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Japanese Chicken and Potato Stew

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Japanese Chicken and Potato Stew

Japanese Chicken and Potato Stew

Jessica Braider
My friend Jeanne Rossomme is a wonderful cook who favors Japanese, Mexican, and Cajun cuisine. She shared this recipe for a traditional Japanese comfort food called nikujaga, which literally means meat and potatoes. It has a sweet and simple flavor that will appeal to everyone, but especially picky eaters.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (or use any variety) (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger peeled and finely diced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips, or use thinly sliced beef
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 2 lbs. white or russet potatoes chopped (if you are using thicker skinned baking potatoes, peel if desired)


  • In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Set it aside.
  • Heat a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the onions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until it is fragrant and the onions are softening.
  • Add the chicken and cook it until it is no longer pink on the outsides, 3 – 5 minutes, then add the carrots and potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Add the mirin mixture and ½ cup of water, bring it to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer it for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are fork tender. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Omit the oil. Combine the mirin, soy sauce, sugar, and ½ cup of water in the slow cooker, then add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or high for 4 - 5 hours. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Prepare the mirin mixture, chop the onion, peel the garlic, peel and dice the ginger, cut the chicken and refrigerate, slice the carrots, peel (if desired) and chop the potatoes and store submerged in water for up to 24 hours to prevent browning, or fully prepare and refrigerate the stew.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes with the onions and garlic, and garnish with thinly sliced scallions or chives before serving.
Tip: Fresh ginger that is tightly wrapped will maintain its freshness in the freezer for up to 3 months.  When you need it, you can pull it out and slice or grate it (without even thawing it)!
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 344, Total Fat: 6g, 8.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 5%; Cholesterol: 63mg, 21%; Sodium: 803mg, 33.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 55g, 18%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 20.5%; Sugar: 15g; Protein: 21g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kosher, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, Nut-Free, Potluck/Buffet, Slow Cooker, Soups & Stews, Spring, Summer, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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