Easy Japanese Recipes

Nikujaga 肉じゃが

Nikujaga 肉じゃが Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

Hi everyone!  We’re back to the US and had a great time in Japan!  We’re trying to recover from jet lag and get back to our regular routine (which is really hard to do with the kids!).  I want to thank my readers and blogger friends for visiting my site to check the guest posts while I was away, leaving kind comments for my lovely blog sitters and visiting their blogs.  This time I was especially delighted to share my close male blogger friends because they are all amazing home chefs that I wanted to introduce to my readers!  Food blogs tend to be dominated by female bloggers but there are definitely lots of great male bloggers who are talented with both cooking and photography.

I also want to thank my fans and readers for your kind messages and emails while I was in Japan.  I haven’t had enough time to respond to everything yet but I promise I’ll get to all of them, please give me a bit of time.  I apologize in advance for my late correspondence.

My trip to Japan was great – lots of great food and family time.  I was really happy that my children got to spend a lot of time with my parents.  Although I planed to take pictures of famous and popular places and introduce to my readers what it is like to live in Japan, I realized it’s quite difficult to bring my small children who were on jet lag to crowded places and not to mention, lots of walking…  My children are so used to being driven everywhere by cars and most places I wanted to visit are still too young for them (or boring for them).  As they get older, I’m sure we have more chances to visit different places in Japan and I hope to share my experiences with you then.  I am planning to write a post (or posts) about my trip with some pictures – hopefully I can start working on it as soon as my family gets back to our normal routine!

Nikujaga II

Today I’m guest posting at Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner.  The person behind this amazing Filipino food blog is Tina, who lives in Texas now but was raised in the Philippines.  She’s a wonderful mom to her two children and makes amazing meals at home.  She makes really cute bento (lunch box) for her daughters everyday and shares a lot of great tips on how to make them on her blog.  But my big admiration goes to her skills being able to pull off a big party with all homemade food!  I told her many times I don’t know how she’s able to pull them off but she just does it.  She has a variety of recipes from appetizers to a lot of wonderful main meals, and not to mention delicious desserts.  She covers it all.

This month Tina has launched a new series on her blog called Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner’s Favorite Dishes from Around the World and today she’s featuring my recipe.  Guess what her favorite Japanese food is?  It is Nikujaga.

Nikujaga III

Nikujaga (Japanese: 肉じゃが) literally means “meat and potatoes”, from two of the main ingredients niku (meat) and jagaimo (potatoes).  It’s a comfort food for the Japanese and it is a very popular meal cooked at home.  It is often considered as “mother’s taste” meal (“ofukuro no aji”  おふくろの味 in Japanese) as each household cooks it just slightly different.  The food itself is very simple and homely, and the warm bowl of your mother’s nikujaga brings one back to their roots.  It is probably the most popular dish among all kinds of nimono (煮物 Japanese stewed dishes).

It’s the Japanese version of beef stew; however, it contains a fairly small amount of meat.  The meat is added for flavor rather than substance, just like most of Japanese cooking.  It is simmered in the classic Japanese seasonings of soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar.

Unlike Western stews, the simmering time is much shorter because nikujaga uses thinly sliced meat.  Beef is commonly used for this dish but in eastern Japan, pork is more popular.

Now please click HERE to check out the recipe.

Nikujaga with Pork

Here’s Nikujaga with thinly sliced pork belly.

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Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ carrot
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • ½ lb thinly sliced meat (usually beef or pork)
  • 1 pkg shirataki noodles
  • A couple of snow peas/green beans/green peas for decoration, accenting green color.
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cup (500ml) dashi stock
  1. Make dashi stock
  2. Cut the onion into 10-12 wedges. Peel and cut the carrot lengthwise in half and chop into rolling wedges.
  3. Cut the potatoes into 4 wedges and smooth the edge of potatoes. If the pieces have sharp edges then they are likely to break into pieces during the cooking process from bumping into each other. We call this Japanese cutting technique mentori. Soak the potatoes in water to prevent from changing color.
  4. Cut the sliced meat in half. Rinse and drain shirataki noodles.
  5. Remove string from snow peas and cook them in boiling water for 30 seconds and take them out.
  6. Then cook shirataki noodles in the boiling water for 1 minute and cut in half.
  7. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat and sauté the onion.
  8. When the onion is coated with oil, add the meat and cook until no longer pink.
  9. Add the potatoes, carrots, and shirataki noodles.
  10. Add dashi stock and Seasonings bring to a boil.
  11. Once boiling, turn down the heat to medium and skim off the scum. Make sure all the ingredients are flat and most of ingredients are covered by the soup.
  12. Place otoshibuta and simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked. Otoshibuta is necessary to maintain the shape of the vegetables being stewed. Do not mix the ingredients while cooking; Otoshibuta will help the flavor circulate automatically.
  13. Turn off the heat and discard the otoshibuta. Let it stand until 30 minutes before serving. The flavors will soak into the ingredients while cooling down. If you don’t have time for this, it’s also okay.
  14. When you heat it up again, pour the soup on top of the ingredients with a spoon a couple of times. Check the flavors for the last time. When it’s almost ready, toss in the snow peas to warm them up. When ingredients are heated through it’s ready to serve.
Nikujaga tastes even better the second day so don’t worry if you can’t finish all the food.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Autumn, Beef, Easy Dinner Ideas, Guest Posts, Pork, Quick & Easy, Side Dishes, Winter

