is life a recipe

Nikujaga – not Mick Jaggar


My great friend Mitsuyo here in Singapore gave me a steer to have a look at this one.


The word literally means “meat-potato”. Can you guess what the main ingredients are? Go on have a guess…

Joking aside though, it really is wonderful. Sort of a soup – sort of a stew. Plain white rice is a great companion for this, but as you see below I have added noodles. So perhaps the double up on carbs is not necessary, and Dr. Atkins would not be impressed would he.

This will make enough for a whopping bowl for four. You’ll need:

  • 2 steaks cut in to thin strips – I used strip loin
  • 4 potatoes cut in half and then in to quarters – I used scrubbed spuds with skin still on
  • 2 medium red onions again halved and then quartered
  • 4 carrots cleaned and then cut in to bite sized pieces
  • 1 litre of beef stock
  • 1 pack of Udon noodles
  • 3-4 tablespoons of mirin
  • 3-4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


Take a deep soup pot, and add the oil. Bring that to a hot temperature and throw in the sliced steak. You want to keep this moving around as the oil should be real hot and all you’re doing is browning the meat. Once that is browned add the vegetables and the noodles and sauté still on the high heat.

Keep it moving gently, as you don’t want to be breaking up the vegetables. You’ll really start to notice just delicious smells wafting soon, that’s about the right time to add in the stock. Bring this to the boil and then reduce to a medium heat.

Whilst this is simmering add in the soy, sugar and mirin and reduce the heat right down. You really want to keep this going for 30-40 minutes as all the flavours muddle deeply, and the meat cooks so soft.

I would look to reduce the liquid by about one third as a rule of thumb.

If in UK, serve this in bowls in front of the fire.

If in Singapore, turn up the air conditioning, put a jumper on and do the same.

Thank Mitsuyo, this is so so so good.