Simmered Pork and Daikon

Simmered Pork and Daikon

In this article, Atsushi Nakahigashi cooks an amazing simmered pork dish at the Brooklyn Kitchen using ingredients from The Meat Hook. The combination of daikon and pork, simmered with soy sauce, sake, and sugar, creates a super delicious and savory dish, perfect for preparing the night before and reheating the next day. The recipe and instructions for this traditional Japanese dish are provided in the post.

I usually think of grilled fish as a mainstay of a traditional Japanese breakfast (especially salted, half-dried shishamo, smelt, which I love), for his recent class at the Brooklyn Kitchen, Atsushi Nakahigashi decided to cook the amazing simmered pork pictured above. Why? The Meat Hook -- one of New York's top butchers -- is located at the Brooklyn Kitchen. Talk about convenient. What Atsushi explained about this dish is that the daikon tenderizes the pork as it cooks, while the pork flavors the daikon, so both ingredients turn out super delicious. Also, this is a dish you want to cook the night before, keep in the fridge and then reheat. Like a great stew, waiting a day will give the flavors extra time to leisurely mingle and deepen. Here's the recipe, give it a try:

(Serves 4)

3-inch piece of kombu
1 pound daikon, peeled and cut into 2-inch long quarters
3/4 pound fresh pork belly, cut into chunks about the size of daikon pieces
3 cups water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons sugar

  1. Add the kombu, pork and daikon in a large pot in this order: Kombu on the bottom, pork on the kombu, and daikon on top of the pork (the daikon can break apart during cooking if the pork's on top of it). Add the water. Make sure the ingredients are covered with the water; add a little more if needed. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat.
  2. When the liquid boils, remove scum from surface and cover with an otoshibuta. (If you don't have one, no problem, just fashion the drop lid from aluminum foil and make a hole in the center for steam to escape.)
  3. Simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes, until daikon is tender (test by inserting a chopstick into a piece of daikon; if it goes in easily, it's tender.)
  4. Add the soy sauce, sake and sugar, cover again with the otoshibuta and simmer for 20 minutes more on low heat.
  5. Serve with thinly sliced scallion, or needle-cut ginger