In Pictures: oil-free, unmarinated ginger pork – now with the recipe!

This “recipe” was first published September 16, 2014 without the… well… recipe. This March 22, 2015 version includes it. Hurrah!

This ginger pork recipe is unique for two reasons: no marination and no oil for cooking. Usually the pork is marinated first, but Hitoshi thinks skipping this results in a tastier dish. The pork is cooked first in a dry frying pan, then the onions are added, and finally the sauce.

The best cut of pork we have found for this no-oil recipe is country-style ribs. Any cut that won’t dry out while cooking and can be sliced into finger-sized pieces should work.

raw, sliced pork

raw pork, sliced and ready to go – this cut is pork loin sirloin chops
the other slicing job is the onion

sauce for ginger pork

making the sauce for the final cooking step – adding Japanese soy sauce
The other ingredients are ginger paste, sake, mirin, and sweetened apple sauce.

mixing pork with flour

mixing pork with flour

frying floured pork and sliced onions

frying the floured pork in a dry frying pan before adding sliced onion

adding sauce to ginger park

mixing in the sauce at the *end* of the cooking

ginger pork with rice

ready to eat!

mayo, shichimi, goma topping

My favourite toppings: mayo, shichimi (seven spices) and toasted sesame seeds

green onion topping for ginger pork

HItoshi’s favourite toppings: green onions, shichimi, and mayo for dipping

Update – March 22, 2015

Three cheers all around! I finally got around to adding the recipe with important things like amounts.

Making this fabulous dish on my own meant coming to my blog (ahem) to find the recipe and what do you know? No amounts. No details. Very unlike me.

The Official No Guessing Recipe for Oil-Free Ginger Pork – serves 2 adults plus a snacking toddler


  • 1-2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) – Hitoshi’s general rule is to double the shoyu compared to the mirin but I prefer less.
  • 1 tbsp Japanese rice wine (mirin) – can be adjusted for taste
  • 1/2 tbsp Japanese sake – optional; we use it if we have it and skip it otherwise
  • 1/2-2 tbsp ginger paste – adjust depending on how gingery you like your dish
  • 1/2 tbsp sweetened apple sauce – optional; if we remember, we use it but it’s fine without
  • 500g* pork that can be sliced – more or less is fine but adjust sauce if you go up or down
  • 1/2-1 tbsp flour – whole wheat or white; you may not need all of this
  • 1 large yellow or white onion or equivalent – sliced thinly
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds (goma) – optional and can be added during or after cooking

* Why the mix of imperial and metric measurements? That’s what you get when you live in Canada!


  1. Prepare sauce by mixing liquid ingredients roughly in a small bowl.
  2. Slice pork into thick, finger-sized pieces, place in bowl and rub in flour.
  3. Slice onion in half and each half into thin slices.
  4. Lightly brown pork in hot, dry pan stirring often to keep the pork from sticking.
  5. Add onions and continue frying and stirring until onions are soft.
  6. Add sauce, stir and continue cooking until meat is done. Sesame seeds can be added now or when serving.
  7. Serve hot with all, some or none of the following sprinkled on top: sesame seeds (goma), chilis, 7-spice pepper (shichimi), chopped green onions or scallion (negi), mayonnaise. Enjoy!

Have you made ginger pork from scratch? Do you also make it without oil? What are your favorite toppings?

22 thoughts on “In Pictures: oil-free, unmarinated ginger pork – now with the recipe!

  1. I’ve never tried to cook it without oil and usually, I chop less onions … I will give it a go. It’s my turn to move, so I don’t think I will have time to try this recipe anytime soon, but I will bookmark it for future references.

    • Ha ha! Well, my hubby loves mayo and it shows up on a lot of dishes. And from what I’ve seen in daily life, and not being a manga connoisseur, I’d have to say that the manga are spot on. 😀

      • Wow, I believe I have to see this in real life then at some point. There is this one manga “Gintama” in which a certain character puts so much mayo on his dishes that everyone else feels sickened by it…

        • Definitely you’ll have to see for yourself! Japanese mayo has a different taste and texture from what I grew up with. I really like it. There’s even a bottle of Kewpie mayo on display in a glass case at Narita airport before security warning travellers that your mayo will be confiscated if it’s in your carry on bags. 😀

  2. I’m sorry, you had me until you whipped out the mayo!

    I love mayo, in dips for crisps, with fries or in a prawn cocktail, but not with rice…. I have never understood this mayo/rice combination in Japanese recipes (and yes, I did try it).

    Can you ask Hitoshi if there are any Japanese-mayo-rice-origins/reasons that I might have missed?

    • Ha ha ha! Mayo is a requirement in Japan. It just is. Like corn. ;D
      Hmmm… H and I have been discussing this. Normally, with ginger pork, the mayo is on the side for dipping and not with the rice. As well, ginger pork is usually served with shredded cabbage and tomatoes. Rice would be served separately in a small rice bowl. While we have rice bowls, we tend to combine everything into one bowl like curry rice. As for the lazy sushi, we put the mayo in since we use canned salmon and/or tuna. If the fish were fresh, there would be no mayo. 😀
      Hitoshi couldn’t think of any origins/reasons with rice. Mayo is used in plenty of -yaki dishes (tako, ika, soba, okonomi). Maybe hardcore Kewpie marketing? 😀 We’ll see if we can find anything else.

  3. Until a couple of years ago, I wasn’t a big fan of ginger. I thought it tasted like soap, but then I started drinking ginger tea, and gradually I started to like the taste of it. Today I often use ginger when I’m cooking, but I’ve never tried it with pork. It looks really tasty:)

    • I also wasn’t a big ginger fan. When I was in Australia, I couldn’t understand all the rage about ginger candies. Yuck! But, once I started eating fresh ginger more, it got pretty addictive.
      Thanks! Hitoshi has tried several recipes over the years and made them his own. If you are interested, I can post a recipe with more exact details. 😀

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