Leave a Comment

5 + = fourteen

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 19, 2012, 1:13 am

    Oooooohhhh, I’m happy you had such a wonderful time in Japan! I’ve seen the pictures you posted on Facebook and thought, “aaahh I want to be there, too!” :D Now I hope you’ll get over the jetlag quickly!

    Meet and potatoes cooked together are comfort food over here as well. :)

  • Hotly Spiced April 19, 2012, 1:26 am

    I’m glad to hear you had a wonderful time catching up with your family. I hope you quickly recover from jet-lag. I’ll look forward to seeing the recipe for this meal because it looks quite unusual. I’ve never told you this but I learned Japanese at school and used to be quite good at writing hiragana, katakuna and kunji. (Hope I’ve got the spelling write). It was actually my favourite subject at school. The Japanese classroom was set out like a traditional Japanese room. We had to take our shoes off and sit on cushions on the floor at low-down tables. It was quite a novelty. Unfortunately I left at the end of Year 10 to do my final two years of schooling at another school and that school didn’t offer Japanese – only Latin! Such a shame. I would love to have Japanese as a second language xx

  • Fern @ To Food with Love April 19, 2012, 2:08 am

    Welcome back Nami! Glad to be reading your posts again. Saw your vacation pics and looks like you guys had a wonderful time exploring in Japan. Look forward to hearing more about your trip. It’s nice to bring kids for a holiday especially back to your home country and show them where you grew up :)
    Your nikujaga looks fabulous! I made it once before but of course it didn’t look even half as good as yours here. I must try making this again. I love the shirataki noodles in this :)

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover April 19, 2012, 2:10 am

    Glad you had a wonderful time with your family in Japan. I can’t wait to check out the recipe as it look really delicious!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 19, 2012, 2:22 am

    I hope you share some pictures from your trip! And great post. I love it when dishes taste better as leftovers!

  • Ellena April 19, 2012, 3:20 am

    Love your Nikujaga post!!!! I have always wanted to learn how to cook Japanese dishes but I have no “teacher” to guide me and I always find Japanese dishes very different to handle. But with all your quick and easy to follow recipes it sure brings some hopes for my Japanese dishes project :) Keep all the wonderful dishes coming k!

  • Ramona April 19, 2012, 3:43 am

    Welcome back Nami!! I am so happy you and your family had a wonderful trip to Japan! We missed you cooking and recipes…. I shall pop over and check out the guest post now. Hope you all recover from jet lag very soon. :)

  • Sissi April 19, 2012, 3:58 am

    Nami, I’m happy you have had excellent time in Japan and so happy to see you back. I hope you recover soon from the jetlag.
    Reading about your walking “problem” I feel so impatient to go to Japan and spend whole days walking… This is my favourite way to visit cities and also my favourite sports (except for shopping of course ;-) ).
    Reading so many blogs, websites and Japanese cookery books I have never heard about nikujaga, so I’m glad to discover it now. It looks like a very comforting all-year dish. I must try making it one day! Bookmarked.

  • Belinda @zomppa April 19, 2012, 4:10 am

    Welcome back! Sounds like you guys had such a wonderful time. I too love walking cities – best way to see things. This is one lovely dish to come home to!

  • Joanne April 19, 2012, 4:26 am

    I’m so glad to hear you had such a great trip! This dish looks delicious…off to check it out!

  • ちびか〜ちゃん April 19, 2012, 5:55 am

    最近は作ってなかったというか? 何年も食べてない記憶が・・・

  • Cassie April 19, 2012, 5:58 am

    So glad you guys are back safely and that you had a good trip! Have a fabulous Thursday, Nami!

  • FreeSpiritEater April 19, 2012, 6:08 am

    Glad you’re back safe and sound. This dish looks lovely! Have a beautiful day Nami <3

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking April 19, 2012, 7:03 am

    Welcome back!!! i am really happy that you took some time off and had wonderful time with your family. Nikujaga sound like my kind of dish..and your photographs are stunning Nami! Well done as always and I will check Tina’s site right now!!!

