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Nikujaga (Japanese Beef Stew)

Nikujaga (Japanese Beef Stew)

The weather certainly has gotten cooler as of late and I have been craving heartier meals. It recently came to my attention that I have not been doing much Japanese cooking lately and I was missing it. I decided to combine the two and make nikujaga or meat and potatoes. Nikujaga is a Japanese version of a beef stew that is simmered in the classic Japanese seasonings of soy, sugar, sake and mirin. The stew ends up with a really nice blend of sweet and salty which works surprising well. Nikujaga is easy to make and tasty and because of that I make it fairly often. Recently I seem to always have some extra pumpkin lying around that just screams "use me" so I decided to replace the potatoes with pumpkin this time. I garnished the nikujaga with some chopped green onions and some shichimi togarashi. Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese condiment that is made from a blend of chilies and other things like sesame seeds, nori, etc. I enjoyed the heat that the shichimi togarashi added to the nikujaga.

Notes: Nikujaga is often simmered until most of the liquid has evaporated but I prefer to have some liquid left. I prefer to use dashi as the liquid but I have also used beef stock or even just water.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound beef (thinly sliced or cut into bite sized pieces)
1 onion (sliced)
2 cups potatoes (or pumpkin cut into bite sized pieces)
1 carrot (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 cups dashi (or water or beef stock)
3 tablespoons soy
3 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 green onion (sliced)
shichimi togarashi to taste (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the beef and brown on all sides.
3. Add the onion, squash and carrot and saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add the dashi, soy, sugar, sake and mirin, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Similar Recipes:
Kare (Japanese Curry)
Irish Lamb Stew
Beef and Barley Stew

46 comments:

Paula said...

I've never had a Japanese stew, but you can bet I'd like to give this a try! I love those flavors, and would enjoy the salty sweetness if offers!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I have many of these condiments, or good substitutes, in my pantry at all times -- now to find some beef in my freezer and I'm good to go.

Amy said...

I love Japanese food but I've never had anything like this. It looks delicious!

Maggie said...

I really like the use of pumpkin instead of potatoes.

Manggy said...

Very seasonal substitution, Kevin :) Thanks also for noting what other broths can be used :)

Cheryl said...

Keving that looks good, I like a lighter soup or stew and this is right up my alley!

Daziano said...

Interesting recipe. Without the Asiatic ingredients it could have been a Chilean stew! ;)

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Good, honest food, Japanese home-cooking. Love the use of pumpkins here.

Helene said...

You make Japanese & I made Chinese (Won Ton soup). Since the weather is cool, now, I enjoy making soups. Thanks for the recipe.

Steph said...

That looks like a nice warm meal for such cold weather. I can't believe it was almost snowing today!!

Alexa said...

Nikujaga looks like a delicious comforting meal!

Elra said...

Delicious looking stew Kevin. It's also sound perfect for the weather.

Diana Evans said...

it looks yummy Kevin....and so perfect for the cooler weather...

Hugs
Diana

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

The right dish for the right season! I will love to have this anytime!

Amanda said...

Hey Kevin, have you ever tried making sushi? It would be nice to have some tips.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Nicely done Kevin, this is one of my favourite comfort foods:-)

Heather said...

ohhh yum! i love mirin in anything! and those carrots look beautiful!!

Cakebrain said...

Who doesn't like beef stew? this is reminiscent of the heart-warming and stomach-pleasing stews of childhood! Looks delicious!

Marie said...

That looks really good Kevin! I never knew that the Japanese had stews! I'll be sure to give this a try!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delicious looking stew! I've never eaten anything like that... Yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Debbie said...

I am always learning something from the dishes you cook. Never heard of this one but it sounds wonderful. This looks like it might be good with rice on the side.

Darius T. Williams said...

Seems simple and easy - and looks tasty!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Rosie said...

This really looks a great warming stew for cold weather Kevin.

Rosie x

Martin Jordan said...

It's my lucky day, i was looking for some new beef stew recipe.
Thank you Kevin and bye... I have to go to the store:)

Mandy said...

your beef stew looks perfect for a chilly Fall night, with a bowl of steaming hot rice.

noble pig said...

Sounds delicious! Love the picture too.

Potato Chef said...

This beef stew looks and sounds great. You keep coming up with winners!!

Lori Lynn said...

Nice Fall dish Kevin. I bet that broth was heavenly!

Maria said...

Another comforting dish!! Looks good!

mycookinghut said...

I have never tried making Japanese stew... this definitely suits me as it's freezing cold lately :( It feels like December!

meeso said...

Sounds delicious, and something I never tasted, but would love to try it.

vanpham said...

Yeah! Nikujaga is my favorite. You are very creative. I will try adding pumpkin next time. Thanks!

HoneyB said...

I should try this and use butternut squash - which I have in abundance right now!

Marjie said...

Count me in for any kind of beef stew!

Dana McCauley said...

Sounds delish.

noobcook said...

Your pot of stew looks so comforting ... this is really hearty indeed ^o^

culinarycory said...

Using pumpkin is an interesting touch. I'm sure it adds great texture and flavor to the dish.

Jeanne said...

Looks wonderful - and as you say, just the right thing for the cooler weather!

Kumiko said...

looks nice, the weather must be good with you, your pictures look great. In England it is so dull, it's difficult to get enough natural light for my photos.

Kumiko said...

You could call this dish nikukabocha, 'kabocha' is pumpkin :)

Vic said...

That's a great recipe, thanks very much. I made it a couple of days ago and I'm doing it again today with all the authentic ingredients (dashi instead of beef stock, etc.)

The only thing that I find a bit odd is 3 tablespoons of sugar! Am I reading that right? I put in 1.5 tablespoons and it's still a bit sweeter than I'd like it. I can only imagine it would be sickly with 3! The mirin that I have is extremely sweet too.

...and I have a couple of questions. Firstly, I have some "Yasai Fumi Furikake" (rice seasoning with nori, seasame seeds, etc.) Could I use that instead of the s.togarashi stuff? I'll try it anyway. The other question is regarding sake. The first time I made this dish I used drinking sake, but this time I found "cooking sake" which is much saltier and would be revolting to drink straight. I suppose it's the second type I should be cooking with?

Great recipe, thanks very much, and I love the idea to use pumpkins instead of starchy potatos.

Kevin said...

Vic: Definitely adjust the recipe to your tastes! I like the combination of strong salty and sweet. I have made it with less sugar and it words just as well.

The togarashi is a blend of chili peppers that adds a spicy heat. I would not try replacing it with furikake. Maybe a dash of cayenne pepper?

I have always used drinking sake. I would think that the cooking sake would work, though you might want to adjust the recipe to take into account the extra salt in it.

Cynthia said...

I really like this! It's so good.

Vic said...

Thanks Kevin for the info.

I'll chop up some chilli and try it.

Aladdin's Cave keepster said...

WOW this is defanately my utmost loving Japanese food!! Awesome taste! I made a big batch and freezed some!! Domo arigato for the recipe!!

Anonymous said...

I had this recipe from a TV cooking show and I immediately had to try it. Simple and sooooo yummy. :-D Reading this just makes my mouth water. And I even have some frozen pumpkin, I think I hear it knocking ;-)

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