Pork wasn’t always a traditional part of the Japanese diet: in fact, it wasn’t until the 19th century that pork really started to take off here. But in recent years it has become a popular part of our home cooking.
Pork contains a good balance of easily-absorbed amino acids, and is packed with vitamin B1 — a 100g portion of pork contains the full recommended daily allowance!
This essential nutrient relieves fatigue by helping our bodies convert sugar into energy, and it is also great for supporting mental health and the nervous system.
Pork is also packed with minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and sulfur, which help build our tissues and regulate the metabolism.
And pork liver is a particularly good source of the anemia-fighting antioxidant vitamin E.
Remember that the calories in pork depend on the cut: pork belly is tender and easy to cook, but is also higher in calories.
Eat pork with vegetables for better nutritional balance
In Japan we usually combine pork with vegetables in stir-fries or stews. This means that we eat relatively little of the meat at each sitting, but that is a good thing nutritionally speaking.
So check out the recipes below for some great ways to combine pork and veg Japanese style!