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen April 19, 2012, 7:13 am

    Welcome back, Nami! I know how jet lag feels and it’s tough to shake it off! Just drink plenty of fluids (water) and you’ll be okay. Your photos look gorgeous. I’m sure this is another heartwarming recipe. Heading over now to Pinay in Texas, whom I know from our Kulinarya Cooking Club events. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jeno @ Week Nite Meals April 19, 2012, 7:14 am

    Welcome back Nami, sounds like you had a wonderful time at Japan! I can’t wait to visit, my parents still can’t stop talking about the great time they had there a few years back! It’s good to travel with children during off seasons while they are still young, once Kindergarten starts, we are stuck with traveling during high seasons with the rest of the US, much more expensive and hectic!

    Take care, and hope you get over jet lag real soon!

  • wok with ray April 19, 2012, 7:14 am

    I saw this posting at Tina’s and as always, it’s delicious looking. I’m sure it was a long trip, so I think you guys need a lot of rest to recover. Welcome back, Nami!

  • Baker Street April 19, 2012, 7:28 am

    YAY! Great to see you back Nami! I hope you came back with tons of pictures and will share some of your travel escapades with us.

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce April 19, 2012, 7:32 am

    Welcome back Nami…!!! Hope you enjoyed your trip.

  • Ira Rodrigues April 19, 2012, 8:15 am

    welcome back nami, im sure that you brought a lots of Japanese cute props, hihi

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 19, 2012, 8:17 am

    Welcome back from your trip, Nami – I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures and hearing more! All of the guest posts were excellent, and it was fun to discover some new bloggers along the way.

  • PolaM April 19, 2012, 8:54 am

    Welcome back! It looks like a delicious stew! Going over to check it out!

  • Natalie April 19, 2012, 9:42 am

    Happy you had a great time in Japan Nami! I guess everywhere in the world meat and potatoes are comfort food. Looks delicious!

  • Tina (PinayInTexas) April 19, 2012, 9:46 am

    Glad to know that you had a wonderful vacation in Japan, Nami!
    Once again, I would like to thank you for sharing your Nikujaga recipe with PiTCC readers! It’s truly an honor to have you! Hugs!!!

  • Eva kitcheninspirations.com April 19, 2012, 9:49 am

    Welcome back, glad it was a nice vacation.
    What a lovely bowl, although I’ve never had Filipino food I believe I would definitely love this. Nice photo too.

  • tanja@tanjascookingcorner April 19, 2012, 10:54 am

    Welcome back, Nami!! I am glad you had a wonderful time in Japan, and was trully enjoying the photos you have been posting from Japan! Can’t wait to see more in your next post(s)!:) Nikujaga looks like a perfect dish for me, really delicious comfort food!

  • tanja@tanjascookingcorner April 19, 2012, 10:55 am

    I meant the photos you have been posting on FB… :)

  • Sandra April 19, 2012, 11:58 am

    Welcome back Nami, we missed you!

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book April 19, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Good to have you back Nami and so pleased to hear you had such a lovely time visiting with family. Hope you get settled back into your routing soon.
    :-) Mandy

  • Choc Chip Uru April 19, 2012, 12:10 pm

    What am awesome guest post my friend! I am a huge fan of Tina and can’t wait to further get into her series :)
    And your recipe is a perfect fit!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Eri April 19, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Welcome Back Nami! Your dish looks amazing as always!

  • Reem | Simply Reem April 19, 2012, 1:23 pm

    I am so glad U had such a great time!!!
    I know jet lag can be a pain specially with kids, take ur time…
    This dish looks fabulous… Meat and Potatoes can never ever go wrong right…

  • gloria April 19, 2012, 2:40 pm

    What nice you had a lovely time in Japan Nami!
    This dish look really nice!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 19, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Nami, welcome back! I can’t wait to read all about your adventures :D And Niku jaga is perfect for our autumn and upcoming winter!

  • Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious April 19, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Welcome back Nami! Please post some pictures when you’re all settled back. Love this dish!

  • Susan Wenzel April 19, 2012, 5:57 pm

    And now I made THIS for dinner tonight as comfort from the cold and rain!! Thank you for the great ideas!

  • Asmita April 19, 2012, 6:44 pm

    Hi Nami,
    Welcome back. It’s so nice to know that you had a lovely time with your parents in Japan. Hope you get over the jet lag soon. Cannot wait to hear and see pictures from your trip.
    This dish looks wonderful!

  • mjskit April 19, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Welcome back Nami! Sounds like you have a wonderful trip, but I’m sure it’s good to be home. Looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing more about your trip. Headed over to Tina’s to check out your recipe. Your pictures make me hungry for it! BTW – loved all the male guest bloggers!

  • Xiaolu/6Bittersweets April 19, 2012, 7:03 pm

    I’ve made and liked this dish with tofu instead of the meat hehe. Very comforting!

  • Laura @ Family Spice April 19, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Welcome back! I can’t wait to read all about your exciting trip and gorgeous pictures. It’s always “fun” to get adjusted back to home life!

