This is one of my family’s favourite Japanese meal.  It is quick and simple to prepare and it has a real comfort food factor about it.  I was first taught how to make it by Kaori, a Japanese, English language student we had staying with our family for about a year.  We have since visited Kaori and her family in Japan, where she has introduced us to so many more cultural and cuisine delights.

Japanese Green Tea Set

Mana is helping me in the kitchen tonight so I can check my recipe.  It has been a long time since I had a written recipe for Niku-jaga so I was a little worried I may have Australianized it over the years.

Before we could commence cooking Mana needed to call her mum and check the quantities of various ingredients. She explained that this was a recipe that her grandmother makes, and her grandma was a Japanese chef.  I felt very privileged, and I am confident my recipe is now correct.



1 t/s oil

750gm diced beef (Asian cut is better if you can find it)

3 lg potatoes peeled

2 onions

2 carrots

600ml water

5 T/s sugar

150ml soy sauce

60 ml mirim


Dice the vegetables and onion in to cubes a similar size to the beef.

japanese cooking

In a large heavy based saucepan fry the meat in oil until it changes colour.

Niku jaga

Add the vegetable and the onion to the pot and cook for five minute stirring so it doesn’t stick.

niku jaga-2

Add the water and the sugar to the pot.  Cover and cook for five minutes.


Add the soy sauce and mirim, boil uncovered for ten minutes stirring occasionally.


Cover the pot and boil a further five minutes.

The potato and carrot should be very soft, almost ready to fall apart and some of the liquid should be evaporated.

Serve with bowls of steamed rice.




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  1. Mm, a Japanese stew. It’s easy to think of Japanese as a source of nice fresh meals (sushi etc) and forget about the comfort dishes they have as well.

    Love your crockery!

  2. Nice recipe, and nice story. Would love to see you post more recipes via someones grandmother who was a Japanese chef.


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