Nikujaga JP cooking

Nikujaga Recipe – One Pot Cooking

Nikujaga (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. A simple and economical way to feed a hungry crowd.  Great recipe to make with kids.

Best Living Japan Studio is also offering a Nikujaga class in November 2021 – See all details here. 

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
Tokyo Cooking Classes

How To Make Nikujaga


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.


Japanese Nikujaga - Meat and Potato Stew


BLJ NewsletterDid you enjoy this article? If yes,  please sign-up for the Best Living Japan newsletter so you don’t miss any great info. It is easy to sign-up just click here, and enter your email.

Check Also

Tokyo Quarantine Meal Plan

Tokyo Quarantine Meal Plan WEEK 1

Here is our 5-day quarantine Lunch and Dinner meal plan. Cooking 3 meals a day …


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *