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Nikujaga – One Pot Cooking

IMG_2158Nikujaga (肉じゃが) is one pot comfort food in Japan. Nikujaga means meat and potatoes.  If you grew up with a favorite family beef stew or mac & cheese, this would be the Japanese equivalent. Every family has their own recipe and slightly different flavour, but it is a simple recipe to make that comforts all. Any type of meat can be used pork, beef or chicken.  I made a big batch this past weekend that the family enjoyed for dinner, midnight snack and breakfast. NikujagaSimple and economical way to feed a hungry crowd.


Nikujaga – One Pot Cooking

The following recipe is for 4 people, takes about 10 mins of prep time, and 45 mins of cooking time. I doubled for our family of seven.

Nikkujaga IngredientsNikujaga

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 300 grams of thinly sliced beef, pork or chicken 
  • 1 onion thick slices
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes cut into large chunks
  • 1 carrot cut into large pieces
  • 140 grams shirataki noodles drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 2 cups dashi (low sodium beef stock also works)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar – granulated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

NikujagaNikujaga Cooking Instructions

1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil and slightly stir-fry the vegetables for about 3-5 mins.
2. Add the sake to the vegetable mix and mix until you stop smelling the sake (about 1-2 minutes), stir constantly so vegetables do not burn.
3.  Add the dashi (packaged or handmade), sugar, salt and soy sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.

nikujaga4. Add shirataki and meat to pot and continue to simmer about 30 minutes longer. Check and stir occasionally.  As the nikujaga is simmering, you may choose to skim off the fat from the top of pot. Some people prefer to cook the meat first and then add vegetables, but I find that the meat becomes a bit too tough. Adding the meat last produces a more tender meat.

5. Simmer, partially covered for 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the carrots and potatoes are very soft.

6. Serve immediately over steamed rice. Nikujaga tastes even better as leftovers.


Nikujaga – One Pot Cooking


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  1. Where can I find Yukon gold potatoes in Tokyo? I’d like to grow some this year.

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