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Nikujaga (Meat and Potatoes)

With beef and potatoes simmered in a sweet soy stock until meltingly tender, Nikujaga (肉じゃが), or "meat potatoes" is Japanese comfort food at its best.
Course Entree
Cuisine Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Beef, Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 225 grams beef (sliced thin shortribs work great)
  • 1 medium onion (thick slices)
  • 4 small yukon gold potatoes (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 small carrot (cut into large pieces)
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms (stems removed and quartered)
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 2 cups dashi (low sodium beef stock also works)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 140 grams shirataki noodles (drained and rinsed)
  • 85 grams green beans (trimmed)


  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, then stir-fry the beef until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl, with tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the oil in the pot as possible.
  2. Add the onions and fry until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms and continue stir-frying for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the sake and bring to a boil until you stop smelling alcohol (1-2 minutes). Add the dashi, sugar, salt, soy sauce, and shirataki, and then return the beef to the pot. Simmer, partially covered for 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the carrots and potatoes are very soft.
  4. Add the green beans and cook uncovered until they are cooked through. Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to develop.