Recipe Nikujaga

Nikujaga is a beloved Japanese dish that translates to "meat and potatoes." It's a comforting and hearty stew typically made with thinly sliced beef, potatoes, onions, and a variety of other vegetables simmered in a sweet and savory soy sauce-based broth. Originating from the Kansai region of Japan, nikujaga has become a staple comfort food enjoyed across the country and beyond. Here's how you can make this flavorful dish at home.

Ingredients:

  • 300g thinly sliced beef (such as ribeye or sirloin)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups dashi (Japanese soup stock)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced onions and sauté until translucent.

  2. Add thinly sliced beef to the pot and cook until browned.

  3. Pour in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Stir to combine.

  4. Add potatoes and carrots to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Once the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pot from the heat.

  7. Serve nikujaga hot, garnished with chopped green onions if desired. Enjoy with steamed rice for a satisfying meal.

Tips:

  • For extra flavor, you can add other vegetables such as mushrooms, green beans, or shirataki noodles to the stew.
  • To save time, you can use pre-made dashi stock or substitute with chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Adjust the sweetness and saltiness of the dish according to your preference by adding more or less sugar and soy sauce.

Variations:

  • Gobo Nikujaga: This variation includes burdock root (gobo) along with the traditional ingredients.
  • Chicken Nikujaga: Substitute beef with chicken for a lighter version of the dish.
  • Vegetarian Nikujaga: Omit the meat and double up on the vegetables or use tofu or seitan as a meat substitute.

Nutritional Information:

Note: Nutritional values may vary depending on portion size and specific ingredients used.

  • Calories: Approximately 350 calories per serving (based on a typical serving size of 1/4 of the recipe).

Conclusion:

Nikujaga is not only a delicious and comforting dish but also a reflection of Japanese culinary tradition and home cooking. With its simple yet flavorful combination of ingredients, it's no wonder that nikujaga has remained a beloved classic for generations. Whether enjoyed on a chilly evening or as a warm reminder of home, this hearty stew is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food.

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