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Tonjiru

Tonjiru

Tonjiru translates to "pork" (ton) "soup" (jiru) and is such an easy dish to make and enjoy. If you saw the Netflix show, Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, you will know this as one of the only dishes on the chef’s menu. My good buddy Tada made this at his recent mochi party, and it was so soul-satisfying. I like to use the quick dashi for this dish because of the addition of shiitake flavor.

Note: I like to use a white miso that also has barley for this soup. It has a heartier flavor. Regardless, just make sure the white miso does not have added sugar or sweetener.

 Ingredients
2 teaspoons white sesame oil
5oz pork belly, sliced thin like bacon and then cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 cup onion, sliced
1 cup carrot, oblique cut
2 cups Napa cabbage, Sliced .5 inch thick
1 cup Shimeji mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sake
4 cups quick dashi
2 tablespoons white miso

Method
In a medium pot, heat the sesame oil over medium-high flame until it just begins to smoke, then add the pork and salt. Let the pork stick to the bottom for a minute before stirring. You will notice the pork is releasing its liquid, which will start to evaporate in 2 to 3 minutes.

Once the pork's liquid has evaporated and it has started to fry in its own fat, stir and add the garlic and ginger. Reduce the heat to medium and stir for about one minute before adding the onion and carrot. Now cook the onion and carrot, stirring frequently, until they start to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the cabbage, mushrooms and salt and stir occasionally until they are about halfway cooked, then add the sake and return the heat to medium high. When the sake has reduced by half, add the dashi. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes, then turn off heat to add the miso. Check seasoning and serve immediately, or cool to reserve for later.