Wednesday, November 24, 2010


When Europeans first landed in Japan, they brought beef stew with them. The Japanese thought that it could be pretty good if it weren't so patently disgusting. Thus was nikujaga born- a hearty dish with very little meat content.

Serves 4.

Wash 1/2 pound potatoes. I've also used combinations of sweet potatoes and winter squash- go for a half pound total. Traditionally, the potatoes are peeled, but it's just fine if they aren't. Remember to peel the winter squash. Cut into rough chunks- just a little larger than bite sized. Peel one large carrot and one half onion and cut into slices. Slice 6 oz. beef or pork into very thin strips- tritip is a good cut for this, as is a pork chop. Place the above ingredients into a pot.

Add three tablespoons soy sauce. (There are recipes out there that add six or eight. Gross.) Add either three tablespoons of sake and one tablespoon of sugar or three tablespoons of mirin. Add one cup or broth or water.

Simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes. The uncovered part is important, so that the broth can cook down into a salty sweet broth. Stir frequently so that all of the potatoes are stained golden brown. When the potatoes are so tender that they are beginning to fall apart it is done.

Serve over rice, because we love starch beyond reason.

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