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Japanese Nikujaga Meat and Potato Stew in a cream bowl

Japanese "Nikujaga" Meat and Potato Stew (肉じゃが)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 Portions 1x


How to make warming and homely Japanese style meat and potato stew "nikujaga" (肉じゃが). Tender, thinly sliced meat, potatoes and vegetables simmered in a delicious Japanese style broth.


  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium sized carrot
  • 1/2 medium sized white onion
  • 200g pork or beef (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 400ml dashi
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 50ml Mirin
  • 40ml + 2 tsp Soy sauce
  • 50ml Sake
  • 100g konjac noodles (optional)
  • 8-10 snow peas (to garnish)


  1. First, peel the potatoes and carrots. Cut the potatoes into quarters and the carrots into smaller, uniform chunks.
  2. Soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water.
  3. Cut the onion into wedges.
  4. If the meat is too big, cut it into smaller pieces.
  5. Take a pot and heat it on medium. Once hot, add 1 tsp of vegetable oil.
  6. Add the meat to the pot and fry until the surfaces are sealed.
  7. Once sealed, add the onion and stir fry for 1 minute.
  8. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and mix the ingredients around the pot. 
  9. Add 400ml of dashi and bring it to a boil. 
  10. Once boiling, add 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 50ml mirin, 50ml sake and turn the heat down to simmer.
  11. Place a drop lid on top of the ingredients and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 
  12. At about 25 minutes, boil the konjac noodles in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes and then drain.
  13. Once the 30 minutes are up, remove the drop lid and add 40ml of soy sauce and the konjac noodles. Note: Do not mix at this point. 
  14. Pick up the pot (use oven mitts or tea towels to make sure you don't burn yourself) and tilt it from side to side to move the soy sauce around without mixing.
  15. Place the drop lid back on and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  16. For best results, turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely (optional). 
  17. Once it's cool, remove the stringy part of the snow peas and blanch for 1 minute in a separate pot. Drain the water and cut them into diagonal pieces.
  18. Remove the drop-lid from the nikujaga and reheat with medium heat.
  19. While it's heating, use a ladle to scoop the liquid and pour it over the exposed vegetables.
  20. Once it's boiling, turn down the heat to simmer and add 2 tsp of soy sauce.
  21. Tilt the pan to distribute the soy sauce (try not to mix)
  22. Simmer for 3 minutes and taste-test the soup. 
  23. Once you're happy with the taste, dish up. Sprinkle with the cut snow peas to garnish. 
  24. Enjoy!


This dish is most commonly made with beef or pork. Using thinly sliced meat keeps the cooking time short. If you use stewing meats and don't cook them for long enough they could end up chewy, keep the cooking time in mind when choosing meat cuts.

You can use any snow peas or green beans, whichever you prefer.

Japanese people sometimes add konjac or renkon (lotus root), if you can get hold of these ingredients then you should try adding them too!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cooling (optional): 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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