Gingered Pork Burger Recipe

Buta no shoga-yaki, gingered sautéed pork, is one of our most popular lunch items at home and in restaurants across Japan. Thinly sliced, lightly marinated pork is cooked in a skillet until golden and flavored with ginger and Japanese staples such as shoyu (soy sauce), mirin (sweet cooking wine) and sugar. The cooking time is very short. I have revised this quick-and-easy traditional recipe so that it has more appeal to a wider American audience. I serve my buta no shoga-yaki on a hamburger bun, just like a classic Sloppy Joe.

Gingered Pork Burger Recipe
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  • 1 pound pork sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated apple
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 salsify
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 small head romaine lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 6 Hamburger buns
  • unsalted butter (optional)
  1. Pound the pork sirloin with a meat mallet or the bottom of a saucepan until it is thin and has spread out to about 50 percent larger in diameter than the original steak. Cut the pork diagonally into about 28 slices.
  2. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, honey, onion, apple, ginger, garlic, salt and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the pork slices, massage them with the marinade and let them stand in the marinade for 20 minutes.
  3. Peel the salsify by rubbing its skin with a hard brush, or use a vegetable peeler, then shave it into thin strips about 4 inches long. Using the vegetable peeler, shave the carrot in the same way. Cut the scallions into very thin slices diagonally. Cut the romaine lettuce into thin strips crosswise.
  4. Transfer the pork slices to a colander placed over a bowl, and, with the back of a soup spoon, gently press them to remove excess liquid, reserving the marinade in the bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the pork slices in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes or until lightly golden. Turn the pork slices once or twice during cooking. Turn off the heat and transfer the pork to a plate. Add the salsify and carrot to the skillet and return it to medium heat.
  5. Cook the vegetables until they are wilted, stirring. Return the cooked pork and the reserved marinade to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook the mixture until the sauce thickens and the pork and vegetables are coated with the sauce. Add the sesame seeds and scallions and give several large stirs. Turn off the heat.
  6. Toast the cut sides of the hamburger buns and spread the butter, if using, on the bottom half of each bun. Divide the lettuce among the 4 buttered buns. Divide the pork and vegetables on top of the lettuce. Cover the pork with the top of each bun. An exciting new burger!
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