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.
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