Kindergarten bento – niku jaga (16/May/16)

Menu: “niku jaga” stewed potato & meat, shirasu (baby sardine) mixed with rice, omelet, cherry tomato & green bean salad

Grapes for dessert

Niku (meat) jaga (short for jagaimo, which is potato in Japanese). We eat this as side dish along with rice. Yes, most of the time we consider potatoes as vegetable. 
Niku jaga recipe:


– Potatoes (15 small ones / 3 – 4 large ones), cut into bite size pieces

– 1 medium size carrot, cut into bite size pieces

– 1/2 medium sized onion, thinly sliced

– 150g of meat (I like either chicken thigh or pork slices), again cut into bite size pieces

– 1 tbsp vegetable oil 

– 1 tbsp sake (or white wine)

dashi broth, 100 – 150ml or so

– 2 – 3 tbsp of soy sauce

– 1 tbsp of sugar (I like using beet sugar / 甜菜糖)

– 1 tbsp of mirin (or honey, but 1/2 tbsp)


1. In a medium sized pan, pour in oil and stir-fry onion until golden

2. Add carrots and stir fry further

3. Add meat and stir fry until meat turns brown

4. Add sake, stir fry until sake evaporates (this is to give flavour as well as to get rid of the fleshy smell of the meat)

5. Add potato, stir fry quickly (just so the potatoes get mixed with other ingredients)

6. Add broth to barely cover the vegetables (in Japanese, we say “hita hita“). It’s better if the top of the veggies are poking out of the broth

7. Put the lid on (I usually use aluminum foil cut out the same size as the diameter of the pan and directly and gently place it on top of the ingredients – this is called “otoshi-buta“, fallen lid.

8. Bring it to boil, and once boiled lower the heat to low, simmer it until all the ingredients are soft (try by sticking a tooth pick in one of the carrots or potatoes)

9. Once soft, add soy sauce, sugar add mirin. 

10. Bring it to gentle boil, and turn off the heat. Leave it for 10 min or so, so that the sauce is absorbed into the ingredients


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