Nikujaga is a delicious Japanese dish made primarily from two main ingredients: meat (“niku“) and potatoes (“jagaimo”). It is one of the staple Japanese weekday dinner dishes. So it is quick to cook and satisfies all the family’s taste buds.
What is Nikujaga ?
Literally Nikujaga means meat and potatoes. Niku is meat and jaga is the short form of Jagaimo, which means potatoes. Basically the meat and potatoes are stewed in soy sauce which has been sweetened with mirin and sugar. Nikujaga is a traditional dish and recipe that Japanese mothers pass down from generation to generation.
Konnyaku noodle may be unfamiliar to you. However, it is a unique ingredient used in the Nikujaga recipe. Konnyaku has an edible corn and is a commonly grown plant. Konnyaku comes in many different forms. Konjac is another name for it. Often the noodle form of konnyaku is used for Nikujaga and Sukiyaki.
How to prepare Konnyaku noodle for Nikujaga
Konnyaku, is a popular diet food because of its dietary fibre of glucomannan and very low calories. However it has a distinctively fishy smell, but fortunately there is a way to remove the odour. Place 2 litres of water in a pot and bring the water to boil. Add the konjac noodle and cook for a few minutes. Turn the heat off and drain the boiling water. This will remove the smell.
Thinly sliced meat
The reason that many Japanese dishes use thinly sliced meat, is because this is how meat is packaged and sold in Japan. I usually buy those thinly sliced meats at Japanese grocery stores or Korean grocery stores. Finally, if you cannot buy the meat that has been sliced thin, you can do it yourself. There is a trick to slicing meat thinly. Cut it when it is very cold.
I hope you enjoy Nikujaga. If you can not remember the name of the dish, think about Mick Jagger 🤣And if you liked Nikujaga, please rate this recipe and comment below.
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- 150 g thinly cut beef *1
- 5 small potatoes or 350g
- 1/2 medium carrot or 90g
- 1 small onion or 130g
- 10 green beans
- 250 ml Dashi stock *2
- 3 tbsp sake
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 100 g Konnyaku noodle
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- Peel the potato and cut into irregular sized chunks. Round the corner off and soak in a bowl of water. *3
- Peel carrot and cut into 4 length wise, then slice it thinly.
- Peel and cut onion in half then thinly and diagonally.
- Trim both ends of green beans and cut into small pieces.
- Bring water to boil in a pot and cook Konnyaku to remove the fishy smell for a couple minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot and potato to cook.
- Once the onion, carrot and potato are coated with oil evenly and the edge of the potato become transparent, addthe beef.
- When the beef colour has turned light brown, add the dashi stock and bring to boil.
- Remove all the scum from the top and put a sheet of aluminum foil, with a small hole cut in the middle, over the top. *4
- Simmer for about 15 minutes to cook until the potato has become soft.
- Add sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce.
- Add Konnyaku and green beans and simmer until the sauce reduces a little bit.
- When the green beans colour has changed and cooked, turn the heat off and serve.