Athough “tortoiseshell” (bekkō in Japanese) may sound like a strange name for a hearty pork and radish stew, the Japanese associate this name not with turtle meat (that’s called suppon in Japan), but with hexagonal configurations (the pattern on the tortoise’s back is made up of six-sided shapes) and with the mottled reddish-brown color of soy-braised chunks of food (they resemble the variegated shades of a tortoise’s shell).
As this savory meat and vegetable stew simmers in its soy-seasoned broth, it takes on a variety of warm earth tones, giving this dish its unusual name. The pieces of meat are succulent, though firm, and the radish and onions are left with a bit of crunch to them. Bekkō Ni is a cold-weather favorite in many Japanese households.
Cut the pork into
In a Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil and brown the meat lightly. Add
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.