Niku Jaga (Beef with potatoes and carrots)

Niku Jaga

If Japan had cowboys and burly lumberjacks, this would be their meal. It’s a real work horse of the Japanese home kitchen and quite literally translates to “meat and potatoes”. Being high in energy, low on prep time and very tasty, it’s no surprise why. This is also one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, so you can make it in larger quantities and warm it up over rice for lunch.

While each home has their own variation, I’m basing this roughly on my moms version. She typically uses ground beef, but I’ve replaced that here with thinly sliced end-cuts of rib-eye and added a little meyer lemon zest at the end to brighten up the sweet earthy flavor. While this is more or less the base-recipe you could really go on and add just about anything you want, sugar peas, bamboo, shirataki noodles, or even tofu (although if you left out the meat or potatoes, you’d probably have to rename it:-)

It makes a great accompaniment to rice, but you could also turn it into a donburi by putting it over a bowl of rice and allowing the cooking liquid to seep in and flavour the rice below.

canola oil
1/2 small onion sliced
1 tsp minced ginger
1/3 lbs thinly sliced beef
1 carrot cut into small pieces
2 small potatoes peeled and cut into medium pieces
1/4 C sake
1/4 C water
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs mirin
1 Tbs sugar
1 scallion finely chopped
Meyer lemon zest

Put some oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions and ginger until wilted and fragrant. Add the beef and fry until brown. Toss in the carrots and potatoes, sake, water, soy sauce, mirin and sugar.

Cover and turn down to the heat to a low simmer and cook, tossing a few times until the potatoes are soft. Serve topped with scallions and a little lemon zest along with some rice.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    There are no cowboys in Japan?! Who’s taking care of all the Kobe and Wagyu beef? Hee hee :) Mmm, I can just taste that sweet-salty-umami sauce now…

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    There are no cowboys in Japan?! Who’s taking care of all the Kobe and Wagyu beef? Hee hee :) Mmm, I can just taste that sweet-salty-umami sauce now…

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    Simple and tasty! I did not even think about serving it on rice. I will have to try it next time.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    Simple and tasty! I did not even think about serving it on rice. I will have to try it next time.

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com/ Lorraine E

    That looks delicious! I remember having Niku Jaga while in Japan but it didn’t look this good – great photos!

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com Lorraine E

    That looks delicious! I remember having Niku Jaga while in Japan but it didn’t look this good – great photos!

  • http://www.brooklynfarmhouse.com/ Megan

    This looks amazing – I love beef stew and am always looking for something new…what cut of beef did you use?

  • http://www.brooklynfarmhouse.com Megan

    This looks amazing – I love beef stew and am always looking for something new…what cut of beef did you use?

  • marc

    Manggy, LOL point well taken:-)

    Kevin, makes for a nice donburi.

    Lorraine, it’s so easy to make at home, give it a go sometime:-)

    Thanks Megan, I used thinly sliced endcuts of ribeye (it’s the little bits and pieces they trim off to shape the steak). You could use any well marbled cuts of beef though, just make sure it’s cut thinly against the grain.

  • marc

    Manggy, LOL point well taken:-)

    Kevin, makes for a nice donburi.

    Lorraine, it’s so easy to make at home, give it a go sometime:-)

    Thanks Megan, I used thinly sliced endcuts of ribeye (it’s the little bits and pieces they trim off to shape the steak). You could use any well marbled cuts of beef though, just make sure it’s cut thinly against the grain.

  • http://www.applepiepatispate.com/ Jude

    Love this stuff… Japanese comfort food, light, and simple.

  • http://www.applepiepatispate.com Jude

    Love this stuff… Japanese comfort food, light, and simple.

  • http://pontchfood.blogspot.com/ pontch

    Thank you for this yammy receipt, did it and the kids love it.

  • http://pontchfood.blogspot.com/ pontch

    Thank you for this yammy receipt, did it and the kids love it.

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  • ScarboroughFair

    This is going to be a regular dish at my house. Very easy to put together and i love that it’s all root vegetables because at the end of the week that’s often all my fridge is left with. Wonderful! Thank you:)

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!