Recipe: Niku Jaga

By Mariko Nakamura
April 20, 2015
Food & Drink

A quintessential staple of Japanese home cooking, this braised meat and potato dish is both easy to prepare and satisfying. Often called the national dish of Japan, it is said that those who cannot cook it are not ready for marriage. The mild, slightly sweet flavor is a favorite among both adults and children, and it makes a great comfort food any time of year.


Serves two.

What You Need

2 potatoes, washed with plenty of water, drained well, peeled and cut into cubes

1/2 an onion, sliced into wedges

100 grams of beef (you can use pork instead), cut into large bite-sized pieces

50 grams of shirataki (noodles made from the konyaku root), washed well with water, drained, and cut into about 10-centimeter lengths

5 green beans, boiled for eating

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the soup:

200 milliliters of water

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of mirin

2 tablespoons of sake

2 tablespoons of sugar

What to Do

  1. Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in pot.
  2. Add the potato cubes and sliced onion and cook for about three minutes, stirring frequently until they begin to soften.
  3. Add water, bring to a boil, and then add the beef and shirataki.
  4. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.
  5. Make a lid with aluminum foil (make a circle same size as your pot and make a tiny hole in a middle of the foil).
  6. Add the rest of ingredients except the green beans to the pot, then place the lid directly on the food (we call this “otoshi-buta”). Cook for about 15 minutes over medium low heat.
  7. After 15 minutes, take off the lid and cook for about another five minutes over the same heat. Add the boiled green beans to same pot, then cook for another two minutes.
  8. Transfer to serving dishes and enjoy!

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