Make the sauce. Grind all ★ ingredients in suribachi (Japanese mortar).
Slice the hard stem of the cabbage.
Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, and set aside to cool down. Also cook the sliced-off stem. Don't drain the cooking water.
Spread out the cabbage and align the pork belly on top.
Put the stem inside.
Roll up the cabbage, working forward away from your body.
Chop into about 5 cm-sized pieces.
Pan-fry in a pan. I recommend you use sesame oil for fragrance. Cover the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
While that's cooking, use the cooking water from the cabbage to boil the bean sprouts and shimeji mushrooms for garnish.
Flip over the cabbage when its's golden brown. Cover the pan.
Dish it up. Serve with sauce.
Story Behind this Recipe
I received spring cabbage as a gift.
The Japanese leek is optional. You could also use store-bought grated garlic and tubed ginger. You don't need to grind anything if you use ground sesame seeds. I recommend you don't overcook the bean sprouts for a crunchy finish.