"Niku" means meat and "jaga" means potato (the right word is "jagaimo"). It's not so well known as sushi or teriyaki chicken or tempura here in the states. But nikujaga is a very popular dish in Japan. We make it at home like 2 or 3 times a month with thinly sliced beef (have you heard of "shabu shabu"? mmm yum yum). So I wanted to make it here. But it's hard to find thinly sliced beef except for thinly sliced ham or turkey ham or BACON! So I thought why not use bacon instead. And it was delicious!
Then I noticed something... My guests were not only enjoying eating the potatoes and bacon but also drinking the liquid like soup! We don't drink the liquid part. It's more like sauce. But, hey why not? It's yummy! So here I am posting Nikujaga soup!
Step 1: Ingredients
The whole process probably takes 1 hour and a half.
- 4 Russet Potatoes or Yukon Gold or Golden Potatoes (1 potato per person), cut into a big bite size
- 4 Carrots (1 carrots per person - add more if you like but this is bacon POTATO soup so...), cut into a bite size
- 1 big yellow onion (if you don't like onions, add more sugar because onion adds natural sweetness to this dish) Cut into 12 to 16 pieces. Watch YouTube Video how to cut the onion.
- 4 thick slices of bacon (I used Trader Joe's trims and ends - it has thick pieces usually) cut into 3/4" to 1" pieces
- 1 TB Safflower oil or sunflower oil or organic canola (any vegetable oil)
- 1 TS sea salt
- 4 or 5 cups dashi (Japanese fish/kelp stock - recipe follows) or 4 or 5 cups water and 1 package of powdered 'katsuo (bonito)' dashi (see a photo)
- 1/4 cup sake or white wine
- 2 TB Evaporated Cane sugar (I mean, sugar)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup frozen green peas or edamame (sort of garnish)