Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 茄子の肉巻き生姜焼き

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  • Coated with a sticky, sweet, and savory ginger sauce, this Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant recipe makes the tastiest weeknight meal for the family. 

    A Japanese white plate containing ginger pork rolls with eggplant garnished with shiso leaves on top.

    One of the delicious combinations of food I enjoy is pork, eggplant, shiso leaves, and ginger-based sweet soy sauce. Today’s recipe – Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant (茄子の肉巻き生姜焼き) is in every way the marriage of all these ingredients. As a result, you get a homey and tasty dish that goes amazingly with rice.

    Quick Weeknight Meal with Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant

    This pork roll recipe is very simple and easy to make, and I especially love that it is super bento-friendly. The kids get vegetables and meat together, and with a delicious savory sauce that even at room temperature, the pork rolls are still delicious by lunchtime.

    You will be surprised by how fast it can be put together and the complexity of the flavors it offers!

    A Japanese white plate containing ginger pork rolls with eggplant garnished with shiso leaves on top.

    Thinly Sliced Meat in Japanese Cooking

    Many of you have asked me what Japanese people eat at home that we don’t eat at restaurants. Well, pork or beef rolls like today’s recipe is definitely one of the examples of food we eat at home. An honest-to-goodness kind of food that our grandmothers and mothers cook for the family.

    Japanese don’t typically consume a lot of meat, so it’s not common to cook a whole chicken or a big block of pork or beef. Instead, we eat a whole range of foods, rice or noodles for carbs, plenty of vegetables and soy-based foods like tofu, seafood and a small amount of meat in a meal.

    Shabu Shabu Meat

     

    When you go to Japanese markets, you will see pre-sliced pork and beef that are as thin as paper. We call this cut of meat “Usugiri Niku“(薄切り肉), thinly cut meat.

    These thinly sliced meats can be from different parts of the meat. For example at the Japanese grocery store I visit, they carry pork belly slices, super thin pork loin slices (for Shabu Shabu), and semi-thin pork loin slices (for Sukiyaki). Same goes with the beef cut. In Japan, there are more categories for thinly sliced meat.

    DIY Thinly Sliced Meat

    If you can’t find thinly sliced meat locally, here’s the tutorial on How to Slice Meat Thinly (with video).

    Teriyaki Steak Rolls 野菜の牛肉巻き | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    On Just One Cookbook, you’ll find different meat roll recipes using thinly sliced pork/beef:

    A Japanese white plate containing ginger pork rolls with eggplant garnished with shiso leaves on top.

    2 Unique Japanese Ingredients Used in this Dish + Substitutes

    1) Shiso leaves (sometimes called Ooba)

    Shiso-Leaves

    Shiso (perilla leaves) is my favorite Japanese herb that I often use to add extra zing and to elevate the presentation of a dish. It is an optional ingredient, but it’s worth getting if you live near a Japanese grocery store or lucky enough to have access from your farmers market.

    This herb is also super easy to grow with low maintenance, and many Just One Cookbook readers have started growing their own shiso plants from seeds (you can purchase from Kitazawa Seed online).

    2) Yuzu Kosho (yuzu pepper paste)

    Yuzu Kosho

    Came from Kyushu area, yuzu kosho is a little spicy but packed with umami flavor. It’s made of red chili pepper fermented with salt and yuzu zest and has the ability to enrich any bland dish. Just a tiny dab of yuzu kosho goes a long way.

    I like serving Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant with a small drop of yuzu kosho on the serving plate. Feel free to skip it, but you can find yuzu kosho on Amazon if you’re curious to try. If you appreciate flavors, you’d be happy that you have one in your pantry. It’s truly a magical condiment.

    And when you make this Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant for your family, do cook up more rice as everyone will be going for seconds! It’s everything we all love about home cooked food.

    A Japanese white plate containing ginger pork rolls with eggplant garnished with shiso leaves on top.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.91 from 10 votes
    A Japanese white plate containing ginger pork rolls with eggplant garnished with shiso leaves on top.
    Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins
     

    Perfectly juicy and savory Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant! This is something that you won't find on menus at your local Japanese restaurants, but the combination of pork, eggplant, and shiso leaf is simply amazing.

    Course: Appetizer, Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: eggplant, ginger, pork, shiso
    Servings: 2 (as main, 3 as side dish)
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    For Seasonings:
    • 1 knob ginger (need ½ tsp grated ginger)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp mirin
    • 1 Tbsp sake (or water)
    • 1 tsp sugar
    For Cooking:
    For Garnish:
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant Ingredients
    2. Grate ginger and you will need ½ tsp of grated ginger.
      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 7
    3. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 8
    4. Peel the eggplant with a peeler and soak the peeled skin in water.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 1
    5. Cut the eggplant into 2 inch pieces widthwise, and cut each piece in half. 

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 2
    6. Then cut each piece into 4 sticks and soak in water.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 3
    7. Now cut the eggplant skin into julienne strips and continue to soak in water.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 4
    8. Remove any moisture on the eggplant with a paper towel.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 5
    9. Wrap 2 eggplant sticks with a thinly sliced pork. Continue with the rest of pork slices.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 6
    10. Sprinkle half of the potato/corn starch on the pork rolls and spread over the meat. Then flip over and spread the remaining potato/corn starch. Remove any excess starch.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 9
    11. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat sesame oil on medium heat. Add the pork rolls.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 10
    12. Cook them until all sides are golden browned.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 11
    13. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium-low heat, until the eggplant is tender roughly 2-3 minutes.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 12
    14. Add the sauce to the pan.
      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 13
    15. Coat the pork rolls well by rotating them and spooning the sauce over.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 14
    16. Serve the pork rolls on a plate and pour the sauce on top.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 15
    17. In the same pan (without washing), add the eggplant skin and miso. 
      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 16
    18. Mix well together and cook on medium-low heat until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Put them on top of the eggplant. 

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 17
    19. Roll up the shiso leaves and cut into chiffonade strips.

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 18
    20. Garnish the pork rolls with shiso leaves. If you like it spicy, serve with a dab of yuzu kosho. You can put a tiny bit of it on the pork roll and enjoy!

      Ginger Pork Rolls with Eggplant 19
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 21, 2011. New images and step by step images have been added to the post in May 2019.

     

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