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Goin’ Japanesque!

Nikujaga & Oyakodon: Super Easy Japanese Recipes Everyone Can Cook

Today I would like to introduce recipes for Nikujaga and Oyakodon, representative Japanese dishes. They can be prepared with easily obtainable ingredients and basic condiments that every Japanese household keeps.

As a matter of fact I’ve often received questions about these recipes from foreigners, and that’s the reason I selected them.

Before jumping into the topic, I would like to recap basic Japanese condiments first for those who are wondering what they are.

 

8 Kinds of Japanese Condiments

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Photo by cookpad

Let’s start with basic sa-shi-su-se-so, which happens to be the S line of hiragana chart. This group consists of 5 kinds of condiments; sugar, salt, vinegar, soy sauce and miso bean paste (sato, shio, su, shoyu*, miso in Japanese words respectively).

*shoyu soy sauce: In old days shoyu was written as “seuyu” in Japanese characteres, so it was classified under “se”.

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Writer’s Photo: I always have them at home where I live alone.

Three other basic condiments are sake, mirin, and dashi soup stock powder.

As long as you have these 8 kinds, you can prepare most of Japanese dishes!

If you are to obtain them outside of Japan, you can purchase all of them in Asian food stores or large supermarkets.

Related Articles:
Learn About Soy Sauce: How Much Do You Know About Shoyu?
Try Eating Miso: The Japanese Super Food

 

How to Prepare Nikujaga

Ingredients:
3 potatoes
1/2 carrot
1 onion
150 g meat (pork or beef)
100 g shirataki, if available
Serves 2

Condiments:
1/2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. mirin
300 ml dashi soup stock, prepared by mixing roughly 1/2 tsp. of dashi powder into 300 ml of water

Related Articles:
Shirataki: Worldly Popular Super Diet Food from Japan

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Writer’s Photo

Potato, meat, shirataki should be cut bite-sized and for cutting a carrot and onion, please use rangiri* and kushigiri* technique.

*Cutting Techniques in Japanese Cooking
You can use this article for reference. Just One Cookbook

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Writer’s Photo

Heat a frying pan and add cooking oil, and stir-fry potato and meat first. When they are cooked, add shirataki, onion, carrot and cook well.

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Writer’s Photo

Pour in the dashi soup stock and heat until it boils, and skim off the scum*.

This removal is an important step in preparing Japanese dishes.

*How to Remove the Scum
What is called scum is grey-colored foam that may be hardened gravy from the meat. You can remove it as shown here. Video

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Writer’s Photo

Mix in the rest of the condiments and continue heating. Once the soup boils again, reduce heat to low and keep cooking for 15 minutes, while covering the food with otoshibuta*.

*Otoshibuta: A lid to drop in the pan/pot over the ingredients. If you don’t have one, you can cut paper cooking sheet into a round shape and drop it in the pan.

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Writer’s Photo

Voila!

 

How to Prepare Oyakodon

Ingredients:
1 serving of cooked rice
1 egg
1/4 onion
100 g chicken breast
Small amount of mitsuba stone parsley, if available
Serves 1

Condiment Mix:
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mirin
150 ml dashi soup stock (please refer to the explanation for nikujaga above.)

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Writer’s Photo

Cut meat into 2cm cubes and slice onion thinly.

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Writer’s Photo

Boil the condiment mix in a frying pan, preferably a small one.

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Writer’s Photo

Add onion and chicken to the pan and boil until they are cooked.

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Writer’s Photo

Add beaten egg evenly into the pan, and continue boiling until the egg becomes soft-boiled.

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Writer’s Photo

Put the cooked rice in a bowl.

Long grained rice such as jasmine rice is somewhat dry for this dish and if you can prepare Japanese rice, it would be the best.

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Writer’s Photo

Add the cooked ingredients atop the rice, spread cut mitsuba, and it is finished!

 

Hey you! If you are eager to try Japanese cooking, may I suggest mastering these two simple dishes as a starter?

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Rikako

About the author

I major in Tourism Studies, and am a university student who loves Japan!

View all articles by Rikako
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