Nikujaga

Nikujaga
Staff Writer
Nikujaga
Kenji Miura
Nikujaga

This is one of those plain country dishes that really needs to be made with the best ingredients you can find. The key to keeping the freshness alive is not to overcook the meat — or potatoes, for that matter. You will be surprised at how the flavors click together to make a quick supper that is light yet warming.

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6
Servings
298
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

*Note: Konbu is a type of dried kelp that comes in long packages; buy good-looking, thick, folded sheets.

**Note: Shichimi togarashi is used on nabe (1-pot dishes) or hearty soups. It is readily available at Asian markets. Buy one that is roughly ground and has visible colors (not pulverized into a homogenous powder). Store in the refrigerator and replace every few months.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 small onions, peeled (about 1 pound total)
  • 6  Cups  water
  • One 5-by-3-inch piece dried konbu*
  • One 2-inch square piece ginger, peeled and sliced crosswise into paper-thin pieces
  • 10-12 medium-sized, creamy-style potatoes (about 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch chunks
  • dried red peppers, such as japones or árbol
  • Two 9-ounce packages ito konnyaku or shirataki noodles, drained
  • 1/2  Pound  thinly sliced pork belly, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
  • 3/4  Cups  sake
  • 2/3  Cups  soy sauce
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • Shichimi togarashi (7-spice powder) (optional)**

Directions

Cut the ends off the onions, then again in half vertically. Set the onions, cut side down, on the chopping board, and slice crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Pour the water into a medium-sized heavy pot or casserole and slip in the onions, konbu, ginger, and potatoes. Break the dried red peppers in half and drop in the pot with the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a rolling simmer, and cook until the potatoes are almost done.

In the meantime, snip the rubber band off the ito konnyaku and cut the ball of noodles in half. Drop in a small pot of boiling water and parboil for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander before sliding the noodles in with the simmering potatoes.

Stir the meat into the pot when the potatoes are starting to soften but the centers still have resistance when poked with a thin bamboo skewer. Cook until the meat has almost lost its pink before swirling in the sake and soy sauce. Continue simmering until the potato centers are soft.

Serve in small individual bowls with a bowl of rice on the side. Season with 7-spice powder, if using.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
13g
19%
Sugar
1g
1%
Saturated Fat
5g
21%
Cholesterol
27mg
9%
Carbohydrate, by difference
26g
20%
Protein
13g
28%
Vitamin A, RAE
260µg
37%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
1µg
1%
Calcium, Ca
173mg
17%
Choline, total
39mg
9%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Folate, total
94µg
24%
Iron, Fe
13mg
72%
Magnesium, Mg
76mg
24%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
8mg
57%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
243mg
35%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
15µg
27%
Sodium, Na
1351mg
90%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
225g
8%
Zinc, Zn
3mg
38%