Finished nikujaga


This recipe uses chicken stock instead of dashi, and tamari instead of soy sauce. Soy and dashi are more authentic, but chicken stock is easier to find and tamari is gluten-free.

  • 4 small potatoes
  • 1lb of thin sliced beef strips
    (I was able to find a package of pre-cut beef that was cost effective.  I've previously asked the butcher to slice a well priced cut thinly for this as well.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 TBSP sugar
    (If you would like the sauce to be less sweet you could reduce to 3 TBSP instead.)
  • 4 TBSP moscato wine
  • 3 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 3 TBSP tamari
  • Vegetable oil
  • A little grated ginger
Nikujaga cooking on the stove


  • Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil until it's very hot.  While you wait, slice the onion and chop the potatoes.  A lot of people prefer to skin the potatoes, but I like to leave the skin on unless I chose a variety with a thick skin to prepare this dish.
  • Once the skillet is properly heated you may add the onions and allow them to caramelize before adding the grated ginger, potatoes and beef.  Stir everything occasionally while the beef browns.
  • The next step is to deglaze the pan with the chicken stock.  Deglaze means to add liquid to a pan where food has browned.  The residue of the food will lift from the pan and create more flavor in the stock.
  • Add the sugar, vinegar, tamari, and wine to the stock.  Stir until all the ingredients mix together.
  • Turn the stove down to medium, and cover with a lid that is slightly smaller than the pan.  The lid should sit directly on top of the food, but also cover it.  This is called the dropped lid technique and it keeps the temperature evenly hot so the sauce will thicken  and develop flavor in a shorter amount of time.  
  • Let everything simmer for about an hour, or until the liquid reduces into a somewhat thicker sauce. 
Dropped lid example

The potatoes take on the hue of the broth and are very soft.  I like to serve this with white rice and several spoonfuls of the sauce.  It has a wonderful aroma and when I cook this  for other people I never seem to end up with any leftovers!  Try this dish and let me know if you enjoy it.