  • Terra April 19, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Oh how fun, I look forward to reading more about your lovely trip!!! Welcome back:-) Hugs, Terra

  • Ann April 19, 2012, 7:47 pm

    Nami, that looks SO amazing! Welcome back – I missed you, but I’m glad you had a good time!

  • Carolyn Jung April 19, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Welcome back! Glad to hear you had such a fun time in Japan. And who doesn’t love meat and potatoes? And this Japanese-style version looks irresistible.

  • Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings April 19, 2012, 9:41 pm

    I will visit both Tina’s blog and Ang Sarap blog, as I am Filipino also (now living in Toronto). Thanks for introducing these lovely bloggers!

  • kat April 19, 2012, 9:59 pm

    glad you had fun! welcome back.

  • Adrian ( What the Heck is Filipino Food) April 19, 2012, 10:43 pm

    Ah..I know how you feel. I remember coming back home after an epic trip to Japan. I miss eating sushi alive! You have just made my friday! This looks great.

  • Jeannie April 19, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Welcome back Nami, glad you enjoyed your trip back to Japan, but who wouldn’t be happy to see their parents and family especially when they are living so far away! This dish looks like a really healthy and flavorful dish…I would love it very much I am sure!

  • donna mikasa April 19, 2012, 11:05 pm

    Welcome home, Nami! Happy to hear your visit was great, too! Hoping to see more recipes from your family! This nikujaga looks especially delicious with the other veggies besides the imo. Can’t wait to try it! Hope you recover from the jet lag soon!

  • anh April 20, 2012, 12:06 am

    what a beautiful dish! I enjoy this kind of ‘less meat’ stew!

  • yummychunklet April 20, 2012, 5:40 am

    Looks like a delicious welcome back dish!

  • Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts April 20, 2012, 6:21 am

    Welcome back Nami! I really like how light and comforting this is. The weather here had turned cold again so it’s perfect for us over in this part of the world!

  • Blackswan April 20, 2012, 9:01 am

    Hi Nami, はじめまして。Came over from Tina’s blog. It’s great to be here seeing your recipes. Hope to learn more Japanese stuff from u :) Would love to have u drop by my lifestyle blog too. Looking fwd to sharing & hope to see u there!

  • Javelin Warrior April 20, 2012, 9:08 am

    So great to have you back, Nami! I’m so glad the trip went well and I’m sure the jet-lag is terrible with so many hours difference. This stew looks so delicious and I love how only a little bit of meat is needed to flavor the entire pot – and of course, it’s always nice to have a short simmer-time. Now I’m off to go check out Tina’s blog – thanks so much for sharing another blogger with us!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 20, 2012, 10:47 am

    Welcome home, dear Nami! Sounds like you had a very nice time enjoying the company of family and good friends. Thank you for sharing a bit about your time away.This beef dish looks absolutely mouthwatering. Going to check out your guest post now!

  • Soni April 20, 2012, 10:53 am

    Welcome back my friend!I just loved the pics of your kids in the traditional robe!!Never heard of this dish before, but meat and potatoes sound good anytime and these look so tender and delicious!!Off to check Tina’s blog :)
    Have a great weekend :)

  • A Little Yumminess April 20, 2012, 11:12 am

    Welcome back. Recovery from jet lag is painful. We are working on it as well. Love Japan – cannot wait to go back. This recipe looks like a keeper. My plan is to make more Japanese food, so your blog is going to come in handy

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen April 20, 2012, 11:41 am

    Hi Nami, I’m glad your trip went well!
    Great welcome-back recipe :)

  • Cucina49 April 20, 2012, 11:50 am

    I love the colors and textures you have in this dish–it looks wonderful! So glad you had a good trip.

  • Biana - TastyGalaxy.com April 20, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Nami, I am glad you had a great trip!

    Nikujaga looks fabulous! I love this meat and potatoes dish, it looks delicious.

  • Baltic Maid April 20, 2012, 1:05 pm

    Glad to hear that you had wonderful time in Japan.
    Your Nikujaga dish looks amazing!!! I have the hardest time finding mirin though. Maybe I am just looking in the wrong stores… But as soon as I find it (and the dashi packets) I will give this a try. The recipe has been bookmarked. :-D

  • Tobias April 20, 2012, 1:56 pm

    Believe it or not but Nikujaga was one of the first Japanese dishes I have ever prepared because of its simplicity and the wide availability of ingredients (the recipe I used didn’t have dashi stock or noodles but like you said: おふくろの味)

    I really have to compliment you on the presentation. You have very artistically mastered to make a simple stew very appertizing and highlighting all ingredients. これは美しいです!

  • Ben April 20, 2012, 5:29 pm

    It’s difficult to get back to your routing after a long trip or break, but we’re glad to see you’re back! Great recipe for Tina’s blog. I’m off to read her blog. I always love this guest post exchange, maybe someday you could contribute to What’s Cooking, World? :)

  • Shirley April 20, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Beef stew is one of my all-time favorite foods, and I didn’t know a Japanese version existed! This looks hearty yet light.
    I also like how you chose to feature male bloggers! It’s true, most bloggers are women.

