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Tamari-Flavored Beef and Tofu Stew

Tamari Niku-Dofu

Simple, quick, and satisfying, beef and tofu stew is a popular home dish in Japan. With an addition of komatsuna (Japanese spinach - you can substitute with regular spinach or other leafy greens), it makes a nutritiously balanced one-pot dish. I love using Tamari Soy Sauce for seasoning, as it gives a nice deep flavor, but you can also make it with regular soy sauce and it will still taste great. If you have any leftover of the dish, I highly suggest you reheat it in a donabe (or a small pot), drizzle some whisked egg over it, then once the egg is in your desired consistency, pour the whole thing over the rice to make a beef & tofu rice bowl. Just so that I will have enough leftover the next day, I tend to make extra amount of this dish.


Bistro Donabe or medium-size classic-style donabe (1.2-qt/ 1,200 ml or larger)




  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 18 oz (500 g) beef komagire-cut (thinly-sliced beef scraps), or sukiyaki-thin beef, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sake
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) mirin
  • 1 tablespoon raw brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) tamari soy sauce
  • 1 cup (240 ml) kombu and bonito dashi or your choice of dashi
  • 14 oz (400 g) medium-firm tofu, cut into 8 pieces
  • 5 oz komatsuna (Japanese spinach), can substitute with spinach or mizuna
  • Sansho powder, for serving
  • Yuzu-Kosho, for serving


      1. Add the sesame oil in the donabe and set over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sauté until the beef is more than half way cooked.
      2. Add the sake, mirin, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
      3. Add the soy sauce and dashi. Bring back to a boil.
      4. Push the meat to one side and add the tofu. Bring back to a boil, then turn down to simmer.
      5. Add the komatsuna, and simmer briefly to let it wilt.
      6. Remove from the heat and serve with sansho and/ or yuzu-kosho on the side.

      This is very quick to make and so good.

      About the measurements used in our recipes

      For rice measurement, traditional Japanese rice measurement is used.
      • 1 rice-cup = 3/4 US cup = 180 ml
      Other conversions (US to metric measures)
      • 1 cup = 240 ml
      • 1 inch (1") = 2.5 cm
      • 1 ounce (1 oz) = 30 ml