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Niku Jaga (Japanese Beef Stew in the Crock Pot)


  • 2lbs beef stew meat
  • 1cup water
  • 1⁄2cup Japanese sake (dry white wine)
  • 1⁄4cup sugar
  • 1⁄4cup soy sauce
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2lb baby carrots
  • 3medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1white onion, diced


  • Put all into crock pot and cook on low 10-12 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
  • Stir before serving.


  • C Chatwin

    My Japanese “daughter”, Tsukasa, prepared Niku Jaga on occasion when our family hosted her as an exchange student many years ago. I’d almost forgotten until I ran across Diggy’s recipe. Niku means “meat” and jaga means “potatoes” in Japanese. When prepared according to the recipe, Niku Jaga is an authentic staple from the Japanese family table. I think if you take the words Japanese “Stew” too literally, you lose something wonderfully and uniquely Japanese about the quality of the dish. Unlike American stew, Niku Jaga is traditionally brothy in texture, much like that of Gyu Don (translation: “beef bowl”), a similar Japanse dish. Thanks for bringing back a flood of happy memories, Diggy! Btw, Tsukasa quartered her onions; cut her potatoes into halfs, quartering each half; and cut her carrots into halfs lengthwise, then across into thirds; the way her mother taught her. This makes the dish appear just as hearty as it truly is.

  • Iron Chef Ghetto

    I use pork, and very thinly sliced yams, and thin-sliced onions for a variation on this recipe. I also add a slight bit of ginger. It’s absolutely fantastic, and cooks a lot more quickly.

  • Charmie777

    My family thought this was fantastic! I doubled the recipe. I used white wine instead of sake. Was great served over rice. Even better the next day.

  • Sunnybrook

    Very good stew! and so easy to make. I used garlic infused rice wine vinegar instead of Sake. The broth was the best part. I served it without rice the first time with rice the second. Liked it both ways. I didn’t get an expensive cut of beef either. I used the prepackaged beef stew chunks. I also used mini potatoes and left them whole with skins on. I’ll definitely be making this again and again. Thanks!!

  • ViruKat

    Delicious! The meat came out so soft. I was worried that the potatoes would melt away so I made sure to use Yukon Potatoes and I also added some Shitake Mushrooms which absorbed all of the flavor nicely!

  • Evie*

    Tasty casserole, the sweetness of the sugar gave this dish a nice flavour. I didnt use as much water as was stated as it was getting quite ‘liquidy’ (used 1/2 cup water) and one hour prior to finishing I thickened with some cornflour and water mixed together. I used cross cut blade steak. Thanks for a lovely family meal.

  • CraftScout

    Delicious, simply delicious. I was worried about the beef being a little dried out when I saw them, but they were very tender and moist. The broth is very nummy, and a touch sweet. I didn’t add the extra salt, and don’t think it suffered because of that. I took ViruKat’s advice and used yukon gold potatoes, and didn’t peel them. Both my kids wanted the leftovers for lunch, and the lunchbox that went today came home empty! Thank you for sharing!

  • Heaven’s Kitchen

    I had hoped this would be good (and it most definitely was), but it was not at all what I expected! I was a little worried that it was going to turn out too sweet tasting, based on many of the reviews. With the exception of adding in a couple garlic cloves, I made the recipe just as it is written, using the full amount of sugar called for. I didn’t find the stew to be very sweet at all. Some different kinds of sake are sweeter than others, so maybe that accounts for why some people get a sweeter stew than others. This was really delicious, though–and very easy to make!

  • phizzywater

    This is easy to make and quite tasty. I used a grass-fed chuck roast and it came out great. I also added a little bit of Napa cabbage around 2 hours before the end, which was a nice addition.

  • lolablitz

    This was very good. I cut up a fresh round steak and used rice wine vinegar as a substitute for sake and it worked great. I think next time I’ll add a lot of garlic and some bok choy at the end. Thanks for the keeper!