  • FiSh April 20, 2012, 8:23 pm

    how was japan? you should blog bout the trip as well :) the nikujaga looks healthy and i always love japanese food!

    Latest: Best Milk Ever

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice April 20, 2012, 8:28 pm

    Glad to see you back, Nami. Great food and family time – that’s what a good holiday is all about. Hope you feel rejuvenated after overcoming the jet lag. Nikujaga looks incredibly flavourful. I would cook up a big pot so there is leftover:)

  • Kim Bee April 20, 2012, 9:44 pm

    So glad to have you back. Also thrilled to hear you guys had a good time. Off to Tina’s to check things out.

  • skip to malou April 21, 2012, 12:56 am

    welcome back! i just got back too (well a week now) but i do understand how it feels like to jet lag. Im still adjusting would you believe that? Yeah I’m glad i spent 6 weeks in the Philippines too.. so great to come home to your home country right?

    I know Tina but of course and will swing by there soon. Thank you for sharing this post to her and yep welcome back!

  • Debra Kapellakis April 21, 2012, 2:36 am

    Just back from holiday and already wowing us with photographs and yummy recipe. thank you

  • Maja April 21, 2012, 6:39 am

    Welcome back Nami! It’s such a pleasure to read your recipes :) Nikujaga looks stunning :)

  • Kristi Rimkus April 21, 2012, 7:32 am

    I’m glad you had a wonderful time. My coworker’s family is heading to Japan to see family this summer and looking forward to it for sure. Wonderfully light and colorful recipe. Perfect for lunch or dinner!

  • Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef April 21, 2012, 7:32 am

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful time with your parents. I hope you brought home lots of goodies you can’t get in the states!

    We enjoyed your guest bloggers a lot but we’re glad to see your ever smiling face around here again.

    I’m off to check out Tina’s post because this “stew” looks great.

  • Kristy April 21, 2012, 8:18 am

    I like the idea of thinly sliced beef or pork in a stew. I often find that the thick pieces are just too much for me. This sounds perfect – delicate and flavorful. :)

  • Yue April 21, 2012, 8:38 am

    love shirataki noodles! nice photos, noodles look so yummy!

  • Rhonda April 21, 2012, 9:14 am

    Welcome home! I am so glad you had a nice trip, I bet your kids had a blast :)

  • Choc Chip Uru April 21, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Welcome welcome welcome back – have missed your blog posts my friend :D
    I hope you had a wonderful vacation!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Charles April 21, 2012, 4:22 pm

    Glad you had a great trip Nami – sounds like fun, though it’s too bad you didn’t have a chance to visit the places you were hoping to! Thanks for introducing me to another wonderful dish, and you know, I never though to de-string the mangetout (snow peas) before… I’ll remember that next time because they’re usually quite tender throughout but when you get a stringy piece it’s really annoying.

  • Pepy @Indonesia Eats April 21, 2012, 6:36 pm

    Welcome back Nami! These look so lovely. Just remember I still have shirataki noodle in the fridge!

  • Katia April 22, 2012, 12:53 am

    Welcome back Nami! : ) I enjoyed your guest posts, that’s such a lovely and clever idea (at the moment I should find a blog sitter for my blog as well ;)
    I love Japanese comfort food, that dish looks so flavourful and light at the same time…
    Looking forward to seeing your pictures and the post about your trip! Cheers.

  • Raymund April 22, 2012, 1:17 am

    Welcome back! we missed your posts!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 22, 2012, 4:58 am

    So glad you had so much fun in Japan — and thank you for the wonderful intro of blog sitters :)

  • Parsley Sage April 22, 2012, 6:30 am

    Welcome home! So glad you made it back safely and that you had a lovely time! You’re an inspiration, already back and guest blogging :)

  • Tes April 22, 2012, 7:02 am

    Oh that looks mouth watering yummy!

  • Liz April 22, 2012, 8:13 am

    Welcome home, my friend….just wait till your kids get older and don’t want you taking pictures of them!!! Mine are finally getting used to my demands for family photos on vacation, though :)

    This dish looks fabulous, Nami…and it’s the kind of Japanese food that would appeal to the picky hubby! Off to read your guest post at Tina’s~

  • Monet April 22, 2012, 8:16 am

    So happy to have stumbled on your blog this morning. These look delicious! I love the vibrant colors in your pictures too! I wish I could have one of these bowls for lunch. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy your week!

  • Katerina April 22, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Welcome back to the blogsphere. I have the same problem with my son, that’s why I don’t take him to travellings. He will be bored to death and he will start to whine until my nerves will be broken to pieces lol. This is a beautiful soup/stew. Many exotic flavors in it!

