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What was your favorite food growing up? You would think mine is Japanese but it’s actually not, but it sort of is.
Japanese style Spaghetti Meat Sauce was my favorite food since childhood and I always “had to” order it whenever we went to Western-style restaurant in Japan. I would even describe myself as a spaghetti meat sauce connoisseur since I’ve ate it so many times!
Anyhow, I may not qualify as an official expert, but at least I know exactly what kind of meat sauce I like. In fact, I have many different Meat Sauce recipes because I am always finding ways to improve my recipe. So far, this recipe is my favorite “Japanese style” meat sauce that I came up.
One big difference with Japanese meat sauce vs. American version is the Japanese often use both ground beef and pork and I really like using both type of ground meat. You can get a package of ground beef and pork combined (see a picture below) in Japanese supermarkets and it’s very convenient (a little pricey but quality of meat is excellent).
My kids love this meat sauce with short pasta but I still love Spaghetti Meat Sauce and I don’t even mind boiling spaghetti separately just for myself! I hope you enjoy this recipe!
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- ½ lb ground beef
- ¼ lb ground pork (I used ground beef & pork package from Japanese market)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 1 bay leaf (cut in half)
- 1 onion (minced)
- 1 carrot (minced)
- 1 stalk celery (minced)
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 can whole tomato (1 can = 28 oz) (include juice)
- 2 cubes vegetable bouillon (or 2 cups of vegetable stock)
- 2 cups water (omit if you use vegetable stock)
- 2 cups white mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley (finely chopped, to garnish)
- Parmesan cheese (grated)
Gather all the ingredients.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and cook garlic and bay leaf until fragrant.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until golden browned.
- Add the meat and break into pieces with wooden spoon.
- Add red wine and turn up the heat. Mix well and let the wine evaporate until the liquid is almost gone.
- Add whole tomato and bouillon (if you are not using vegetable broth) and break up the tomatoes with the wooden spoon.
- Add water (or vegetable broth) and mushrooms.
- Skim off the scum and fat from the soup with a fine mesh strainer. This process is important to achieve refined taste. You can easily clean the sieve in water.
- Cook uncovered on medium low heat for 1 hour. Stir once in a while and it’s done when you see the bottom of the pan when you use scoop with the spatula.
- And add butter and mix well. Sprinkle generous amount of salt and pepper to taste (since we eat with spaghetti). Serve the meat sauce on spaghetti and garnish with parsley. Grate Parmesan cheese at the table.
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.