Nikujaga Japanese Beef Stew

Irene's Cookery
by Irene's Cookery
3 - 4 Servings
30 min

Nikujaga is a Japanese dish loved by people of all ages! The name comes from combining two Japanese words - “niku,” which means meat, and “jaga,” which is a nickname for potatoes. Just like a plate of meat and potatoes is a hearty comfort food in Western culture, Nikujaga is comfort food in Japan! It is the Japanese version of a beef stew, simmered in the classic Japanese seasonings of soya sauce, sugar, sake and mirin. The stew ends up with a really nice blend of sweet and salty which works surprising well, especially when served with a side of steamed white rice. Easy to make in just 30 minutes and delightfully filling, it is perfect as a main home-cooked meal.

Simmering merrily on the stove icon

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Let's tuck in!

Nikujaga Japanese Beef Stew
Recipe details
  • 3 - 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • Snow peas (optional): 2 - 3 pieces
  • Neutral flavoured oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Onion, cut into wedges: 1
  • Beef sukiyaki: 250 grams
  • Potatoes, peeled & cubed: 2
  • Carrot, peeled & cubed: 1/2
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Dashi stock powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Sake: 2 tablespoons
  • Mirin: 4 tablespoons
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Soya sauce: 3 - 4 tablespoons

Remove string from snow peas and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Set them aside.
Heat oil over medium heat in a pot and saute onions until softened. Then add the beef and cook until it's no longer pink. Next, add the potatoes and carrots.
Add water, Dashi stock powder and sake. Bring to a boil, skim off any scum that forms, then cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Add mirin and sugar, cover the pot, and cook the stew for a further 5 minutes.
Next, add soya sauce and continue to simmer uncovered until the potatoes and carrots are cooked, and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required. Garnish with snow peas and serve with white rice.
  • Beef sukiyaki is typically sold pre-packed and frozen. If you can't find it, then just use any thinly sliced beef.
  • Can't find Dashi stock powder? Skip it, and replace the water in this recipe with beef stock.
  • It doesn’t have to be beef, you can also use pork for this recipe and it will still taste great.
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