  • Katherine Martinelli April 22, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I’m so happy you had a great trip! Welcome back! I’m still catching up on posts from the last few weeks as well. It’s hard to catch up! I can’t wait to read more about your trip. This dish looks just delicious!

  • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 22, 2012, 4:59 pm

    Welcome home Nami ~ I have to say, the colour and clarity of your photos is just exquisite. You most dedicate a post to food photography soon! :) I quite like the Japanese version of steak & potatoes – not nearly as heavy as the North American version… and dare I say more beautiful.

  • rebecca April 22, 2012, 7:30 pm

    looks wonderful and how great that you got to go home, all the best for settling back into a routine hugs

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats April 22, 2012, 7:34 pm

    WELCOME BACK Nami! Missed you tons.. ;p.. Despite with all the jet leg etc.. You are still able to produce such beautiful a recipe and photos! Never fail to amazed me my friend.. Gosh when I saw Nikujaga, I was so certain I accidentally squeak with joy here.. Luckily nobody noticed it, otherwise they will think ” Jo.. never stops looking at food ;P” Guilty but I can’t stay away. Will be hopping over to buzz Tina too.. xoxo

  • Jennifer (Delicieux) April 22, 2012, 8:28 pm

    Welcome back Nami!! Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday, and I know how difficult it is to get back into routine after being away.

    Your nikujaga looks fantastic. How interesting that the Japanese only add a small amount of meat for this and use it as a flavouring rather than the main component of the dish. Thanks for teaching me :D

  • balvinder ( Neetu) April 22, 2012, 8:59 pm

    Welcome back . Your Nikujaga looks fantastic.

  • easyfoodsmith April 22, 2012, 11:33 pm

    Good to see you back Nami with this great guest post dish. It looks very comforting.
    Till the time I had not visited your blog, Japanese food to me was only sashimi and sushi!! I am amazed at the wide array of dishes – sweet and savoury that I still need to explore in this cuisine.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 23, 2012, 1:19 am

    Welcome back, it’s always hard to get back to the daily routine after a nice vacation isn’t it? Looking forward to seeing photos from the trip.

  • Yuri April 23, 2012, 2:01 am




  • kitchenriffs April 23, 2012, 9:21 am

    Welcome back! I’m delighted you had such a wonderful time. But I’m equally delighted that you’re back cooking! And such a great recipe – Nikujaga is new to me. And I learned a new word today, Otoshibuta. I use aluminum foil all the time when I’m braising in the same manner – but I didn’t know there was a kitchen device made just to do this! Anyway, really nice post – thanks.

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 23, 2012, 9:00 pm

    Welcome back Nami!!! So glad that you had an amazing time and I have been following your photos on i think on Facebook ;) it’s been a while since I’ve gone to Japanesse and I’ve forgotten just how pretty Japan is and all the food ! This is a great recipe and I love love love shirataki noodles hahaha an added bonus is that they re calorie free making this a guilt free dish hehe :)

    Thanks for introducing us to so many male bloggers ~ I agree that the blogging world is dominated by women so it was nice to meet some male bloggers hehe

  • Denise April 23, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Your trip to Japan will be a wonderful memory for your children, parents and for you! I think it is great to take small children traveling but yes, it is important to tailor the trip top their needs. I am glad you had a good time! This meal sounds so warm and comforting!

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie April 24, 2012, 3:56 am

    Hi Nami,

    Glad to have you back and that you had a wonderful trip:) I can’t wait to see you future posts about Japan, you already know how I’m fascinated with it. The Nikujaga looks so delicious. I love stews or foods prepared this way.

    I also just got back from a break, but I’ll been in touch about our little project:)

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb April 24, 2012, 8:30 am

    Welcome back Nami! =D

    I cant wait to see your pictures from japan, it is such an unusual country for me and so pretty! Is it spring there now? I am thinking of cherry blossoms. ^.^

    nikujaga stew… now that is a recipe which I might be able to reconstruct pretty soon. You say that you cut the beef into thin strips, we do the same most of the time in goa too. I prefere it that way too.

    thanks a lot for sharing your wonderful stew. I am glad ur back. ;)

  • nipponnin April 25, 2012, 11:00 pm


  • Lisa (AuthenticSuburbanGourmet) April 26, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing trip. Have not been to Japan but it is on the list. My husband would love to ride all of the wonderful trains over there. I need to learn to make more Japanese delights and I am excited to explore your site even more. Pinned! :-)

  • Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) April 27, 2012, 8:01 am

    Hi, Nami. I hope your life is returning to normal each day. I know what it’s like to be jet lagged–it seems to take me captive for at least a week when I travel. After a long trip, this is the kind of food I crave from my kitchen. You have really educated me so much about Japanese food–love learning new (to me) dishes from you.

    Have a great weekend!

  • Suzanne April 27, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Glad to have you back and how the heck did I miss this one. Anyway your instructions and photos are always wonderful and so helpful for the novice Asian cuisine tester :) thanks.

