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Friday, June 14, 2024

Nikujaga – Japanese Beef and Potatoes 肉じゃが

Nikujaga is a scrumptious Japanese potato and beef stew cooked in a savoury-sweet umami broth. This fast and straightforward meal is a staple of house cooking and a traditional Japanese consolation meals.



Nikujaga is a quintessential Japanese consolation dish and some of the traditional house cooking meals. This aptly named dish is made primarily from the 2 substances that make up the title: meat (” niku “) and potatoes (” jaga imo”). The skinny tender slices of beef are simmered along with potatoes, onions, and different greens in a sweet-soy broth creating a pleasant mix of textures and tastes. With its wealthy flavours and heartwarming high quality, it’s positive to immediately transport you to the comfortable comforts of house.

nikujaga served in a shallow serving bowl with a bowl of rice and a pair of chopsticks

What’s Nikujaga ?

Nikujaga is a standard and in style Japanese stew-like dish. The phrase “nikujaga” interprets to “meat” (niku) and “potato” (jagaimo), which completely describes the principle substances of this scrumptious dish. The thinly sliced beef and chunks of potatoes are simmered in a savoury-sweet broth together with onions and different greens. It’s a hearty and comforting Yoshoku (Western) model dish that originated in the course of the Meiji period in Japan when Western delicacies began to affect native culinary traditions. Nikujaga is among the most common home-cooking dishes and a staple weekday meal because it’s tremendous easy, satisfying, and straightforward. It’s one thing that Japanese moms move down from era to era and is sometimes called “Ofukuro no Aji” which suggests the style of a mom’s cooking as a result of its homely and comforting.

nikujaga being cooked in a pot

Key Elements for Nikujaga

Thinly sliced beef or pork : Totally different areas of Japan will use both beef or pork as the principle protein element. I’m from western Japan the place beef is usually used and is what I’ve grown up consuming. Nonetheless, the selection between beef or pork is dependent upon private choice and dietary restrictions. Japanese meat is normally sliced very thinly which permits for even and fast cooking and higher absorption of flavours. 

Potatoes : Potatoes are a vital part of Nikujaga as they supply a wealthy and comforting texture to the dish. They take up the flavors of the sauce throughout cooking, changing into smooth and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The starch from potatoes additionally helps thicken the sauce barely, giving it a luscious consistency. 

Different greens : Nikujaga is a beef and potato stew so they’re the 2 important substances, the opposite greens are completely as much as choice and what you will have readily available. Nonetheless essentially the most generally used greens are carrots, onions, snow peas, and inexperienced beans. To finish this comforting meal, some variations might embody further substances similar to mushrooms or daikon radish. 

thinly sliced beef, potatoes, an onion, a carrot, and green beans on a bamboo tray

Konnyaku noodle : Konnyaku noodles, also called shirataki noodles or miracle noodles, are skinny translucent noodles created from the konjac plant’s root. These gluten-free noodles are normally added to nikujaga for added texture and are a preferred ingredient resulting from their low-calorie content material and varied well being advantages. 

Dashi and broth : The scrumptious broth for nikujaga consists of soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and dashi. Dashi is a standard Japanese soup inventory that types the inspiration of quite a few dishes in Japanese delicacies together with nikujaga. Its umami-rich taste enormously enhances the general style profile of the dish and elevates it to a different degree of deliciousness.

konnyaku noodles prepared in a large saucepan

Step-by-Step Preparation Information for Nikujaga

Getting ready the meat

I normally purchase thinly sliced meats at Japanese grocery shops or Korean grocery shops. For those who can not purchase ready-made thinly sliced meat then you are able to do it your self. There’s a trick to slicing meat very thinly and it’s to chop it when it is extremely chilly almost semi-frozen.

Vegetable preparation

One of many key steps in getting ready this dish is chopping the greens into bite-sized items. Minimize the potatoes into chunks or wedges. Minimize the carrots and different greens into small items and thinly slice the onions.

4 images of cut onion, carrot, green beans and potatoes

The best way to put together the Konnyaku noodles

Konnyaku, is a well-liked weight loss program meals due to its dietary fibre of glucomannan and really low energy. Nonetheless, it has fairly a fishy odour and must be pre-cooked to take away this. Place 2 litres of water in a pot and convey the water to boil. Add the konjac noodle and cook dinner for a couple of minutes. Flip the warmth off and drain the boiling water. This can take away the scent.

4 images of konjac noodles in cooking pot.

The best way to Make Nikujaga

This step-by-step information will assist you recreate this conventional dish in your personal kitchen.

