Friday, June 4, 2010

Mick Jagger

Today I want to show you one of the most popular Japanese foods amongst Japanese people. It is called Nikujyaga.

When I made this for my dear friend Yvonne and her family she asked me what it was called and I told her it was called nikujyaga. She thought I said “Mick Jagger”. Well whatever is easier to remember, right? I am sure now you will not forget the name of this dish and if you forget, you can ask your Japanese friend, “what is the dish called sounds like Mick Jagger?” They will probably know you are talking about nikujyaga .

I love this dish because it is like a comfort food to me (I am sure to most Japanese people as well) and also recently I discovered how to make two other dishes by using this dish’s leftovers.

On Monday I prepared nikujyaga for dinner. I made a lot since I knew I would use the leftovers to make two other dishes.

Leftovers + Japanese curry cubes = Easy and quick Japanese curry rice for lunch.

For Tuesday’s lunch, I scooped out some nikujyaga and added Japanese curry paste cubes to make curry for lunch (see photo above). For my daughter and me, I needed 1 – 2 cubes. I added some water and more frozen peas. If you have broccoli (or whatever else you may want to add), you could microwave them and add it to the curry too. Unfortunately I did not have much time so I did not add any other vegetables, it already has veggies so I wasn't concerned.

And voila, a Japanese curry lunch for my daughter and I.

For Tuesday’s dinner, I made croquettes with the leftover nikujyaga. I drained all the liquid from the leftovers and ever so lightly mashed the potatos and carrots. I made a round ball and then dusted them with flour, dipped them in whipped eggs, covered them in Panko (Japanese bread crumbs), and deep fried them until brown. If your leftovers are too moist and soft even after you have drained all the liquid you can steam or microwave the potatoes and add them back to the mixture and hopefully thicken it up.

I ate them with Japanese vegetable and fruit sauce, semi sweet (you can get this at an Asian grocery store) but you can eat them as is or you can enjoy them with soy sauce too.

Leftover + Flour + Egg + Panko + Deep frying oil = Croquette

My advice for you is to make nikujyaga the night before you want to eat it. The next day is best for this dish. If you did not make this dish the night before you can make it earlier in the day and let it completely cool after it is cooked. Then reheat when you are ready to eat. The flavors are absorbed when it cools and it tastes much better.

Even though I made the dish on Monday I prefer to make it on Sunday when I have more time to cook and let it cool. I am usually tired on Monday so it is nice to have dinner already made on Sunday and I can even stretch it out through Tuesday’s lunch and dinner. Hopefully this nikujyaga recipe will help you to have a little bit more relaxing start to your week.


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced beef (a.k.a. beef for Sukiyaki from an Asian grocery store)
  • 4 large onions
  • 6 large golden potatos
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 cup of frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cups and 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs of mirin
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 tbs sake
  • 6-7 cups of water (prefarbly Japanese Dashi stock but if you cannot get it or make it easily, plain water is fine)

How to make:

  1. Slice onions, cut carrots 1 inch in thickness, quarter potatos or if they are too big, cut in 1/8. Cut thinly sliced meat.
  2. Heat 1 - 2 tbs of vegetable oil in a deep pot and add the meat. When the meat is cooked half way add 2 tbs sugar and 1 tbs soy sauce and continue cooking. When the meat is cooked, take it out from the pot and set it aside.
  3. Heat 2 -3 tbs of vegetable oils in a same pot (you don't need to wash the pot in between #2 and #3) and stir in onions first and cook for 3 minutes or so.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes or so.
  5. Add back the meat in the pot, add 6 - 7 cups of water (or dashi), 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tbs mirin, 3 tbs sake, 1/2 cup of soy sauce.
  6. Cook them uncovered at medium heat until potatos are cooked all the way through.
  7. When you are ready to serve, add the frozen green peas and cook for 3 additional minutes. Serve.

P.S. The curry I made from nikujyaga became leftovers too so I added udon broth (or dashi and soysauce) to the left over curry and then udon noodles to make curry udon for lunch. The nikujyaga leftover options are limited only by your imagination!


  1. Yum! This looks SO GOOD, Ai! And easy, too! I'll have to try making it once I'm back home again.

    Where do you find those curry cubes? What a great idea!

  2. Hi Martina,

    Thank you for your comment. :)Yes, please try this because it will helps me to not worried about what to make for 2 days.

    You can buy these curry cubes at Uwajimaya, but I think QFC has some curry cubes too (but different brand). If you have a hard time finding it, let me know.

  3. I want to eat at your house on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

  4. Hi Teresa,

    Thank you for your comment. ;) When my weekends are free, what we eat at home on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are good but when my weekends are busy, we ate whatever we have at home and not so good. You know you are always welcomes here on these days, just let me know on Sunday. ;)

  5. I'll definitely be making this one! It was absolutely delicious and I just kept going and going like the Energizer bunny......... I feel so happy to be included in the blog!

  6. This looks so good! I'm voting you make it for our next get together! :)

  7. Hi Yvonne,

    Thank you Yvonne. Since you are such a dear friend to me, I know this post will not be the last one with your name in it. :D

  8. Hi Georgia,

    Thank you DJ! This is comfort food so I don't know if this will be fancy enough for our FUN get together. I can definately make this for you though. :D

  9. Hi Ai!

    Its Lotte, from photography class!

    Your blog site is LOVELY, and your photos are fabulous! You truly have a gifted eye for capturing salivating food images, and a wonderful sense of composition. I am going to have to give the above recipe for Nikuyaga a try sometime soon. I look forward to following you here! See you next week.


  10. Hi Lotte,

    Thank you so much for your comment, Lotte. It is good to hear from you. I think you have much better eyes for composition and I always love your photos and looking forward to seeing your photo assingment at the class. We should get together to take photos sometimes. I like everyone in the class so we can maybe form a meet up group and get together once a month to talk about photos and camera. :) See you next week!
    P.S. I took 4 of your cupcakes and my husband ate all of them. We love it so much!

  11. I came across your blog by checking quilting/sewing blogs and stumbled onto yours and I am so glad.

    I enjoy the Japanese food recipes as I go back and forth from Honolulu/Redmond/Osaka quite often for business.

    Maybe you can show everyone okonomiyaki!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Douglas Eagleson
    Kona Bay Fabrics

  12. Hi Kona Bay Fabrrics Blog,

    Thank you for your very nice comment. I am glad that you found my blog too! :) I have been living ni the U.S. since I was 19 so I don't know how much my Japanese is authentic, but I love to introduce Japanese home cooking.

    I love Okonomiyaki! I love to introduce that someday. I was born in Matsuyama, Ehime, and Okonomiyaki in that area has Udon noodle instead of Yakisoba noodle. I can talk about that maybe when I introduce Okonomiyaki.

    Thanks again. ;)