  • Magic of Spice April 29, 2012, 1:40 pm

    Welcome back sweetie! Beautiful stew :)

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 30, 2012, 6:17 am

    Welcome back again Nami :) I bet you’re glad to go back and visit family and take your children to explore Japan ~ I’ve really enjoyed reading your holiday posts and finally getting to ‘meet’ your kiddes hehe :) This is a great recipe ~ I remember having it a Japanese restaurant once and Mr Bao and I really liked it yay!

  • LP @dishclips May 14, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I have never heard of this Japanese dish, but it looks delicious.

  • Cara July 20, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Most of the recipes I’ve used called for more sugar, so I was a little worried about the flavor, but it was perfect! I don’t use fish flakes, so anyone who is worried about the dashi should know that is comes out wonderfully with just water instead of dashi. I used white wine instead of sake, too, as that was what I had on hand. I bought an otoshibuta after reading your recipe, and it worked so much better for me than how I had made it before. It was so good, my husband asked me to make it the next day, too! (^_^) ありがとうございます!

    • Nami July 20, 2012, 11:01 pm

      Hi Cara! Oh thank YOU for trying this recipe and writing feedback! Each family has different taste, so I’m glad yours and mine clicked. :-) Happy to learn that you also found Otoshibuta. It’s a great cooking tool for Japanese (and maybe other) cuisine. Nikujaga is a perfect comfort food for us, and I’m really happy that you enjoyed it!

  • Nina@The Colorful White August 14, 2012, 8:21 pm

    Looks really fun to make and this one’s delicious and healthy!
    friends will surely love this if I make some servings!

  • Ian & Kristy December 23, 2012, 6:32 am

    Hey just wanted to say we make nikujaga a LOT and this is easily the best recipe we have found to date. Love the helpful explanations about the oshibuta and edging the potatoes. So happy to have found your blog (^∇^)

    • Nami December 26, 2012, 10:56 am

      Hi Ian & Kristy! I’m so happy to hear that you like the recipe! Some techniques like Otoshibuta and “Mentori” (smoothing the edge) make the dish a bit better and more tasteful. Thank you so much for writing. You made my day! :)

  • Liliana Tan December 30, 2012, 5:02 am

    Hi Nami,

    When I was iN Japan last week, I ate a lot of this dish simply because I like the taste.
    When back home, I immediately visited your blog to find the recipe and yes I got it here.
    I cooked it this morning and I got the taste exactly like I had in Japan.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Nami.


    • Nami December 31, 2012, 12:25 am

      Hi Liliana! I’m so happy you liked this recipe! Each family has slightly different recipe for this dish, so you adjust to your liking. I sometimes add a little more sugar or mirin to this recipe too. :)

      Happy New Year!

  • Kayleigh May 16, 2013, 8:39 pm

    I made this recipe for dinner for myself and my four picky younger siblings. Our pickiness knows no bounds—between the five of us, there’s someone who doesn’t eat onions, carrots, noodles, soy sauce, and a number of other things. I put this on the table and, as we were saying a blessing, my youngest brother snuck his and started eating. It was a big hit with everyone! Thank you and God bless!

    • Nami May 20, 2013, 11:37 am

      Hi Kayleigh! I’m sorry for my late response – I read your message and forgot to flag the email so I completely missed to respond till now. Sorry about that.

      So happy to hear you and your siblings enjoyed the nikujaga recipe! It’s a really comfort food to me, and your kind words just made my day! xo :)

  • Mrs. Sata September 11, 2013, 12:58 am

    Hi Nami :)

    First off, I love your blog. I’ve tried a few recipes here and there, and your recipes have never failed to be anything short of wonderful. I didn’t cook Japanese food often because I had to go out of my way to get to an Asian supermarket, but that’s changed now.

    I recently moved to Japan and am ever more grateful for your blog. It’s been quite an adventure, and every time I go grocery shopping I find myself looking up kanji on my phone to make sure I’m buying the right things. I’m still getting acquainted with my local market and don’t know where and what everything is. That said, what section of the store can I find shirataki noodles? I couldn’t seem to find them at the store, so I’m trying the recipe with cellophane noodles instead–hopefully it wont turn out to be too off.

    I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes :) I’ve lost count of how many of your recipes I’ve bookmarked.

    Thank you!

    • Nami September 11, 2013, 9:32 pm

      Hi Mrs. Sata! Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m so glad you enjoy my blog! I hope you are enjoying your stay in Japan.

      Shirataki should be in the refrigerated section (on the wall). It should be near tofu, konnyaku, all the “ingredinets” packaged stuff rather than fresh produce area. But it can be different in each store… Hope you can find it. Yeah cellophane noodles will work, but it may absorb lots of broth (shirataki won’t), so add it to cook right before you serve.

