Friday, March 12, 2010


Even though the weather is kinda wishy-washy, I know Spring is coming because there are shin-jagaimo or shin-jaga (new potatoes) in the markets. This particular variety is called May Queen.

The new potatoes here are tiny, only one or two inches, I think they maybe different from the new potatoes you see in the U.S.

When I first came to Japan, I had a hard time figuring out what types of potatoes there were. In Hawaii, the only types I've seen are red, yukon & russet, none of which are in Japan (to my knowledge anyway).

Anyway, here in Japan, certain types are good for curry and some good for croquettes (I think it depends on the texture of the potato, though I usually rely on the sign at the market to tell me which is good for what).

I bought this from a little yaoya (vegetable/fruit stand). A little less than a pound for only 100 yen (about US$1).

I thought I had posted this recipe before but looked through my archives and didn't see it.

The recipe is easy and delicious.

Shin-jaga to gyuniku no amakarani (Beef and new potatoes simmered in a sweet-salty sauce) adapted from Orange Page's "Haru ni Oishii Kondate": Serves 4

405grams (a little less than a pound) new potatoes, scrubbed, eyes removed
100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) beef, thinly sliced
1 carrot, cut into bite size pieces
2/3 cup dashi (stock)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)

Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise
Fry cut-side down on medium in olive oil, tossing around for about 7-8 minutes
Add meat, cook until meat changes color
Add stock, carrot, sugar and shoyu
Cook uncovered until all liquid evaporates, stir once in awhile
Enjoy with rice

NOTES: I loved the sweet and salty combination and it came together quite quickly. Probably the thing that would take the longest is to make your dashi (stock), though I normally cheat and use dashi packets, which look like tea bags and are filled with konbu (kelp), katsuo bushi (bonito) & niboshi (dried small sardines).

If you can find dashi in these packets, I would highly recommend it, this method is fast and you don't have to go out to look for the individual ingredients.

It's Friday, hope you have a nice weekend!


Kelly said...

Oh yum. Sounds great and a good meal if it's a little gray and gloomy - comfort food!

jalna said...

Sooo cute da potatoes, and the dish you made looks yummy!

K and S said...

Thanks Biologie, hope it is warm where you are!

Jalna, Teeny, yeah??

Take care you two.

Anonymous said...

That sounds yum and very easy. I wonder if it is possible to find those dashi packets in Australia. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them. Thanks for sharing.

K and S said...

I hope so Momiji, they really make life easier :)

Take care.

Rowena said...

A sign that you can refer to on what the potato is used best for? That is COOL! Is it written or there's an image? Often when I need to buy potatoes, there are at least 4 types that are identified by region (for example: from Bologna) or by what's in them (selenium???) and then the more cheaper ones that don't sport any real identifying labels at all. I never know which one to get to make proper gnocchi, or fries, or baked, etc. Another odd thing is that the tiny new potatoes are set in the cherry tomato section! Often, there is a sprig of rosemary tucked into the container, which makes me think that they're good for simple roasting. Great post!

K and S said...

Next to the said potato, it says "for curry", Rowena. Just like for certain cuts of beef, it says "for curry". On the other hand, I think it is neat that they add a sprig of rosemary to your potato container, which suggests to me that I should buy more of these teeny potatoes and roast them with some rosemary, thanks for the idea :)

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Looks delicious-homey and comforting!

K and S said...

Debinhawaii, homey and comforting definitely necessary on cold days ;)

Take care.

Barbara said...

I love these tiny potatoes. I often steam a whole bag of them and keep them in the fridge for various additions to meals during the week.

K and S said...

That sounds perfect to add for a quick meal Barbara :)

Take care.

moshi mooch said...

Hi Kat!

I've been meaning to try this recipe and I finally did last Sunday. I love the taste though I added a little too much stock.

My hubby enjoyed it too! Thanks! :)

K and S said...

I'm glad you liked this Moshi :)

Take care.