This recipe requires the use of a Fukkura-San, a Tagine-style Donabe (Clay Pot). Donabes are made in the Iga region of Japan where the clay is very special (more here, scroll down) and fabrication methods have been passed down through generations. Finding recipes online for this particular style of clay pot was a bit tricky. The Donabe itself came with a booklet of recipes, but they are all in Japanese!
Inspiration for this radmeal recipe came from:
- the Instagram account of @mrsdonabe (pseudonym of Naoko Takei Moore)
- a few pages of Naoko’s own book Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking
- a couple recipes by Naoko that I found online (she seems to be the main resource for this!)
This recipe makes a meal generous enough for two hungry adults, or as a four-person meal with a starter course.
As mentioned above, you do need a Fukkura-san Tagine style Donabe for this recipe. You will only need the cooking plate and the lid – this recipe does not require use of the grate.
- sushi rice prepared in rice cooker (quantity depends on the number of people you are feeding – I leave that up to you)
- 3/4 lb ground pork
- 2 tbsp doubanjiang¹
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- (dilute soy sauce if it is very salty, with 1 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and then minced
- large handful of green beans, ends trimmed & rinsed
- 4 medium sized shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- Fresh scallions, Shichimi Togarashi or Gomasio for topping
¹ Note: I used the Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Bean Sauce (Toban Djan), which is apparently inferior to real Sichuan doubanjiang. Unfortunately it is the only version of this fermented bean paste that I’ve come across. This doubanjiang product is supposedly superior and although I cannot independently verify, Fuschia Dunlop is a veritable authority on Sichuan cooking so I’d trust her recommendation.
- Prepare the marinade for the pork; combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the pork to the marinade. Stir with a spoon or by hand to ensure the flavor gets distributed throughout. It may not look like a lot of marinade for the quantity of pork, but it will be enough.
- Marinate the pork in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Before the pork is done marinating, prepare your rice in a rice cooker. Tip: when the rice is done, get your Mise en Place ready; the cooking won’t take very long so you’ll want your ingredients lined up.
- Set the lid aside, and heat up the Fukkura-San on a gas stove over no higher than a medium heat. You must be careful about overheating or exposing the Donabe to quick temperature changes as these can damage the clay pot. It will only need a couple minutes to get evenly hot.
- Add a dash of sesame oil to the Donabe and then the shiitake mushrooms. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or just until they are beginning to cook and the sesame oil is fragrant.
- Add the pork with any marinade drippings to the Donabe. As the pork starts to cook, use a wooden utensil to break it into smaller pieces.
- After about three minutes, or until the pork has mostly lost its pink edges, arrange the green beans over the pork and cover with the Donabe lid.
- Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160F. Remove the lid and turn off the heat. Be CAREFUL when removing the lid or handling the Donabe, it will be very hot and will stay hot for a while after cooking.
- Spoon the sushi rice into serving bowls and then top with the cooked pork. Finish with a topping of your choice!