      Hope you enjoy my recipes. Thank you so much for writing! :)

  • Jody Smith September 19, 2013, 12:35 am

    Hey Nami-san,

    I just posted a new blog entry, and linked to your nikujaga recipe in my blog. I’m going to cook nikujaga for the first time tonight.
    I’m in Brisbane, Australia. I love Japanese culture, and my last girlfriend was Japanese. We were together two years, so I learnt a lot from her, including Japanese cooking techniques. I’ve already cooked an oden and a chicken and daikon nimono this week.
    I visited Japan last year too, which was awesome!


    Jody Smith

    • Nami September 19, 2013, 9:49 am

      Hi Jody! Thank you for linking back to my Nikujaga post.

      I hear there are so many good Japanese restaurants in Australia. Here in the U.S. a lot of Japanese restaurants have been around for 1-2 generations (so it’s more old school type restaurants). I follow some Australian food bloggers and read so many reviews of Japanese restaurants in Australia and they are mostly more modern – just like ones in Japan! I think a lot of chefs are coming from Japan too.

      You must have learned a lot of home style dishes. :) All the dishes you mentioned are home cooked meals and so happy to know some people know those dishes that’s close to our heart (than sushi and tempura for example. haha). Thanks for writing!

  • Diana Faye September 30, 2013, 11:27 pm

    I made this tonight and it was so delicious. I love your site.

    • Nami October 1, 2013, 9:29 am

      Hi Diana! Thank you so much for your feedback and kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed Nikujaga. :)

  • Lara October 8, 2013, 11:29 pm

    Via Nikujaga I discovered your blog. Thanks Nikujaga!! One question: I always make it with chicken (thighs). But if you make it with this thin meat you cook the meat the whole time? It doesn’t get overcooked? Do you use the kind of meat you can use for shabu-shabu? I found out that my eastern food shop sells this beef only the other day. Sooooo happy! First time ever my shabu shabu tasted a bit like Japan.

    • Nami October 9, 2013, 9:39 am

      Hi Lara! It was! So happy to hear how you found my blog. Thank you so much for following my blog since then. :) Yes you cook the meat whole 15+ minutes. Because the meat is so thin, even after cooking for a while it doesn’t get chewy or hard. Plus the cut of meat has some fat too. Usually less expensive scrap beef (we call this part “komagire”) is used for this dish, but I like using meat for shabu shabu (even small amount). ;) Great that you found a shop that sells thinly sliced meat! I added how to slice your own meat here: http://justonecookbook.com/how-to/how-to-slice-meat/

  • Michelle Bertuzzi January 4, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Nami, I tried this recipe tonight. I cooked it before using a different recipe but this one’s a winner!

    • Nami January 5, 2014, 1:57 am

      Hi Michelle! So happy to hear you liked this recipe! Thank Hou so much for your feedback. :)

  • Ai February 17, 2014, 3:59 am

    Hi Nami,

    This one looks super delicious! Quick question, is there any way to replace mirin and sake since I can’t drink/eat anything with alcohol in it?

    Thanks and have a super lovely day!

    • Nami February 17, 2014, 11:12 pm

      Hi Ai! You can simply use sugar and soy sauce. However, adapt the amount according to your liking. Since you don’t use mirin, you need to add more sure and reduce soy sauce. Hope this helps!

  • cquek April 24, 2014, 5:49 am

    must be tired and jet lag, take good care! thanks for the new recipe, i am going to try it.

  • Cassandre May 5, 2014, 3:44 am

    I tried it yesterday ; it was very good!
    Do you know what can I do with the leftover soup/broth ?

    Have a great day,

    • Nami May 5, 2014, 11:57 pm

      Hi Cassandre! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed nikujaga recipe! You only had broth/soup? Hmm I usually try to eat it together (not to leave any soup behind)… I know it’s good, but don’t know what else I can use it for. :)

  • Naqibah May 25, 2014, 5:29 am

    Hi there. I would like to make nikujaga but I can’t use both mirin or sake. Do you know what’s a good substitute for both?

    • Nami May 25, 2014, 8:37 pm

      Hi Naqibah! You can omit both. Adjust with sugar, dashi, and water. :)

  • Marie June 4, 2014, 8:51 am

    Hi Nami! I just wanted to tell you that you are an absolute God-send for me as I am living in Germany and had NO idea how to cook my mom’s Japanese home-cooked meals until I came upon your website. All this time, I’ve relied on her or have been eating out…But this isn’t possible in Germany, so without you I’d be horribly homesick AND starving. Thank you x 1 million! Your recipes are laid out so well and clearly and make it easy for even the worst of cooks.

    • Nami June 4, 2014, 12:52 pm

      Hi Marie! Aww you’re so kind and sweet. Thank you very much for writing! Once you cook several dishes, you will be able to season your meal just the way your mom cooks. :) Japanese cooking is very simple (condiments are always same), so you can easily adjust to your liking. I’m glad to hear my recipes are easy to follow. Thank you very much!!! xoxo