Makes 4 servings
11/3 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled
2 medium onions
11/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutrally flavored oil
14 ounces boneless rib eye steak, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Scant 1 cup dashi (See note)
4 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 scant cup water
Peppercress or watercress, for garnish
1. Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks, then rinse in water and drain. Cut the onions in half from top to bottom, then into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
2. Place a cold, damp cloth near the stove top. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil sizzles, remove the pan from the heat and place it on the damp cloth. Add the meat once the oil stops sizzling; this will help keep the meat from sticking to the pan.
3. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat; cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the beef turns lighter brown. Add the potatoes and onions; cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan continuously, until they begin to soften.
4. Stir in the dashi, sake, sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and water; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 5 minutes, skimming off scum that rises to the top.
5. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Place a lid slightly smaller than your pot – so it can fit inside it – on top of the ingredients, to cover. (Alternatively, you can make a circle with vent holes in the middle with aluminum foil or parchment paper.) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove the lid, increase the heat to medium, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the liquid has reduced slightly.
6. Remove from the heat. Divide among individual bowls, garnish with the peppercress or other greens, and serve right away.
Note: To make dashi, combine 1/2 teaspoon Ajinomoto brand HonDashi and 1 cup boiling water, stirring until the powder has dissolved.
Per serving: 410 calories, 25 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 13 g sugar, 13 g fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 510 mg sodium, no dietary fiber, 13 g sugar
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