This is a blog for people to discuss what they are eating. There is a theory that by journaling eating habits, people will eat healthier. I am trying to cook more at home and feed my family a wider variety of foods. People can just read or join as co-authors. Topics don't have to be recipes with nice photos. You can write about eating habits, special diets, culinary cultural differences, etc.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Version of Niku Jaga

My dear friend Bunny shared this recipe with me quite some time ago. It quickly became one of my family's very most favorite things to eat. You may notice that my version does not look quite like the one in the recipe she sent me. This is because we can all agree on the beef and potatoes, but the other items are considered optional for my guys. That's why I give them a plate of things to choose from to add to their bowl:

This time it was chopped re-constituted dried mushrooms, steamed green cabbage, braised celery, braised white onions, green peas (for me!), and cooked somen noodles anointed with a bit of dark sesame oil to keep them from sticking (Thomas wanted the noodles instead of potatoes).

The recipe calls for dashi soup stock, of which I had none. So... what I did was simmer the trimmings from the cabbage, celery, and onions with some shredded seaweed that I had on hand. It made a passable soup stock for this dish. I've seen some recipes that say you can use plain water, but I don't think I'd like that. I've also used plain veggie stock or plain beef stock when making this dish. It works also. Also, most recipes say to just slice the beef thinly and add it to the stock to cook. Since I was using a tougher cut of beef I sliced it thin and precooked it by browning in a bit of canola oil first then proceeding as per the recipe on That's the reason my broth is darker than other versions. I just added the stock to the pan I'd browned the meat in, using those yummy bits on the bottom of the pan. But they just added to the flavor.

To serve I just filled up the bowls with the beef (and potato) and broth and let the guys choose the accompaniments they wanted. I was low on veggies when I made this (just 4 little taters) but the accompaniments are usually varied anyway, depending on what I have. I have served this with snow peas, thinly sliced carrots, plain egg omelets sliced thin, kale or other greens, water chestnuts... whatever I feel like at the time or the guys ask for... use your imagination.

This soup is so easy to make. It's like a beef stew, so works great for winter, but isn't as thick so also works for summertime, too.

P.S. Don't laugh at me Carol, I know the way I make it isn't strictly traditional, but it works for my family and it's still the basic dish. I think so, anyway. :-)


Blogger pamwax said...

Thank you for posting, It looks delicious.

March 28, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Blogger chaki said...

OMG Holly, I almost posted one of MY niku jaga recipe I made possibly on the same day you made yours!!!

I love your hot pot idea of options. Mine was just beef, potatoes and an old carrot I snuck it.

I think of it as teriyaki beef stew and as long as you've got soy sauce and sugar as seasoning, it's niku jaga. Yes, it is a family favorite!

March 29, 2009 at 5:58 AM

Blogger Some Kinda Wonderful said...

hehe, that's funny, Carol. I hope you will still post your recipe. I'd be interested to see it.

March 30, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Blogger Arsenette said...

Having not tasted both I think I would eat both :P Sorry.. totally missed this post.. then again.. Looking at the date.. I was probably buried in Sasuke stuff.. LOL

April 27, 2009 at 2:06 AM


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