Japanese Short Rib Stew

Japanese Short Rib Stew

Maya Noguchi


  • 1 Teaspoon  sesame oil
  • 3/4 Pounds  boneless short rib steak, cut into 2-by-2 inch cubes
  • medium-large onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 Pounds  daikon, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch cubes
  • potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch cubes, and soaked in water briefly
  • 2 Teaspoons  bonito (dashi) powder, dissolved in 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 4 Tablespoons  sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2/3 Cups  white cooking wine or cooking sake
  • 4 Tablespoons  soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • scallions, white and green parts chopped finely, for garnish

This short rib stew is inspired by a traditional Japanese comfort food dish, nikujaga, a stew made with either pork or beef and potatoes. I added a few more vegetables here to make it a more well-rounded dish.

See all stew recipes.

Click here to see Heavenly Short Rib Recipes.


Heat a deep sauté pan (at least 2 ½ inches tall) over medium heat, then add the sesame oil. Sauté the short ribs until slightly browned. Set aside. 

Drain the potatoes. Using the same pan, sauté the onion, carrot, daikon, and drained potatoes. When the vegetables become slightly brown, add the short ribs back to the pan. Add the dashi soup, sugar, and cooking wine and bring to a boil, about 3 minutes.

Drain off the excess cooking liquid, then add the soy sauce. Season with additional sugar and soy sauce, to taste. Place a lid on the top of the pan and simmer for 25-30 minutes over medium heat without stirring. Serve the stew in a bowl and garnish with the scallions. 


Note: Make sure to trim the sharp edges off all the vegetables to make sure they don't fall apart when cooking.

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