Lesson Twenty: Ton-Jiru


Pork & Vegetable Chowder


Bits of pork (usually trimmings from a larger shoulder or loin cut) and various vegetables combine to make a belly-warming chowder that's standard family fare throughout Japan.

There are no real "rules" about what can, or should, be included in ton-jiru other than pork (the TON of ton-jiru means "pig" or "pork"). Typically, though, root vegetables such as daikon, carrot, and gobō (burdock root) are included along with potatoes and either scallions or leeks. Other vegetables to consider would be kabocha squash, parsnips, rutabagas or turnips. Mushrooms are also a welcome addition.

In Japanese menus this soup is paired with rice and a few pickled vegetables. A crusty loaf of bread and a green salad could easily be substituted.

WASHOKU: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2005) provides a solid foundation to the principles and practice of washoku (balance and harmony) in the kitchen and at table. This workshop page enables me to guide you further.  

I welcome your feedback -- especially captioned photos with a brief description of your kitchen sessions when you try making the recipes posted here or in WASHOKU. Those interested in offering feedback, please download a set of guidelines for submitting and displaying your work. To further teaching goals, I may post some of the feedback to this site, adding my commentary.

Every 6 to 7 weeks, I will post a new lesson to this Washoku Workshop page

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