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
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”.
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.
How to Prepare Nikujaga
150 g meat (pork or beef)
100 g shirataki, if available
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
Shirataki: Worldly Popular Super Diet Food from Japan
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
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.
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
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.
How to Prepare Oyakodon
1 serving of cooked rice
100 g chicken breast
Small amount of mitsuba stone parsley, if available
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mirin
150 ml dashi soup stock (please refer to the explanation for nikujaga above.)
Cut meat into 2cm cubes and slice onion thinly.
Boil the condiment mix in a frying pan, preferably a small one.
Add onion and chicken to the pan and boil until they are cooked.
Add beaten egg evenly into the pan, and continue boiling until the egg becomes soft-boiled.
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.
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?