Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Liam's Recipes

Nikujaga (肉じゃが)




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½ lb beef, thinly sliced (ideally chuck roast or another tough cut)

3 potatoes, cut into chunks (yukon gold or russet)

1 onion, cut into wedges

1 carrot, cut into chunks

1 package shirataki noodles (200g / 7 oz, yam noodles)

Handful of snow peas or green beans / peas

2 cups dashi (can buy premade or make your own)

4 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sake

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp neutral oil


Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, blanch the snow peas for 1 minute and then set them aside. Cut the shirataki noodles in half and blanch them for 1 minute as well. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, add in 1 tbsp of neutral oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion wedges until they are coated with oil, then add the thinly sliced beef. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.

Add the potatoes, carrots, and shirataki noodles one at a time, stirring to incorporate everything one by one. Add the dashi, making sure there’s enough liquid to almost cover the ingredients. Add water to reach this height if needed. Cover with a lid and continue to cook.

Once the stew is boiling, skim the scum and foam from the top with a strainer or spoon and discard. Add the sugar, sake, soy sauce, and mirin. Mix it all together and place the lid back on. Simmer on low heat for 12-14 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Allow the pot to cool down over 20-30 minutes to allow the broth to soak into the veggies.

Add the snow peas just prior to serving. Scoop the solids into serving platters, then pour over as much broth as you’d like.


An iconic home-cooked stew in Japan consisting of a dashi broth with potatoes, onion, carrots, beef, and shirataki noodles. This dish was originally created for the Japanese navy in the late 1800’s, based on British beef stew, though it didn’t become popular in Japanese households until the 1970’s. This stew is very familiar to a western pallet, but has a noticeable light Japanese flavor from the dashi broth, a perfect dish to begin your journey into Japanese cuisine.




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