Happy Donabe Life

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 leftovers, I highly suggest you reheat it in a donabe (or a small pot), drizzle some whisked egg over it, then once the egg is at your desired consistency, pour the whole thing over the rice to make a beef and tofu rice bowl. Just so that I will have enough leftover the next day, I tend to make extra amounts of this dish.


Classic-style Donabe (1.2 qt / 1,200 ml or larger)

In this recipe, I used large-size Bistro Mushi Nabe (without steam grate)




  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 18 oz (500 g) komagire-cut (thinly-sliced beef scraps) or sukiyaki-thin beef, but 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-Koshofor 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 halfway cooked.
  2. Add the sake, mirin, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the soy sauce and dashi. Bring back to a boil, add the tofu, and turn down to a simmer.
  4. Add the komatsuna, and simmer briefly to let it wilt.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve with sansho and/or yuzu-kosho on the side.

This is quick to make and is so good.


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