Since I had a lot of pork leftover from the katsudon, I decided to make perhaps the most porky of all pork dishes in anime- the Skytree Pork Bowl from Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon). Poor Hachiken must give up his beloved Pork Bowl, but decides to buy all the meat back. While he is smoking the bacon, his friends decide they want to use more of his pork to make literal pork bowls. I mean, what else do you do with a whole bunch of pork you don’t know what to do with?
Skytree Pork Bowl
In the episode, Tamako walks up with the tenderloin of the pork, as well as what I assume to be other random cuts of the pork, since the tenderloin is a very small part of the whole carcass and she’s carrying a whole lot of meat. In the below picture, I’m fairly sure the tenderloin is only the top two pieces of meat.
I didn’t want to go out and buy tenderloin for my pork bowl because A) It’s a little expensive and B) I had leftover pork loin, which is essentially a slightly tougher and less fatty version of tenderloin. I decided to make do. Here, you can choose whichever cut of the meat you would like. The tenderloin would taste fabulous in this dish, but you can just use regular old pork loin, too, to achieve a similar result to what the characters eat.
Ingredients (for 2 bowls)
3 1 inch thick pork chops (just cuts of the pork loin), butterflied (cut in half and spread open) and into thin strips.
salt and pepper to taste
Rice for 2 bowls, depending on how much you want.
For the marinade:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 tsp cumin
Cook your rice according to package or rice cooker instructions. While that is cooking, put the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic clove, and cumin in a pan, and bring to a boil on the stove. Stir until sugar melts completely, and then set aside.
Prepare the pork, and then season with salt and pepper. In keeping with the look of the pork bowl in the anime, keep your strips thin and about the length of your pointer finger, or shorter. Trim a little of the fat if you like, but I actually found that the pieces with more fat tasted better. The fatty taste went perfectly with this marinade. If you use tenderloin, which is a fattier cut of pork, don’t trim any fat!
In the anime, they barbecue the pork in a very traditional Japanese manner, but I didn’t have a BBQ grill small enough to achieve the same effect, so I just used a grill pan.
Honestly, though, you could just use a frying pan and achieve the same effect I got with the grill pan. If you have a small BBQ grill that won’t let the strips fall through, use that! It will impart some seriously good smokey flavor.
So, take your pan, lightly grease it, and let it heat up over medium high heat. When ready, place the pork on pan and spread it out so all the strips are lying as flat as possible.
At this point, you just want your meat to cook all the way through. The strips will need about 3-4 minutes each side. Once you flip the meat, let it cook for about 2 minutes, and then pour your marinade over the top. Let the sauce caramelize around the pork and make sure each piece is coated in the marinade, around 3 mins.
Then, it’s as easy as putting your rice in a bowl and piling the pork on top! I piled mine high to achieve the Skytree bowl effect, but in reality I gave half of that to my sister to eat, since it was quite a lot of meat. The quantities given above are good for 2 normal size bowls or 1 Skytree bowl. Make sure to pour any extra marinade on top!
And voila! It’s done! This recipe is so delicious and is super dooper easy to make. Seriously, this took very little effort, so you should give it a go! Hachiken and all his friends looked like they couldn’t stop eating this pork bowl, and I’ll admit I had the same impression. I tried to set down my chopsticks, but I couldn’t stop myself from eating everything.
Thanks so much for reading. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below, and if you liked this post or decided to make the recipe, let me know! I am curious to know if anyone is trying out these recipes.