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Japanese Pork & Potato Stew AKA Nikujaga

Prep Time:

15 Minutes

Cook Time:

25 Minutes


2 Servings



About the Recipe

Why so? Nikujaga literally means, "meat and potatoes." - for a dish title, you can't get more prosaic than that, can you? Nikujaga is another example of Japanese food assimilation -this time from the British Royal Navy. At the end of the nineteenth century, the ties between Britain and Japan were very close. The Japanese Imperial Navy, as well as buying vessels from the UK, chose to mimic some of the foods the Royal Navy served to its officers and men, including a pork and potato stew - and so nikujaga was born. I can't say whether nikujaga is still served in the Japanese Navy but I do know that it is still a regular dish in most Japanese homes - it's that kind of dish, homely, nourishing and comforting.


1 medium onion

1 medium carrot

300g / 10oz large baby potatoes or potato

250g / 9oz pork shoulder steaks

250ml / 9floz water

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp mirin

10 sugar snaps  

2 tbsp mirin



Peel the onion and cut off the top and bottom. Halve, then cut each half in half again, then cut each quarter into 3 segments

Peel the carrot and cut off the top & tail, then cut into small bite size pieces diagonally (this will allow the carrot cook more quickly and absorb more flavour.)

Peel the baby potatoes and cut into bite size pieces. (If you use mature potatoes, they will soften more quickly than baby potatoes, so cut theslightly bigger than bite size. so the potato pieces keep their shape.)

Slice the pork into thin strips. (If you're using frozen pork, don't defrost it completely as it will be easier to slice if it is still part frozen.)

Combine the water, sugar, soy sauce & mirin in a large saucepan. Bring the pan to boiling point, then add the vegetables & pork.

Bring the pan back to the boil, turn down the medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. If any starch comes out of the potatoes skim it off

When the 10 minutes is up, remove the saucepan lid and cook for a further 10 minutes

Lastly, add the sugar snaps and cook for 1 min with the lid off

Serve with a bowl of rice

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