The native guide; All about unique Japan, pub-5441866818918003, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Easy Japanese Inspired Beef Cheek Stew; Melt-In-Your-Mouth Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek Infused with Rich Miso Flavor | Japanmcconnell

Easy Japanese Beef Cheek Stew; Melt-In-Your-Mouth Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek Infused with Rich Miso Flavor

dotemeshi-dotedon-Japanese-beef-tendon-stew-on-the-rice-Japanese-food-1 Food & Recipes

Beef cheek is known for the perfect slow-cooking, this unique beef cut can be an unbelievably melt-in-your-mouth, rich, and tender stewed dish.

Probably, the most popular beef cheek dish is slow-cooking in red wine sauce.

I believe so until I got the idea of this recipe.

What’s this idea?

GYUSUJI NIKOMI, often called DOTE, DOTENI in Japan, is a stew dish made of beef (or pork) tendon.

It’s the staple winter Izakaya appetizer while drinking.

→→→What’s Gyusuji Nikomi; Japanese Beef Tendon Stew Is The Popular Izakaya Appetizer To Eat

I got this recipe idea-slow-cooking beef cheek in Japanese miso-based soup when I was craving Dote, which is Nagoya-Japanese style beef tendon stew.

As you know, we hardly find beef tendons in regular grocery stores in the US.

I tried to use fatty chuck roast with plenty of tendon parts, but it was not enough to satisfy me. (The tendon parts were melt-in-your-mouth, tender, and rich in gelatinous taste, however, the meat part was a little dry and chewy)

Yes! The rich melt-in-your-mouth beef cheek texture is similar to the meat in Japanese beef tendon stew.

You’ll need a little patience to prepare cheeks, and cook it slowly, but, it’s an easy dish once you get ready to cook abound all ingredients.

You can use your instant pot or slow cooker. We don’t use pressure cooking this time since the dish can be done for only around 3 hours.

Actually, leftovers taste absolutely better the next day!

How To Prepare Beef Cheeks

You can see bloody and fatty beef cheeks when unpacking.

The secret tip to prepare beef cheeks is to soak beef cheek meat in plenty of water before cooking.

Soak the meat for 1-2 hours to remove blood from unique beef cuts.

It doesn’t matter before/after trimming the meat.

When you remove fatty parts and blood vessels from the cheek meat, don’t trim tendons and muscle fibers too much.

Tendon and muscle fibers will be also a great part to eat in this recipe.

I understand that you don’t want to try tendon anyway.

However, the beef cheeks will come apart when you remove tendons that connect meat and muscles while cooking.

Therefore, leave tendons and muscle fibers moderately.


There are various recipes for miso-flavored beef tendon stew.

If you don’t want too sweet and salty sauce, choose mixed miso (yellow miso). This miso is called rice miso and is the main miso in the Kanto region.

Red miso and Hatcho miso are often used in sweet and tangy beef tendon stews, especially it is called “Nagoya Doteni”. (*)

White miso is commonly used for beef tendon stew on the west side of the main island.

The dish will be mild and sweet so that other ingredients (vegetables and konjac) are often a company with beef tendons.

Thus, if you maybe want to know the characters of Japanese miso paste, click this link to my miso guide.

Besides, you can learn about how to make miso paste from scratch in this post.

Homemade miso paste can absolutely make the dish special.

My miso (photo) is kind of yellow miso since I aged the miso for 7 months.

The Best Miso To Use For Nagoya Doteni

(*)Red miso is soybean miso and is the main miso in the Tokai region, the central region on the main island.

Red miso has a tangy, salty, strong miso flavor than the other 2 types of miso.

As futures of local food in Tokai region, there are lots of dishes used with red miso.

Needless to say, I prefer to use red miso because I am from the Tokai region and my mom is from Nagoya so she never chooses white/yellow miso for her cooking.

Although it is a little more expensive than red miso, using hatcho miso, which contains less salt, for doteni makes the dish richer and more special.

Hatcho Miso

Hatcho Miso is a type of red miso that has a dark strong miso flavor in any other miso.

Originally produced in Okazaki City, a suburb of Nagoya City, Aichi, Japan.

Hatcho Miso is famous for its typical miso in the Nagoya region.

Although you can find it easily in the Nagoya region or on Amazon, Hatcho Miso is actually local miso, not widely produced throughout Japan.

Hatcho miso is also known as soybean miso produced in a unique process.

Hatcho miso is made of only fermented soybean Koji, salt, and water, on the contrary, other miso is made of rice koji, soybeans, salt, and water.

Serve Japanese Beef Cheek Stew It Better

Japanese beef tendon stew (beef cheek stew in this recipe) is popular as an Izakaya appetizer, side menu, and/or as the topping on a rice bowl.

This Japanese beef cheek stew will be much better the next day.

The Miso sauce will be a mellow round flavor and the meat will soak the miso sauce.

Don’t forget to serve Japanese beef stew with garnish to make the dish more delicious.

Minced scallions (chives/leeks) and “shichimi togarashi” chili peppers are the most common garnish in Japan.

I like this “Yawataya Isogoro Shichimi Togarashi” product which is absolutely spicy and flavorful compared S&B one.

“Shichimi” refers to seven flavors, so SHICHIMI TOGARASHI is the spice mix with seven spices including dried chili pepper flakes.
Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese condiment made of blended spices such as roasted red chili pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds, and other spices which can provide a rich aroma and flavor to any Japanese cuisine.

When using yuzukosho on this dish, you can enjoy the unique but savory aroma and flavor with beef stew together.


A condiment so simple, citrusy, spicy, sensational, and amazing. Yuzu kosho is going to be your favorite use of lime or other citrus fruits which is tempting with simple grilled meats, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, or steamed, stir-fried, soup, salad… To make the yuzu kosho, take a large handful or four green chili peppers like serrano, jalapeno, Thai, or bird’s eye. The golden ratio of peppers to citrus zest is 4 : 1. (go to the recipe)


Japanese-Style Beef Cheek Stew With Nagoya Miso Sauce

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Easy slow cooking- This Japanese-style beef cheek stew combines rich red miso & red wine to make a flavorful appetizer. It is the staple Izakaya appetizer in Japan. Not only for the appetizer but also, can provide a savory melt-in-your-mouth topping on a rice bowl. This recipe is inspired by famous Nagoya local food called Dote-it's originally Japanese beef tendon stew. The rich red miso flavor will definitely bring you an appetite.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 servings


  • 1.5 lb Trimmed beef cheek
  • 1 quart Water about 1 L
  • 3 tbsp Red Miso
  • 5 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 TSP Japanese dark soy sauce
  • salt&peppr to season the meat


  • Soak beef cheek meat in plenty of water in a bowl for 1-2 hours. Change the water occasionally.
    *To remove blood from the meat.
  • Trim up the meat.
    *Remove excess fat. Don't trim up tendon and strips too much, the meat will come apart while cooking.
  • Cut the beef cheek into 3-inch pieces. (Not too small) and season them with salt & pepper.
  • Brown each piece lightly. You don't need to cook the meat though.
  • Add water, Miso, sugar, red wine, soy sauce, and bring the water to a boil.
  • Skim off the foam (scum) from the water.
  • Low heat. Stew the meat for 2.5 – 3 hours covered, but leave the lid open a little bit.
    *Use the "slow cook" mode in the instant pot.
    *To make the soup thicker
  • The taste will be better the next day.



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Keyword Beef, Easy, Holiday, Instantpot, Izakaya, Kid-friendly, meat, Miso, slow-cook, Soy sauce, Traditional

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