Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins
Literally the word nikujaga means meat and potatoes and is Japanese-style home cooking at it's finest. The creation of Nikujaga is attributed to Admiral Togo Heihachiro, the illustrious hero of the Russo-Japanese War. As a young man, Togo spent several years studying naval science in Great Britain. While commander of an Imperial Navy base, he is said to have ordered the base’s chefs to make a version of the beef stews served in the British Royal Navy. Togo was stationed at the Kure naval base from May 1890 to December 1891 and at the Maizuru naval base in 1901 to 1903 and no one knows for sure which one is the true base for the recipe. Every Japanese mother has their own version of Nikujaga and they are all good. Serve with a side of white rice and Miso soup. Some people even serve it over the rice.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lb beef rib eye, cubed or 1 lb ground beef or 1 lb pork loin, cubed
- 4 potatoes, halved and cut in 1/4-inch cubes or 2 lbs pumpkin, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
- 12 white pearl onions
- 8 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 cups dashi
- 2 cups sake
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- shichimi togarashi, to taste (optional)
- steamed japanese rice, as an accompaniment (optional)
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot/dutch oven and saute the meat on high heat until it changes color. Add vegetables, ginger and mushrooms in the pot and saute together for a minute or two.
- Pour in the dashi and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
- Add sake, sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and curry powder and cover. Simmer until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally (about 20-30 minutes). Serve with green onions in top.