Japanese Meat and Potato Stew or Nikujaga (肉じゃが)

March 28, 2022Mrs. Lin's Kitchen
Japanese Meat & Potato Stew

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Traditional Japanese Home Cooking – Japanese Mom’s Flavor

Japanese meat and potato stew, also known as Nikujaga, is a common homemade dish. Niku means meat in Japanese and Jaga is short form of Jagaimo or potato in Japanese. Since it’s a homemade dish, it’s widely known as mom’s flavor (おふくろの味 or ohukurono ají) in Japan. This dish is made of majority of chunks of potatoes with sliced meat which gives the dish the flavor. This dish is a popular yoshoku or Japanese cuisine with western influence in the 18th century and meat along with potato and various ingredients are cooked in broth made of sweeten soy sauce. Sliced beef is most commonly used in western Japan and sliced pork is found in eastern Japan. In this recipe, I use store bought sliced beef but feel free to choose your favorite cut of beef and cut it thinly. The thinner the better.

Snap peas, green beans or peas are commonly used in this dish. To maintain the bright green color of the green veggies, you will want to add this ingredient last.


  • 2 medium size potatoes (russet or gold)
  • 1 medium size yellow onion
  • 1 medium size carrot
  • 8 to 9 oz of shirataki (konjac yam noodles)
  • 1/2 lb of sliced beef/pork
  • 1 cup of green bean/snap pea/green bean
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten free soy sauce for gluten allergy)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoon sake
  • 2 cups water/dashi

Shirataki means white waterfall in Japanese and is an unique Japanese ingredient used in this recipe. Shirataki is noodles made of 97% of water and 3% konjac yam flour. It has zero calorie with low digestive carbohydrates and almost no flavor. Konjac noodles have become quite popular in the US in recent years and you can find them in vegan section in the grocery store. Shirataki is normally packaged in liquid and has shelf life up to a year. Shirataki comes in two different styles: Plain noodles and noodles in knots. You can use either one for this recipe.

Here is my homemade dashi video

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Japanese Meat and Potato Stew

Learn how to make Japanese meat and potato stew at home with easy to find ingredients


  • 2 medium size potato
  • 1 medium size yellow onion
  • 1 medium size carrot
  • 8-9 oz shirataki (konjac noodles), This ingredient is optional if you cannot find it
  • 1/2 lb sliced beef/pork
  • 1 cup green beans/snap peas/green peas
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce, use gluten free soy sauce for gluten allergy
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoon sake
  • 2 cup water/dashi


  • 1)

    Peel potato skin and cut it into about 1-1/2 inch cube, soak cut up potatoes in water to prevent browning.

  • 2)

    Peel carrot and cut into smaller pieces. I rotate carrot as I cut so there’s more surface exposed. It helps when absorbing flavor of the marinade.

  • 3)

    Cut onion into eight equal portions.

  • 4)

    I bought the pre sliced beef. You can cut your own meat. Buy the best cut of beef and thinly slice it. The thinner the better.

  • 5)

    String the green bean if you use this green veggie then cut to about 1-1/2 inch long.

  • 6)

    Boil shirataki in boiling water for about 3 minutes to get rid of konjac smell.

  • 7)

    Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the pan. Add sliced beef and stir fry on high heat until half cooked. Add onion and stir until there’s fragrant. Add potato and carrot then mix. Add sugar, soy sauce, mirin and sake and mix together. Add shiratake and mix well.

  • 8)

    Lower heat to medium high and cook for about 3 minutes with lid on. After 3 minutes open the lid and scoop out the scum or foam.

  • 9)

    Cover lid and cook for another 15 minutes on medium heat. When 15 minutes is up, open lid and add green bean on top, cover lid and cook for another 2 minutes.

  • 10)

    Open the lid, stir and serve. The flavor of nikujaga is best after sitting for 30 minutes or overnight because the flavor will be fully absorbed by the ingredients.

  • 11)


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