Nikujaga: Minced Meat

Nikujaga: Minced Meat


Nikujaga is one of the best dish which means niku (meat) and jagaimo (potatoes). It is a typical “mother’s taste” meal. The taste of Nikujaga may surprise you because of the ingredients sugar and soya sauce. Nikujaga is a classic mix of meat and potato with a Japanese flavour, a perfect dish for a cold evening to warm you up! There is a category of cooking in almost every cuisine, “mothers cooking”. It means something that’s simple, homely, filling, and invokes strong feelings of nostaliga. In Japanese this is called ofukuro no aji (mother’s flavor). Nikujaga, or stewed potatoes with meat, is one of the mainstays of Japanese-style mother’s cooking.

Nikujaga which means meat-potato is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce, sometimes with ito konnyaku and vegetables. In general, potatoes build up the massiveness of the dish, with meat mostly serving as a basis of flavor. The most common meat used is sliced beef. In eastern Japan pork is frequently used instead of beef. Nikujaga is commonly served with a bowl of miso soup and steamed white rice. Usually home-cooked winter dish. It can also be found in Izakayas.



  •         6 oz thinly sliced beef or pork loin, cut into about 2 inch lengthsnikujaga
  •         4 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  •         1 onion, cut into wedges
  •         1/4 lb carrot, peeled and cut into bite size blocks
  •         1/2 package shirataki noodles, washed, drained, and cut into 3 inch lengths (optional)
  •         2 cup dashi soup
  •         2 Tbsp mirin
  •         2 Tbsp sugar
  •         4 Tbsp soy sauce
  •         1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  •         Yield: 4 servings


  1.      Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a deep pot and saute the meat on high heat until it changes color.
  2.      Add onion, carrot, potato, and shirataki in the pot and saute together.
  3.      Pour dashi soup and bring to a boil.
  4.      Turn down the heat to medium and skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.
  5.      Add sugar, mirin, and soy sauce and put a drop-lid.
  6.      Simmer until vegetables are softened.
TIP! Nikujaga tastes even better the second day so don’t worry if you can’t finish all the food..

Nikujaga was invented by chefs of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 19th century.  It is very much mom’s cooking everyone loves. Potatoes used in Nikujaga are anything you like.  If you like soft and fluffy, use Russet potatoes.  Or if you like smooth and creamy, use Yukon.  Russet potatoes, because they are soft, tend to dissolve in the broth, but that makes this dish taste good, too. This is the best recipe for you!


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