  1. Put together the Elements. Peel the greens and lower them into bite-sized items. Thinly slice the onion. Pre-boil the konnyaku, drain it, then set it apart. Guarantee all substances are prepared earlier than beginning to cook dinner.
  2. Warmth some vegetable oil in a big pot or deep skillet over medium warmth. Add the onions, potatoes, and carrots to the pot and cook dinner till the potatoes have grow to be barely translucent on the sides. 
  3. Add the sliced beef (or pork) and sauté till browned on all sides. 
  4. Add the dashi inventory and convey it to boil. 
  5. Take away any scum that seems on the floor then place a drop lid (otoshibuta) or an aluminium foil sheet with a gap on prime of the substances. Go away it to simmer for round Quarter-hour. 
  6. Add the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. 
  7. Add the konnyaku and inexperienced beans and simmer. 
  8. When the greens have all cooked, flip off the warmth. Permit nikujaga to take a seat for a couple of minutes earlier than serving.
4 images collaged all ingredients in a pot.

Ideas for Enhancing Flavour and Presentation

  • Select the Proper Minimize of Meat: In relation to nikujaga, thinly sliced beef or pork is historically used. The skinny slices cook dinner rapidly and grow to be tender when simmered within the sauce. 
  • Soak Potatoes Earlier than Cooking: After you have sliced the potatoes, soak them in chilly water for about 10-Quarter-hour earlier than including them to the pot. This course of helps take away extra starch from the potatoes and prevents them from sticking collectively throughout cooking.
nikujaga served in a shallow serving bowl

Serving Solutions and Pairings

The standard solution to get pleasure from this scrumptious Japanese dish is with a bowl of steamed white rice. The mix of tender meat, flavourful potatoes, and umami-rich broth completely enhances the simplicity of steamed white rice. It creates a well-balanced meal that’s each comforting and satisfying. To reinforce your eating expertise, it’s also possible to think about including some further parts to your meal. Listed below are just a few serving ideas and pairings that work nicely with nikujaga: 

Miso Soup: Begin your meal with a bowl of heat miso soup. Its savoury flavours will put together your style buds for the meal. 

Pickled Greens: Serve some pickled greens like tsukemono on the aspect. The acidity and crunchiness of those pickles present a refreshing distinction to the hearty nature of nikujaga.

I hope you get pleasure from Nikujaga. If you cannot keep in mind the title of the dish, take into consideration Mick Jagger 🤣 And in case you appreciated Nikujaga, please charge this recipe and remark under!


Q : Is nikujaga wholesome?

A : Whereas nikujaga will not be the healthiest possibility when it comes to its excessive calorie and fats content material, it may well nonetheless be loved as a part of a balanced weight loss program. With its mixture of protein-rich meat and nutrient-packed greens, nikujaga gives important vitamins like fibre.

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Nikujaga is served in a medium round serving bowl with a ricebowl

Nikujaga – Japanese Beef and Potatoes

Nikujaga is a scrumptious Japanese potato and beef stew cooked in a savoury-sweet umami broth. This fast and straightforward meal is a staple of house cooking and a traditional Japanese consolation meals.

Course: Foremost Dish, Aspect Dish

Delicacies: Japanese

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook dinner Time 20 minutes

Whole Time 30 minutes

Servings: 4 serves

Energy: 361kcal

Charge this recipe



  • Peel the potato and lower into irregular sized chunks. Around the corners off and soak in a bowl of water. *3

  • Peel carrot and lower into 4 size sensible, then slice it thinly.

  • Peel and lower onion in half then thinly and diagonally. 

  • Trim each ends of inexperienced beans and lower into small items.

  • Convey water to boil in a pot and cook dinner Konnyaku to take away the fishy scent for a pair minutes. Drain the water and put aside.

  • Warmth oil in a pot over medium warmth. 

  • Add onion, carrot and potato  to cook dinner.

  • As soon as the onion, carrot and potato are coated with oil evenly and the sting of the potato grow to be clear, add the meat.

  • When the meat color has turned gentle brown, add the dashi inventory and convey to boil.

  • Take away all of the scum from the highest and put a sheet of aluminum foil, with a small gap lower within the center, excessive. *4

  • Simmer for about Quarter-hour to cook dinner till the potato has grow to be smooth. 

  • Add sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce.

  • Add Konnyaku and inexperienced beans and simmer till the sauce reduces a bit of bit.

  • When the inexperienced beans color has modified and cooked, flip the warmth off and serve.


*1 In case you are unable to seek out thinly sliced beef, place the meat in freezer for a pair hours then slice it with a pointy knife. 
*2 You need to use on the spot dashi powder. For those who utilizing dashi powder, comply with the packet instruction or add 1/2 tsp to 250ml water.
*3 This Japanese chopping method referred to as “Mendori” and is used to keep away from the greens similar to potatoes, pumpkins and radish damaged aside. 
*4 This lid is known as “Otoshibuta” and it’s smaller than the pot diameter of the pot, so the lid sink within the pot over the substances in an effort to cook dinner evenly. You can also make this lid with parchment paper or aluminium foil, or purchase them on-line. 


Energy: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 16g | Fats: 9g | Saturated Fats: 3g | Ldl cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1155mg | Potassium: 1343mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1370IU | Vitamin C: 34.5mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 9.8mg

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