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

What's Gyusuji Nikomi; Japanese Beef Tendon Stew Food & Recipes

What’s Beef Tendon

Beef tendons are part of the cow’s connective tissue, which literally connects muscles to bones. In Japanese stew dishes, it is a staple ingredient in such as Oden, hot pot.

You can see other Eastern Asian cuisines, including Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, Filipino, and Vietnamese.

You may think the beef tendon sounds interesting, however, there is a dish made of bone marrow or inner guts, so to me, sounds the same. Haha.

Actually, the beef tendon is my favorite part of beef roast or beef steak.

What The Beef Tendon Taste Like

Beef tendon tastes have a mild beef flavor and a rich gelatinous melty texture, but not like fatty parts.

Most of this part is muscle fiber with less fat.

Some parts give a rubbery but crunchy texture.

The beef tendon itself may not have a strong original flavor, it’s the food to enjoy the texture.

The key to how you can taste it delicious is slow-cooking-stew enough.

Where to Buy Beef Tendon

Beef tendons are not easy to find in U.S. supermarkets, you possibly can find an Asian market.

I am Japanese, and the one sold at an Asian grocery store is a little different from one in Japan.

Japanese beef tendon is more like “beef drop flank”.

Yet, it’s the Achilles tendon that is popular in Osaka, Japan.

Oh, well.

Ask a local butcher how you can get beef tendon will be the quickest way to find beef tendon in the US.

So, How To Eat Beef Tendon In Japanese Cuisine

There are several ways you can find beef tendon dishes in Japanese cuisine, but the most popular dish is Gyusuji Nikomi which literally means beef tendon stew in Japanese.

The dish has beefy and melty, is often served as Izakaya food.

Interestingly, this iconic beef tendon dish has a variety of styles from location to location.

What’s Gyusuji Nikomi

Simply, Gyusuji Nikomi is the dish stewed beef tendon in Japanese broth and seasonings with several vegetables, tofu, and konjac.

Generally, it is seasoned with soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar. Sweet, gentle, tasty.

However, miso paste is often used instead of soy sauce in some local regions.

The dish is more common on the west side than on the east side of Japan, and two popular places for Gyusuji Nikomi are Osaka and Nagoya.

The characteristic of the Kansai beef tendon is exactly the beef tendon that you can see in the US, the Achilles tendon.

Contrary, the “beef tendon” in other regions in Japan has meat as I said.

It is a staple ingredient in stew dishes in Osaka and Kansai region, not only for home cooking but also for izakaya food.

Not only Osaka and the Kansai region but the Nagoya region is also known for the local Gyusuji Nikomi which used local Miso called ‘Haccho miso” paste.

Gyusuji Nikomi Is Called Dote, Dote-Ni In Nagoya Region

I am from the Nagoya region, and my mother is originally from Nagoya.

We don’t call the beef tendon stew Gyusuji Nikomi, we call it ‘Dote’ or “Dote-Ni”.

It has a strong Miso taste which the local people are obsessed with.

Sometimes, it’s the same name but is made of pork guts.

So, be careful if you order ‘Dote’ in Nagoya.

What’s Dote/ Dote-Ni

Dote/ Dote-Ni is one of “Nagoya meshi” food and is a tender slow-cooked beef tendon or pork intestines (pork guts) with several vegetables and konjac in a sweet rich Miso based soup.

Sometimes, it is called “Doteyaki”, or Dote made of pork guts is called “Motsu-Ni”.

In Nagoya, you can often see skewered beef tendon simmered in a big old (antique?) pot filled with almost black beyond brown soup in local Izakayas.

Dote/ Dote-ni is the staple Izakaya food and has been loved by local drinkers.

Dote-meshi or Dote-Don is also attractive food, which is Dote on the rice.

When I was a kid, I was so excited to eat it rather than Dote itself.

(I could eat it only from leftovers after my parents enjoyed it with alcohol.)

How To Make Dote At Home

Here is the Nagoya style Gyusuji Nikomi recipe…BUT, I use beef cheeks instead of beef tendon.

You can easily get beef cheeks at Walmart or Sam’s club, sometimes at COSTCO.

Besides, it’s meatier and tender.

Also, I am introducing how to prepare beef cheeks in this post!

The Health Benefits Of Beef Tendon

Beef tendon is a low fat, low carb, high protein food.

The main component of the beef tendon is collagen which is a protein.

It can be expected to bring several health benefits to the human body such as skin, joints, bones, muscles.

  1. It makes skin cells strong and resilient. (*1)
  2. Collagen peptides can boost calcium absorption, improve bone mineral density and maintain bone strength. (*2)
  3. It supports mobility (*3)
  4. It helps to maintain tendon elasticity and build strength. (*4)

Nutrition Facts (Serving Size 100g)

Total Fat0.62g
Dietary Fiber0g

If you are still hesitant to eat beef tendon, but you want to intake collagen from the food,

you can use a beef tendon to take a rich collagen beef broth!

After that, give it to your dog! (*5)

The Bottom Line

Eating beef tendon may sound strange to you, but beef tendon itself is not flavorful, I mean, just texture with slightly beefy taste.

We enjoy the texture and the flavor of the broth.

To enjoy the different food in the different culture, it’ll be one of delicacies you should try in Japan.

Check out my Dote inspired beef cheek recipe, you can instantly enjoy Nagoya-style gyusuji nikomi at home.


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