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Tokachi Butadon (Hokkaido Pork Rice Bowl)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x


How to make comforting and delicious Tokachi Style Butadon (Pork Rice Bowl). Succulent pork belly fried in a caramel soy sauce, served on a steaming bowl of white rice and topped with "shiraganegi" onion strings and green peas. (Serves 2)


  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 40ml water
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 5 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 250g - 300g pork belly block
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 bowls of cooked white rice
  • Optional garnish - chopped white part of a spring onion, peas or edamame
  • Optional sides - takuan pickles or miso soup


  1. First, if you're garnishing your butadon with "shiraganegi" cut the white parts of a long onion into thin strips and soak in cold water until serving. (This softens the taste and removes any bitterness.)
    Cutting spring onion into thin strips to make "Shiraganegi"
  2. Next, take your pork block and cut it into thick slices. (Approx 1/2cm or 1/4 inch)
    Cutting pork belly on a wooden chopping board
  3. Now you can make the caramel sauce. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of water to a cold pan (I recommend using a silver or white pan so you can see the caramel change colour. Don't use non-stick as the caramel might damage non-stick surfaces.)
    adding water and sugar to a steel pan to make caramel
  4. Add the pan to a medium heat and allow the sugar and water to bubble, do not mix or interfere with the caramel. 
    bubbling caramel in a pan
  5. Once it starts to become golden in colour, add 40ml water. (Be careful and wear oven gloves or long sleeves, the mixture might splash and it sizzles a lot!) Swirl the pan around to mix the water into the caramel.
    adding water to the golden caramel in the pan
  6. Add 1 tsp sake, 1 tsp mirin, 5 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp of honey.
    Adding honey to the butadon sauce
  7. Let it thicken slightly and then turn off the heat and set aside for later.
    Allowing the caramel sauce thicken
  8. Heat a frying pan on medium-high, once it's hot, add 2 tsp vegetable oil. 
    Adding oil to a grey frying pan
  9. Add the pork slices to the pan and fry on one side until browned.
    adding pork slices to the pan
  10. Flip the pork slices and pour the caramel sauce all over.
    Pouring caramel soy sauce over the pork slices in the pan
  11. Fry until the sauce thickened and the pork is coated, it should only take a couple of minutes. (You'll need to move the pork slices around the pan to pick up the sauce.)
    Caramel sauce thickened and coating the pork
  12. Dish up two bowls of white rice and place the pork slices on top. 
    Placing pork slices on multigrain rice in a grey bowl
  13. Garnish with the shiraganegi and green peas (or edamame). 
    Placing "shiraganegi" (finely sliced spring onion) to the top of butadon
  14. Serve with miso soup and takuan pickles (optional).
    Butadon pork rice bowl served with takuan pickles and miso soup top down view
  15. Enjoy!


This dish is best made with pork belly, pork butt or pork shoulder.

Sake can be substituted for Chinese rice wine or dry sherry. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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