Quick, easy, and delicious Teriyaki Pork Donburi. There’s protein, carb, and salad layered in a bowl. A perfect one-pan and one-bowl meal for weeknight dinner.
Many of us, especially parents with young children, can relate to the demands of life – the endless meetings at work and the mad rush between activities after school, which all results in little to no time to prepare dinner. Being a mom and running a Japanese recipe website full time, I too find myself struggling to pull it all together. Although I test and shoot recipes all day long, the food I cook may not always be dinner-appropriate for the family (although my kids don’t mind desserts for dinner!). Sometimes I just have no more energy to cook another meal. But, at the end of the day I still find myself back in the kitchen, and cook.
On the day that I’m short on time, I usually make a simple meal with ingredients that I can quickly pick up from my nearest local American grocery store. Ideally, our family meals should still be nutritious and substantial enough to feed hungry stomachs. One of my reliable go-to dishes to make is this Teriyaki Pork Donburi (豚の照り焼き丼).
Teriyaki Pork Donburi – A Complete Meal in A Bowl
What appeals to me most about this donburi is its fuss-free preparation and fast cooking time. You just need to cook the rice (let your rice cooker do the job), chop up some vegetables, and a quickly grill up the pork chops over the pan.
All the teriyaki seasonings in this recipe, such as soy sauce, sake, rice vinegar, sesame oil, are essential condiments in Japanese cooking. You will see them all the time in Japanese recipes, so this might be the time you go to a Japanese/Asian grocery store to stock your pantry.
Some donburi (rice bowl) meal can be heavy with deep-fried food on top of the rice. But this Teriyaki Pork Donburi is lighter than it might look.
Under the delicious grilled pork with teriyaki glaze is a bed of shredded lettuce for fibers and refreshing crunch. If you need to fill up a bit more, you can serve a full bowl of steamed rice, but otherwise, you can adjust the portion of steamed rice and shredded lettuce. For an extra pop of colors, you can also top the rice bowl with some cherry tomatoes or pickled ginger.
Another bonus point (especially for the cook) is that this dish is all made in one frying pan. Super easy cleanup after a long day.
Teriyaki Pork Donburi – Substitute Suggestions:
Main Protein/Veggie: You can use other protein choices such as chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, tofu, or vegetables like eggplants or zucchini in place of the pork chops. It does get pretty versatile when it comes to the main part of the dish.
Leafy veggies: I like iceberg lettuce for this dish because it gives crisp and crunchy refreshing texture and taste. It goes well with savory dishes (like Chinese lettuce cups). Otherwise, romaine lettuce or shredded cabbage would work just fine.
Rice: You can use white rice, brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or even noodles underneath the savory main protein/veggie.
Seasonings: Sake is probably the only condiment that you may have trouble finding. Use dry sherry or Chinese rice wine if you can take alcohol. Otherwise, you can replace it with water so the sauce is not overly salty. Rice vinegar (or rice wine vinegar) is milder than other types of vinegar. If you need to use other kind of vinegar, use less amount.
Following the one-pan and one-bowl template, quality dinner can happen more quickly than you think. And I can assure you that your family will enjoy the time spent together at the table, especially when you serve them delicious Teriyaki Pork Donburi.
Teriyaki Pork Donburi
- 2 boneless pork loin chops (½ inch thick)
- ¼ tsp kosher or sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp potato starch/cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
- Gather all the ingredients first.
- Cut the iceberg lettuce into julienne strips and green onions into thin rounds.
- Slice 2 garlic cloves and grate the ginger.
- Combine the Seasonings ingredients in a bowl (grated ginger, 2 Tbsp sake, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sugar, and ½ tsp sesame oil) and whisk all together.
- Pound the pork loin to tenderize and equal thickness.
- Season the pork with ¼ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Dust the pork with 1 Tbsp potato starch/corn starch and remove the excess flour.
- In a non-stick frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil on medium heat. While the oil is still cold, add the garlic slices and coat with the oil. Add the meat and cook until the bottom side is nicely browned.
- Flip it over, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the Seasonings. Cook covered for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the lid and spoon some sauce over the pork a few times. Add chopped green onions and remove the pan from the heat.
- Take out the meat and slice it into a few pieces. Serve rice in a bowl, and place shredded lettuce on top.
- Place the teriyaki pork on top of the lettuce. Pour the sauce and garnish grape tomatoes on the side.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 9, 2011.