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Fae’s Twist & Tango kindly nominated my blog for the Awesome Blog Content Award back in June, for which I am truly honoured.  Being given an award from someone whose blog I greatly admire is truly awesome!  If you have yet to check out her blog, I urge you to do so.  She is a wonderful storyteller, constantly enlightening me with the history, legends and her personal stories about the foods she presents to us.

Such as this beautiful and delicious Japanese dish which I made.  Niku’jaga.  A meat and potato-type stew.  Mine may not have looked as beautiful as Fae’s with her carrots cut into the shape of flowers, but I’m pretty sure it was just as yummy!

Niku’jaga / Meat Potato

½ lb.  (230 g) of thinly sliced beef, such as Rib Eye (I used Sirloin)
1½ lb. (750 g) of boiling potatoes 
1 large onion
1 medium-large carrot
12 snow peas, strings pulled off if needed (I used a little more)
1 package of yam noodles (shirataki), 7 oz/200 g
3 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1 ½ cups of hot water

2 2/3 Tbsp of sugar
6 Tbsp of low-sodium soy sauce (I used regular tamari and it was perfect)
4 Tbsp of mirin


Peel and cut the potatoes into bite size pieces.  Cut the onion in half and then into 1/2-inch slices.  Peel and cut the carrot into 1/4-inch thick slices.  You can also use a flower cutting mold with the carrot to make it look pretty, as seen in Fae’s photo here.

I was not able to find thinly sliced Rib Eye beef at the grocer’s, therefore I got some Sirloin and sliced it as thinly as I could.  Proceed to cut the beef slices into 3-inch length pieces.


In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt and add snow peas, cooking for one minute.  Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.  In the same saucepan, repeat the exact same process with the carrots.

Remove the yam noodles (shirataki) from its package and drain.  Give them a good rinse with cold water.  In same sauce pan as above, add fresh water and boil the noodles for 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse, allowing to drain in the colander.  Use kitchen scissors to cut into the shirataki, making noodles shorter and thus easier to eat.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and mirin.

In a medium non-stick pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and sauté the onions over medium heat until lightly browned.  Remove them and transfer to a plate. Always using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and sauté the potatoes on medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes.  Transfer to plate.


Add the last 1 Tbsp of oil to the same pan and on medium heat, sauté the meat until it starts turning brown.  Add sugar and stir well.


To the meat, add half of the sautéed onion, all of the sautéed potatoes, the shirataki noodles and hot water, a 1/2 cup at a time, just enough to cover the ingredients half way (you may not need to use all 1 1/2 cups of water).  Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium-low.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.


Add soy-sauce and mirin mixture and continue to simmer until the potatoes are cooked (when poked with a fork, it should go through smoothly).

While still simmering, add the snow peas, carrots and the remaining sautéed onions.  Stir gently, simmer for one more minute and turn off the heat.  Keep a lid on the pan until ready to serve.


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