Nikujaga literally means "meat & potatoes" in Japanese, and it's a classic stew that's a pillar of home cooking in Japan. By using thinly sliced meat, the dish comes together in under thirty minutes. The type of meat can vary by region, with some areas preferring a fatty cut of pork over beef, and some modern cooks using chicken. Regardless of what type of meat you use, I recommend using a cut that has a good amount of fat on it, as this will help keep it moist while imparting flavor into the vegetables.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 300 grams (6 baby) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 200 grams (1 medium) onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 150 grams (1 small) carrot, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 cup dashi
- 1/4 cup sake
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 180 grams (6.5 oz) shirataki noodles, rinsed, drained, and chopped
- 300 grams (11 oz) marbled beef, thinly sliced
- 70 grams (2.5 oz) snap peas, trimmed and halved
- Add the oil, potatoes, onions, and carrot to a large heavy-bottomed pot and saute the vegetables until the onions are fragrant.
- Add the dashi, sake, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and shirataki noodles to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the beef and stir to distribute. When the mixture comes back to a boil, skim off any brown foam that floats to the surface.
- Partially cover the pot with a lid and turn down the heat to simmer the nikujaga for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
- Add the snap peas and cook until they are vibrant green.