Nikujaga is a Japanese stew of beef and potatoes, great for a cold winter night. When you think ribs, you typically think barbecue. But it takes time, practice, favorable weather and special equipment to make satisfactory barbecue. The tougher cuts that respond well to a long treatment in the smoker will respond equally well to a much simpler braise like this nikujaga.
What you will need
1 Yellow Onion
2 cloves Garlic
2" Fresh Ginger
1 lb Yellow Potatoes
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
2 lb Beef Back Ribs
2 Tbsp Beef Bouillon
1/4 cup Mirin
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
4 cups Water
10 oz. Frozen Rice
1/2 bunch Scallions, optional(Nutritional facts 116 calories, 7.78 g fat, 5.17 g carbohydrates, 6.64 g protein, 21 mg cholesterol, 176 mg sodium)
How to cook
Dice the onion as finely as possible. Remove the stem tip and slice in half through the stem to root axis. Slice finely from the top, perpendicular to the sliced stem face without cutting through the root end. Then slice into the stem face several times with the blade parallel to the board to complete a hatch pattern. Slice again from the top perpendicular to the previous slice to dice finely.
Peel garlic cloves and chop or grate to a fine paste.
Peel ginger with a spoon and grate or chop to a fine paste.
Wash the potatoes and then slice them in half lengthwise. Then, slice perpendicularly to yield half-disks, about 1/4" thick.
Warm up some sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
When the oil begins to near its smoking point add the ribs, with the rounded edge on the bottom, so that they make as much contact with the pan as possible. Give the ribs a few minutes to develop a nice, dark crust.
Flip the ribs on their side to make some room for the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften.
Stir in the crushed ginger.
Stir in the crushed garlic.
Add the bouillon. Continue cooking until the onion is tender and translucent. You may need to reduce the heat slightly.
Stir in the mirin and increase the heat to high. Let the mirin come to a simmer.
Add the soy sauce.
Add the water and wait for it to come up to a simmer. The amount of water does not need to be precise. You just need enough water to keep the ribs submerged.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. As the pot simmers, you may need to replenish the water a little.
Add the potatoes. Add water as needed to submerge the potatoes.
Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and the ribs are tender enough that the meat falls from the bone.
Most frozen rice is easily cooked in the microwave in 3 minutes. Of course, feel free to make your rice from scratch.
Serve with rice, maybe some sliced scallions.