Niku means meat, "jaga-imo" means potatoes in Japanese. This dish is one of the most popular comfort food in Japan. Ingredients can be different for each region and family. My mother made this dish a lot when I was in Japan. One of my favorite mom recipes! This dish has very rich soy sauce and sweet flavors.

Ingredients (2 plates):

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 5 snap peas
  • 150g (0.3 LBS) of thinly beef or pork
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of *Hondashi
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of *Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons of *Sake
  • 3 tablespoons of *Soy sauce

*Hondashi is bonito soup stock powders.
*Sake is an alcoholic Japanese rice wine which is made by fermenting rice.
*Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine with a lower alcohol percentage, and sweeter than Sake.
*Soy sauce is basically made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt and water. It is a very famous ingredient, especially in Asia.
->See picture A.

Picture A: Left; *Soy sauce, middle left; *Mirin, middle right; *Sake, right; *Hondashi

Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 30 - 40 minutes.

  1. Cut potatoes, carrots and thin meat into bite size chunks. Slice onion. Slice snap peas diagonally.
  2. Preheat vegetable oil in a pot with medium heat. Stir potatoes, carrots, and the onion for about 5 minutes. Add water and *Hondashi in the pot and bring to boil without a lid.
  3. Add thin meat in the pot. Skim the scum off the top occasionally.
  4. Add sugar, *Mirin and *Sake in the pot. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add *Soy sauce in the pot and simmer without the lid for about 15 minutes.
  6. Add snap peas and simmer for 3-5 minutes. -> See picture B.
Picture B

7. Put Nikujaga into a bowl or a plate.