1 large onion
2 medium potatoes
1/2 lb thinly sliced meat (usually beef or pork)
1 pkg shirataki noodles
A couple of snow peas/green beans/green peas for decoration, accenting green color.
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cup (500ml) dashi stock
4 Tbsp. mirin
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sake
1 Tbsp. sugar
1. Make dashi stock.
2. Cut the onion into 10-12 wedges. Peel and cut the carrot lengthwise in half and chop into rolling wedges.
3. Cut the potatoes into 4 wedges and smooth the edge of potatoes. If the pieces have sharp edges then they are likely to break into pieces during the cooking process from bumping into each other. We call this Japanese cutting technique mentori. Soak the potatoes in water to prevent from changing color.
4. Cut the sliced meat in half. Rinse and drain shirataki noodles.
5. Remove string from snow peas and cook them in boiling water for 30 seconds and take them out.
6. Then cook shirataki noodles in the boiling water for 1 minute and cut in half.
7. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat and sauté the onion.
8. When the onion is coated with oil, add the meat and cook until no longer pink.
9. Add the potatoes, carrots, and shirataki noodles.
10. Add dashi stock and Seasonings bring to a boil.
11. Once boiling, turn down the heat to medium and skim off the scum. Make sure all the ingredients are flat and most of ingredients are covered by the soup.
12. Place otoshibuta and simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked. Otoshibuta is necessary to maintain the shape of the vegetables being stewed. Do not mix the ingredients while cooking; Otoshibuta will help the flavor circulate automatically.
13. Turn off the heat and discard the otoshibuta. Let it stand until 30 minutes before serving. The flavors will soak into the ingredients while cooling down. If you don’t have time for this, it’s also okay.
14. When you heat it up again, pour the soup on top of the ingredients with a spoon a couple of times. Check the flavors for the last time. When it’s almost ready, toss in the snow peas to warm them up. When ingredients are heated through it’s ready to serve.
Nikujaga tastes even better the second day so don’t worry if you can’ finish all the food.