Sylvia’s Japanese Simmered Beef with Potatoes and Peas

Japanese Simmered Beef Potatoes Peas

This is a very easy recipe that I shared on ABC Radio Tasmania Afternoons Friday 19 January 2024 whilst chatting about food and cooking with the delightful John O’Hara. Do not be intimidated by the fact that it is Japanese. Contrary to popular belief Japanese home cooking is simple to prepare with inexpensive seasonal ingredients, is natural and wholesome, delicious and nutritious. This dish in particular is quite comforting, which is something we all need in these challenging times. Embracing my time in the 1980s-1990s learning the skills to cook Japanese food, I developed and tested a whole meal around this dish the other evening, so it should be easy for you. It’s gluten free and with cauliflower it’s low carb too. 🙂 Vegetarian or vegan use finely diced mushrooms – full of umami goodness. Accompany with my Green Beans with Sesame Dressing or a leafy green salad. Prepare this easy Miso Soup with Silken Tofu to add that extra umami flavour to the meal and let me know how you go. Take care. Stay safe and well. Enjoy! Sylvia xx

440g quality lean beef mince (or finely diced mushrooms for vegetarian/vegan)
180g-240g or 3-4 small-medium sized potatoes, preferably Nicola or Dutch Cream
For low carb replace potatoes with cauliflower florets of similar quantity
2 Tablespoon sunflower, peanut or rice bran oil
80g-100g fresh or frozen peas
500ml filtered water
100ml-120ml (5-6 Tablespoons) light soy sauce
3-4 teaspoons raw caster sugar
Salt and four small knobs of butter (omit for vegan)
2-3 spring onions, green tops finely shredded/sliced or finely chopped chives


  • Peel the potatoes if using and cut them into bite size pieces.
  • Place the water, light soy sauce and sugar into a bowl. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Heat the oil in a wide medium-large sized saucepan, enough to take all ingredients.
  • Add the beef. Break up any lumps with a fork for even texture. Fry until it is just cooked.
  • Add the potato pieces or cauliflower florets and stir to coat with the beef. Add the water and soy sauce mixture.
  • Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Lower the heat and gently simmer uncovered for approx. 15-20 minutes. Less cooking time will be required for cauliflower, you don’t want it mushy. 😮
  • Add the peas and cook a further 2-3 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the peas are still green in colour.
  • Simmer until the sauce reduces by about two thirds. Taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve in bowls. Add a small knob of butter on top and a few pinches of salt to each serving. Garnish with the finely sliced spring onions or finely chopped chives.
  • Accompany with my Green Beans with Sesame Dressing , a colourful mix of steamed vegetables or a leafy green salad for a balanced meal and maybe this Miso Soup with Silken Tofu to sip throughout the meal.

Alternatives to minced beef are minced chicken or salmon pieces.
This meal is refreshing, comforting and full of umami. If you are so inclined, match it with a dry Tassie Rosé or one from Provence.  Enjoy! Sylvia xx

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