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Recipe: Nikujaga (braised sukiyaki-style beef with potatoes and onions)

Nikujaga (braised sukiyaki-style beef with potatoes and onions)

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 2 to 3

Note: Nikujaga is a Japanese beef stew that tastes even better the second day, reheated. You can use ichibandashi or the thinner nibandashi for this. Thin slices of pork can be substituted for beef. Thinly sliced sukiyaki-style beef can be found at Japanese markets.

1 pound baking potatoes, preferably smaller

1 small onion

3/4 pound thinly sliced sukiyaki-style beef

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

About 3 cups of dashi (enough to cover the ingredients in the pan)

2 tablespoons sake

1/4 cup mirin

1 tablespoon sugar

4 to 5 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl of water to keep them from browning. Drain before cooking.¿

2. Peel and slice the onion in half lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into one-half-inch strips.

3. Slice the meat into bite-sized pieces.

4. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat until hot, then add the onions and sauté until they are slightly limp but not browned. Add the meat and sauté just until colored. Add the potatoes and cook just until lightly colored, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Add just enough dashi to submerge the ingredients and increase the heat to high. Stir in the sake, mirin, sugar and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. When the dashi comes to a boil, skim the surface with a slotted spoon to remove the foam, then reduce the heat and gently cook for several minutes until the meat and vegetables are mostly tender. Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste, and continue to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

6. Ladle the meat and vegetables into a bowl, pouring the liquid over. Serve immediately.

Each of 3 servings: 465 calories; 28 grams protein; 41 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 17 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 74 mg cholesterol; 13 grams sugar; 1,420 mg sodium.

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