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nikujaga thumbnail

Authentic Nikujaga (Japanese Meat & Potato Stew)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 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 cut them into quarters. Soak them in a bowl of cold water to remove the excess starch.
    Soaking potatoes
  2. Peel the carrot and onion, cut the carrot into rough chunks of similar size and the onion into medium wedges.
    Cutting onion and carrot
  3. Cut the meat into bitesize pieces.
    Cutting pork
  4. Take a pot and heat it on medium. Once hot, add 1 tsp of vegetable oil.
    Adding oil to heated pan
  5. Add the meat to the pot and fry until the surfaces are sealed.
    Sealing the meat
  6. Once sealed, add the onion and stir fry for 1 minute.
    Adding onions to the pan
  7. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and mix the ingredients around the pot. 
    Adding potato and carrot to the pan
  8. Add 400ml of dashi and bring it to a boil. 
    Adding dashi to the pan
  9. Once boiling, add 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 50ml mirin, 50ml sake and turn the heat down to simmer.
    Adding light brown sugar to the pan
  10. Place a drop lid on top of the ingredients and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 
    Placing a drop lid in the pan
  11. At about 25 minutes, boil the konjac noodles in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes and then drain the water. This removes the unwanted odour from the konnyaku.
  12. 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. 
    Addng konnyaku noodles and soy sauce
  13. Tilt the pan/pot from side to side to move the soy sauce around without mixing.
    Tilting the pan to avoid mixing and breaking ingredients
  14. Place the drop lid back on and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
    Placing the drop lid once more
  15. Optional step: For best results, turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. Once cool, reheat on the stove over a medium setting until boiling.
    Optional step: leave to cool
  16. Remove the stringy part of the snow peas and blanch for 1 minute in a separate pot.

    Peeling string out of snow peas

  17. Drain the water and cut them into diagonal pieces.
    Cutting snow peas diagonally
  18. Remove the drop lid and use a spoon or ladle to scoop the broth and pour it over the exposed vegetables.
    Spooning broth over ingredients
  19. Turn down the heat to simmer, add 2 tsp of soy sauce and tilt the pan to distribute it through the rest of the broth.
    Adding soy sauce at the end
  20. Simmer for 3 minutes and taste-test the soup. (You can add more soy sauce if you prefer it saltier.)
  21. Once you're happy with the taste, dish up. Sprinkle with the cut snow peas to garnish. 
    Sprinkling snow peas over nikujaga in a bowl
  22. Enjoy!
    Japanese Nikujaga Meat and Potato Stew on a wooden spoon


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
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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