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Nikujaga is one of my most favorite comforting dishes, because years ago while working at Terra, anytime we trimmed up a beef filet, Hiro, my boss, would take the scraps and make a beef, potato and onion stew (aka Nikujaga). I always looked forward him making it. It was not until years later when I met Yoko, my Japanese “mom”, that she taught me her recipe which I still use to this day.
Note: You can find very thin sliced meat at Japanese or some Asian grocery stores. If not, you can buy a piece of meat and semi freeze, then you can slice into thin slices yourself.
1 tablespoon Wadaman Organic White Sesame Oil
8 ounces Sirloin or Ribeye sliced thin (See Note above)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ginger, diced fine
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped fine
2 cups yellow onions, sliced about ½ inch
16 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ¾-X-¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
¼ cup sake
4 cups dashi
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Suehiro Usukuchi Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Horikawaya Nomura Aka (Red) Miso
1 teaspoon Murakami Syouten Okinawan Brown Sugar
½ cup sliced scallions, for garnish
Yamatsi Tsujita Shichimi Togarashi, optional
Heat a medium sauce pot on medium-high, add the sesame oil and heat until just before the oil smokes. Drop in the beef and salt, let sear for a minute, then stir. Once the beef is almost cooked, reduce the heat until medium and then add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes to bring out their fragrance. Now add the onions and potatoes and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, making sure the bottom does not burn. Deglaze with the sake, scraping the bottom of the saucepot. Bring back to a boil and pour in the dashi. Allow to come to a simmer and skim any scum that comes to the top. Now add the oyster and soy sauces and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft, but not mushy. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso and sugar. Adjust your seasonings to your liking and serve with side of rice, garnish with sliced scallions and shichimi togarashi.