Butadon is a Japanese word that literally means “pork rice bowl”, a very simple dish despite its fancy-sounding name. If you’re looking for an easy way to bring a taste of Japan to your table, these pork bowls may be just the ticket! Flavourful and satisfying, this recipe will likely become a regular on your weekly menu.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 60+ min


  • 700g pork belly, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tbsp dashi powder (Japanese fish soup)
  • ½ cup tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t have a gluten allergy)
  • ⅓ cup mirin
  • 2 tsp honey

To serve:

  • shichimi (Japanese pepper mix)
  • pickled ginger
  • steamed rice


  1. In a medium pan over medium heat, combine the water, dashi powder, tamari, mirin and honey.
  2. Cut the pork slices into bite-sized pieces, about 2–3 inches long.
  3. Add the pork to the pan, stirring to separate the meat slices. Bring to a gentle boil.
  4. Cover the pan with a lid, leaving a slight gap, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for at least 30 minutes (45 minutes is best).
  5. Remove the lid and add the onion. Mix well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
  6. Serve over hot rice, spooning some of the braising liquid over the meat. Sprinkle with shichimi and serve with some pickled ginger.

Recipe notes:

  • Dashi: when looking for dashi powder, read the labels and try to avoid ones that are loaded with salt and MSG. Also, it may not say “dashi” anywhere on the jar or packet and instead may simply be labelled as “fish soup granules”. The healthier versions might be easier to find at a Japanese-specific grocery store, but definitely take a look around any Asian supermarket. I like using the Youki brand.
  • Alternatively, look for dashi bags, which are like teabags that you soak in water to make a dashi broth.
  • Turn this butadon into gyudon by using beef! Just look for thinly sliced beef (used for hotpot).

Japanese pork rice bowl

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My recipes are big on healthy eating, real food, and international flavors. I also specialize in gluten-free cooking and baking, demystifying gluten-free and showing you how easy and delicious it can be! It's a great day to cook.

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