Nikujaga - Japanese Beef Stew

     Welcome to this Months Soup Saturday Swapper! This month we are sharing all about Beef Soups and Stews. I didn't think I was gonna make it this month and then as luck would have it a Japanese friend shared a recipe for Nikujaga, or Japanese Beef Stew. Niku in Japanese means "meat, and jagaimo meaning "potatoes". So the name literally means "meat and potatoes", which pretty much sums up stew. the bulk of the dish is supposed to be potatoes, with the beef acting as a flavoring and an accent. 

     This delicious Japanese beef stew was so fun to learn about. My friend posted the recipe in a local cooking group and I knew I had to try it. It had all the things I look for in a recipe. It was something new, it looked fairly simple for a weeknight dinner, it was all ingredients I could get in my tiny town, and best yet it looked fairly straightforward. 

     I learned something new with the recipe. The stew makes use of thinly sliced meat, so it gets tender very quickly and doesn't require a long stewing time, which is perfect for a week night. Stir frying the potatoes first speeds up the cooking time quite a bit too, which I loved. Typically this is made with sake and dashi, which my friend leaves out. This was great for me since I don't usually cook with alcohol and I am allergic to dashi. I replaced the dashi broth with pork but feel free to use any broth you prefer. and last but not least, the sugar, I left most of it out since the mirin is also pretty sweet but it is a very sweet stew to feel free to add more if you wish. 

       Soup Saturday Swapper
       Beef Soups and Stews

Japanese Nikujaga Recipe
1 lb. thinly sliced beef
1 large carrot, rolling chopped
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 onion, sliced
1 (8 oz.) pkg. shiritaki noodles
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. mirin
1 1/2 c. water
1 pork bouillon cube
1 - 2 Tbsp. sugar
Generous sprinkle black pepper
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp. oil

3 green onions, green part only, sliced. 

Heat the oil in a large wok. Add the potatoes and carrots and stir fry until the sides are starting to change and look slightly translucent. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add the beef strips to the pan and cook, still stirring, until the meat is cooked through. 

While the beef is cooking, drain and rinse the noodles. Boil for 5 minutes and drain. 

Add the soy sauce, mirin, water, bouillon cube, shiritaki noodles, and black pepper to the pan. Stir gently to combine. 

Shape a large piece of tin foil in to the top of the pan, pressing down in to the mixture. Cover the wok if you have a lid, or in my case top with a large cookie sheet, and simmer very gently. You don't want a hearty boil that will break up the potatoes. Simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat. 

Top with green onions and serve. 


  1. I like this, and now you've given me an idea on how to use a cut of beef I have in the freezer. It also would be something my hubs would eat.

  2. Oh, now this soup looks lovely...and such simple ingredients too! And, I love that there are potatoes and noodles! YUM!

  3. This sounds fabulous! It kind of reminds me of pho, where you add thinly sliced raw meat to the hot soup and it cooks in your bowl!

  4. Woohooo, a stew that doesn't have to cook all day. Put me in coach!

  5. Love the idea of using thinly sliced beef for quicker cooking - this sounds delicious!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts