Monday, December 19, 2011

Japanese Beef Stew By Home Koro

Every week there’s this one place in Berkeley called Norikonoko that I always try to eat at cause it serves awesome (albeit processed) Japanese food. One of my favorite dishes that Noriko (the restaurant owner) makes is Nikujaga. Since I enjoy it so much, I have attempted to make that dish myself. Here’s a step by step guide of how to make this dish for yourself  . It was really good  . The following will serve you for 3-4 days (or for 3-4 people) depending on how much you eat.


3 Potatoes
2 Carrots
1 Onion
6 String Peas
3 tiny slices of Ginger
1 Bag of Yam Noodles (Optional)
1/2 Pound of Beef, Thiny Sliced (Any kind is fine, but the more expensive it is the better it is  )
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable or Olive Oil
6 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mirin (Or Apple Juice if you can’t get it)
2 Tablespoons Sake (Or White Wine or Apple Juice if you can’t get alcohol)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Cups of Water or Dashi Soup Stock

How to Cook:

Step 1: Peel potatoes. Then slice them into circles and cut those circles into halves or quarters so that you get medium sized potato pieces. Put them into a bowl of water and soak for 10 minutes. This is very important, or else the potatoes will fall apart when you cook them.

Step 2: Peel carrots. Then Slice right down the middle. Then cut it into 1.5-2 inch segments, as shown. This makes a nice design for the carrots for a potato like dish.

Step 3: Slice Onions into bite size pieces. Cut off the heads of the string peas. Cut 3 strips of ginger from the ginger piece you have.

Step 4: Put the potatoes in a pot and boil them over high heat for about 6-7 minutes, or until the potatoes are mostly cooked but slightly raw. Add carrots and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Step 5: Strain the potatoes and carrots and put them into a separate bowl.

Step 6: Add one tablespoon of Vegetable or Olive Oil into a pot and add meat. Stir-fry over medium heat until the meat starts to turn brown.

Step 7: Add in the potatoes, carrots, yam noodles and ginger slices. Add 2 Tablespoons of Sake (or your substitute), and mix everything up.

Step 8: Add in 2 cups of Water or Dashi Soup Stock. Then add 2 Tablespoons of Sugar and 2 Tablespoons of Mirin (or Apple Juice).

Step 9: Cover and bring to boil (remember this is all over medium heat). This step might take a while so if you are super hungry, you can turn up the heat if you want it faster. I covered using aluminum foil that I poked holes in to cover it; if you have one of the covers with holes in them, use that.

Step 10: Take the cover off and remove the froth that forms at the top. Re-cover and continue cooking until the potatoes are fully cooked, occasionally removing the top to remove the froth that forms.

Step 11: When the potatoes are fully cooked, add 3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce and the Onions. Then re-cover the top with foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 12: After the 5 minutes, remove the cover and pour the last 3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce into the pot. Then taste to see if it is to your tasting. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar. Saltier, add more soy sauce OR salt. Soy sauce gives a nice stronger flavor, salt just adds saltiness. (Pretend the onions in the picture are fully cooked, I forgot to take that picture haha).

Step 13: Cook the peas either by boiling them with salt and water, or microwaving them for 3 minutes in the microwave with a tiny bit of salt. Then decorate them into a nice bowl with the Nikujaga you just made in the pot.

Step 14: Serve your dinner  . I ate it with pickles and a spinach mix and rice. You can eat it with pretty much anything, though it’s standard to eat it with rice. It’s known as comfort food in Japan, and is a popular dish that parents tend to cook  .

Good luck making a great meal


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