up being a perfect amount.
During the last step of roasting, make sure to check the meat after 10 minutes. I waited the full 15 minutes and our pork was a little more done than we prefer. After resting and slicing, pour any accumulated juices back over the meat.
2 tsp. dried herbs, such as thyme, oregano, basil, and/or rosemary
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1, 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
1 lb. butternut squash, already peeled and cut in 1- to 2-inch pieces
1/2 red onion, cut into wedges
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. seedless red grapes
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
In a small bowl combine herbs, chili powder, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Rub all over pork.
Place pork on one side of prepared pan. Add squash and onion on other side of pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle pork, squash, and onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast 15 minutes.
Stir squash and onion; add grapes. Roast 10 to 15 minutes more until pork is done (145°F). Remove pork to a moated cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Turn off the oven and leave the veggies in to keep warm while meat rests.
I used to claim that German food was my least favorite cuisine. But after a trip to Germany for my nieces wedding in late 2019, I thoroughly changed my mind. One of my most memorable dishes was a pork schnitzel entrée, so when we saw a recipe for German Pork Schnitzel in our latest Milk Street magazine, we knew it had to get on the short list.
During a visit to Berlin, Milk Street staffers learned that the coating for authentic German pork Schnitzel, or Schweineschnitzel, is dry breadcrumbs made from kaiser rolls, which are extremely fine-textured. It’s a bit of work to get them from rolls to fine bread crumbs, but apparently they make all the difference.
Indian ghee (clarified butter) is a counterintuitive ingredient for Schnitzel, but adding just a small amount to the frying oil adds richer, fuller flavor. If you cannot find it, the Schnitzel is still tasty without it I’m told. Typically, I stay away from breaded and fried food, but we felt compelled to give this method a try. Not only does it look attractive, it tastes sehr gute!
To fry the cutlets, use a large Dutch oven instead of a skillet; the pot’s high walls safely contain the hot oil and reduce splatter on the stovetop. To test if the oil is at the correct temperature, an instant or deep-fry thermometer is best. Milk Street suggests lingonberry preserves and lemon wedges as classic Schnitzel accompaniments; we however paired ours with garlicky mashed potatoes and pork gravy (yes, we used a jarred brand).
Tips from Milk Street: Don’t use a heavy hand when pounding the tenderloin. A lighter touch works best to flatten the cutlets to a ⅛-inch thickness without inadvertent tears. After breading the cutlets, fry them right away; if left to stand, the coating won’t puff properly. Finally, when frying the cutlets, don’t crowd them in the pot or they will brown unevenly. Depending on the dimensions of the cutlets and the diameter of your pot, the pieces may need to be fried one at a time.
1 Tbsp. plus 2 cups grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (see headnote)
1¼ pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. ghee (optional)
Lingonberry preserves, to serve (optional)
Lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the middle position. Tear 6 to 8 plain kaiser rolls (about 1 pound) into 1-inch pieces, then distribute in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until completely dry but not browned, about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Cool completely, then transfer to a food processor and process to fine, even crumbs, about 2 minutes. Makes about 1 cup.
Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven on the middle rack; adjust the heat to 200°F. Put the flour in a wide, shallow bowl. In a second wide, shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the 1 tablespoon oil. Put the breadcrumbs in a third wide, shallow bowl.
Cut the pork tenderloin in 2 pieces crosswise, making the thinner end slightly larger, then cut each piece in half again. Place 2 pieces between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder, gently pound each piece to an even ⅛-inch thickness. Repeat with the 2 remaining pieces. Season each cutlet on both sides with salt and pepper.
One at a time, coat the cutlets on both sides with flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the eggs, turning to coat and allowing excess to drip off, then coat both sides with breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Place the cutlets on a large plate, stacking them if needed.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the 2 cups oil and ghee (if using) to 360°F. (It takes a while to heat to temperature.) Carefully place 1 or 2 cutlets in the oil—add only as many as will fit without overlapping—and cook, gently jostling the pot so oil flows over the cutlets, until light golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total; use tongs to flip the cutlet(s) once about halfway through. Transfer to the prepared rack in the oven to keep warm.
Return the oil to 350°F and cook the remaining cutlets in the same way. Serve with lingonberry preserves (if using) and lemon wedges.
The beauty of this meal is that you’re going to use your grill for both components, the meat and the corn salad. For the non meat eaters in the crowd, they can enjoy the full-bodied Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing as their entrée.
But for those who indulge in meat, this pork recipe couldn’t be much simpler. Butterflied and pounded thin, the pork tenderloins are first marinated in a lively mix of lime, chile and spices then cooked quickly over a hot grill.
It’s a good idea to grill your veggies first, so that while they cool and you assemble the salad, the meat can be grilled and rested for 5 minutes. We happened to have a head of Bibb lettuce that needed to be used up so it only made sense to use that instead of running out to the store for a head of romaine—and it worked perfectly.
With only two of us for dinner, I decided not to cut the second avocado until the next day and therefore only dressed half of the salad to be eaten with dinner, saving the remainder for lunch on the following day. The extra dressing was put in small containers and topped the salad, along with leftover strips of pork, when ready to eat.
NOTE: Next time we would double the amount of scallions. Once cooked down and charred, six scallions didn’t have nearly enough presence. Use an entire bunch!
1 jalapeño, stemmed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 cup sliced fresh chives
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 med. head romaine lettuce, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
2 avocados, sliced
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high.
Brush corn, scallions and jalapeño with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until corn kernels are browned in spots and the scallions and jalapeño are charred all over and tender, about 10 minutes, a little longer for the corn.
Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and let cool slightly.
When cool, remove charred jalapeño skin (wasn’t necessary for us.) Finely chop.
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mash the feta into a coarse paste. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest and juice and garlic, then stir in chives, parsley, and charred jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss lettuce with half the feta dressing and arrange on a platter or salad bowl.
Cut corn kernels off the cob and slice scallions into bite-size pieces.
Arrange avocado slices, corn and scallions on top of the lettuce. Serve with remaining dressing or add additional dressing, as desired.
Stir-frying is the name of the game when you want something quick and healthy. And making it yourself ensures you know exactly what’s in it, as compared to many Asian take-out places loaded with unwanted fat and calories. Cook’s Illustrated found that marinating pork tenderloin in a simple soy-sherry mixture and cooking it quickly (about two minutes) in batches over high heat kept the meat tender and beautifully seasoned. In place of the sherry, we substituted Shaoxing wine which is fermented from rice.
Because different vegetables cook at different rates, batch-cook the vegetables and add aromatics (like ginger and garlic) at the end so they are cooked long enough to develop their flavors but not long enough to burn. Chicken broth gives the sauce some backbone, and cornstarch slightly thickens it so that it lightly cloaks the meat and veggies.
We increased the amount of pork tenderloin from the original 12 ounces to one pound. And because of that, we doubled the soy sauce and sherry that gets mixed with the pork strips (which is all noted below). Keep in mind that pork tenderloin is easier to slice if it is partially frozen. *Freeze the tenderloin until firm but not frozen solid, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then cut the tenderloin crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch strips.
Stir-frying isn’t rocket science, and that’s what’s so great about it. It doesn’t require lots of fancy equipment. Instructions indicate to cook in a skillet, however we feel most stir-fries benefit from being cooked in a flat-bottomed wok. It helps to have a stir-fry spatula which fits the contour of the wok and has a long handle (to keep distance from the intense heat).
Stir frying is advantageous over other methods of cooking as it requires very little oil, which is healthier than deep frying or pan frying, and it also retains the nutrients present in the food being stir fried. As the name indicates, the food is constantly stirred while you cook it. Make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point such as peanut, canola, safflower, soybean, etc.
Stir-Fried Pork, Green Beans and Red Bell Pepper with Gingery Oyster Sauce
2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
3 Tbsp. peanut oil or vegetable oil
12 oz. green beans, cut on bias into 2-inch lengths
1 large red bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch squares
3 medium scallions, sliced thin on bias
Jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions (or brown rice if you prefer)
Combine pork, soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. + 1 teaspoon sherry in small bowl. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, white pepper, and cornstarch in measuring cup.
Combine garlic, ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in small bowl.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking; add half of pork to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps, until well-browned, about 2 minutes.
Transfer pork to medium bowl. Repeat with additional 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil and remaining pork.
Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to now-empty skillet; add green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown and tender-crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl with pork.
Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to skillet; add bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 2 minutes.
Clear center of skillet, then add garlic/ginger mixture to clearing; cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, about 45 seconds, then stir mixture into peppers.
Add pork and green beans; toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.
Transfer to serving platter; sprinkle with scallions and serve over hot jasmine rice.
In the Extremadura region of Spain that is home to pimentón de la vera, or Spanish smoked paprika, one is taught that exposure to high heat blunts the spice’s unique earthiness, smokiness and notes of fruit and tobacco. Tobacco?? Not really a term I would use to wax poetic about food, but read on…
In Extremadura, cooks know that with smoked paprika, timing is everything. This recipe illustrates how to best preserve pimentón’s unique flavors when searing is involved: the paprika is mixed with olive oil and then brushed onto butterflied and pounded pork tenderloin only after the meat has been browned in a hot skillet.
BTW, Spanish smoked paprika is available in different degrees of spiciness. For this dish, if you have the choice, opt for sweet (dulce) or bittersweet (agridulce). With only a handful of ingredients this dish comes together in no time.
One large tenderloin sufficed for just the two of us, plus we still had leftovers. However, we did not scale back on the paprika oil mixture, and used every scrap of it to douse the meat.
NOTE: Don’t use a heavy hand when pounding the pork, which can result in tears and uneven thickness. And when pounding, work from the center of the piece outward to the edges. We also find it helpful to lodge the meat between plastic wrap, which helps prevent tearing and promotes an even thickness.
Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano
In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, smoked paprika, dried oregano and sugar; set aside.
Halve each tenderloin crosswise, then halve each piece lengthwise, stopping about ¼ inch short of cutting all the way through; open the meat like a book. Place meat on top of a long piece of plastic wrap and fold over to cover meat.
Using a meat pounder or mallet, pound the pork to an even ¼-inch thickness, then season each piece all over with ½ teaspoon salt.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil until shimmering. Place 2 pieces of pork in the pan and cook undisturbed until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the seconds sides are browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Lightly brush paprika oil onto each piece, then flip the pork and brush the second sides. Sear each side again for about 30 seconds, then transfer to a platter.
Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and pork. Brush the remaining paprika oil onto the pork, then let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano.