Japanese Beef and Potato Stew, or Nikujaga in Japanese, is a Japanese home cooking staple. With relatively few ingredients, most of which can be found in the pantry, the home cook outside of Japan can prepare this easy family meal. Although usually prepared with sliced beef, this recipe can be made with ground beef or any other ground or sliced meat that is on hand.
Ingredients for Japanese Beef and Potato Stew
1 large onion, diced or sliced lengthwise and cut, lengthwise, into strips
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound ground beef, or ground or sliced meat of choice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (or mirin substitute)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Preparing Japanese Beef and Potato Stew
In a wide frying pan, heat sesame oil over medium heat.
Add onions and saute until translucent.
Add meat, stirring frequently.
When meat has browned, add potatoes. Mix well.
Add soy sauce, mirin and sugar, mix thoroughly, and add enough water to almost, but not quite cover potatoes. Be sure to add water soon after adding seasonings to prevent the soy sauce from scorching.
Turn heat to high and cook uncovered at a full boil until the potatoes are soft. Cooking time will vary with the size and type of potato.
Taste and adjust saltiness with soy sauce or salt as necessary.
Serving Japanese Beef and Potato Stew
This dish can be served alone, but is traditionally served with rice, miso soup and several small side dishes. Steamed greens or green salad go well with this dish. Broccoli with soy sauce and citrus juice also makes a nice accompaniment.