Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nikujaga

Nikujaga is usually a less-soupy beef and potatoes (though mostly potatoes) stew that's claimed to be one of Japan's comfort foods. I think I understand. It's yummy and especially so when eaten in the colder season.

People have different ways of making nikujaga, and I've arrived at this rather simple recipe after gathering my sources from various websites.



Here's the recipe for Nikujaga.

Ingredients:
- Sukiyaki beef, and by that I mean very thinly sliced fatty beef, 1 small-medium package.
- Cooking potatoes, the kind that doesn't turn into mush in stews, 5-6 medium, or 3-4 large, chop into larger chunks
- Carrots, 2-3 large, cut into 1/2inch-thick medallions
- Peas or snap peas, 1 cup, halved
- Onions, 2 medium or 1 large, cut into larger chunks
- Optional: negi (leeks), 1 stalk, thinly sliced

I made my nikujaga without any onions but I added a bunch of sliced leeks.

Seasonings:
- Water, 2 cups
- Shiro (white) dashi, 1/2 - 2/3 cup
- Usukuchi, light-colored soy sauce, 1/5 - 1/4 cup, to taste
- Sake, any brand, 1/4 cup
- Cane sugar, 5-6 teaspoons, to taste
- Dashi powder, 2 teaspoons

Steps:
- Combine water, shiro dashi, usukuchi, sake, cane sugar, and dashi powder and bring to boil
- Add carrots, bring to boil again
- Add potatoes, cook on medium-low heat until broth is low
- In a separate pot, boil some water and dunk the beef to cook off some fat
- Add the beef to stew, make sure it's submerged in the remaining broth
- Add peas or snap peas, cook until tender
- Sprinkle sliced negi over, baste with some broth
- Serve with rice

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