Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and Panfried)


Negimayaki (ネギマ焼き) or negima as it’s often abbreviated, is scallions or green onions wrapped in thinly sliced meat and pan fried. It’s usually made with thinly sliced beef or pork in Japan. The thing is though, while very thinly slice meat is a standard cut available at any supermarket in Japan, here in Europe it’s not. If I want that cut I have to ask the butcher to do it for me, or slice it myself.

However, ham and cured meat slices of all kinds is very easily available here, so that’s what I use for this version of negima. The advantage of using ham, besides its availibity and handiness, is that it’s already flavored, so you don’t have to add any more seasoning. The saltiness of it flavors the green onion inside too. These cook up very quickly.

Recipe: Ham Negimayaki

You need:

  • Green onion or scallion or spring onion, however you call it
  • Thinly sliced ham or cured meat of your choice. (I used a roasted ham from the Appenzell region of Switzerland.)

Cut the green parts of scallions or spring onions into pieces about 5cm / 2 inches long. Put on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for about 2 minutes. (Alternatively you can cook them in a pan covered with just enough hot water, for about 3 minutes.)

Cut the ham into pieces that are just a bit narrower than the length of the green onion pieces. Take small bundles of the onion and wrap the ham tightly around them.

Heat up a non-stick frying pan and add a tiny bit of oil. Put the ham-and-onion rolls with the roll ends down in the hot pan. Leave until the bottom is a golden brown (this also seals the ends). Turn over 2-3 times more to brown the ham all over.

You shouldn’t need any more salt, but if you like you can sprinkle on some allspice, or Chinese 5 spice powder, or chili powder, for a little extra oomph.

You can make as few or as many of these rolls as you require. They freeze very well. Reheat in the microwave or in a frying pan over medium-low heat with the lid on.

See the negimayaki used in this bento from today!

Bento Challenge Week 2, Day 4

The ones I used were actually frozen about a month ago. This is the last of a batch of about 30 I made and froze. The rest of the bento is also made up of frozen johbisai or ‘stash’, plus leftovers. Click on the image to go to the flickr page that has lots of notes.

Of meat cuts and Japanese bento recipes

There are two commonly available cuts of meat (both pork and beef) in Japan that I can’t get here, nor do I remember seeing them in regular supermarkets and such in the U.S. or England. The cuts are komagire (小間切れ), roughly chopped meat, and usugiri (薄切り), thinly sliced meat. Both are from not-that-lean parts. They are used a lot in bento recipes in Japanese cookbooks, because they cook so quickly and are very economical. It would be great if these cuts became more widely available, but until then I make do with what I can get and what I think most people can get easily.

(A note for people in Switzerland: Fondue Chinois meat is the closest thing to usugiri, but the pieces are too small for most things…)

Update: I have posted a recipe for proper yasai no nikumaki (meat-wraped vegetables) using thinly sliced/shaved sirloin beef, or ‘cheesesteak beef’.

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Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

I've noticed that about the usugiri. I have one cookbook that uses pork usugiri a lot to wrap around vegetables, konnyaku and even cheese. Here in the US, we can try and get a supermarket butcher to cut it thin for us, but that's not always something every supermarket butcher will do.

I should check out the International District here in Seattle and see if there's a Japanese butcher who has these cuts.


Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

It's not always cheap, but Uwajimaya always has the stuff -- look for "meat for hot pot" or "for shabu shabu" on the label.

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

I'm thinking prosciutto would work well with this recipe. I often wrap asparagus in prosciutto and roast it; it's wonderful. I'm grocery shopping tomorrow and fresh, new green onions are on my list just so I can try this. Thanks Maki!

Sorry if this posts more than once. I seem to be computer challanged today!

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

In the U.S. you can get thin cut meat at the Mexican Market. ~ I stand out cause I'm not Mexican but the meat is worth it. ~

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Living in California (though maybe because I'm more in southern California, but still mostly central) I was also going to say that I can usually get a "carne asada" cut at the normal grocery store which is sliced very thin, which is what I've been using for gyuudon & nikujaga and so on. It still comes in rather large pieces though so I have to chop it/slice it myself, but it is perfectly thin enough I think :)

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

One possibility to get the thinly sliced meat is going to the meat counter, and ask for the piece you get to be sliced with the machine. It might also be worthwile to become a regular in a bucher shop... if they do recognize you, they may do quite a lot of things for you.

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

I made these tonight for tomorrow's bento and had to make more because my daughter keep sneaking them! I didn't microwave the scallions though, instead I just poured a tiny bit of water in the pan to steam them after the ham browned.

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

That sounds like a good idea! I tend to sneak a couple myself when I make these...(waves to your daughter ;))

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

I was wondering... would this recipe work with (dare I say it?) BACON?!

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

It will work great with bacon, but you will have to cook it for a longer time to allow the fat to get cooked out and the bacon to get nice and crispy. Because you know..there's nothing more awful than flabby fatty bacon!

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

komagire cut exists here :) it's widely used in lots of recipes!
I loved these ideas for bentos :)

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

mmmm.... sounds yummy hahaha im gonna make my dad take me to the store and get me some HAMMMMM!!!!!

heehee... i have to make my own bento's hahahaha....

my moms stopped like after 4th grade! But i love cooking so i took over. heehee

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

What about the meat they use for philly cheesesteaks?

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Cheesesteak beef should work great - you'll need to season it since it's not salted of course.

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

A market in the Japantown in my city sells magnificently thinly sliced pork. If you have time, could you tell me how to adapt this recipe for raw pork? Thank you!

Ham Negimayaki

is this recipie in your cookbook? there are a lot of recipies on your website i want to try, so i am tempted to buy the cookbook (but am short on cash >.< lol). im going to buy a bento soon but i'm undecided where i should get it from. there's a store in austin i'm considering. and the tupperware at our house is definitely not leak-proof so i don't think it would work. i love these recipies =) im exited to use them for lunches once i get a bento.

Re: Ham Negimayaki

The recipes in the book are about 90% new, since I didn't want people to just get duplicates of recipes they can read here! The other 10% or so are the core/basic recipes that are used in many bentos.

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Do you think this recipe would work ok with lunch meat?

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Not sure what you mean by lunch meat, but it has to be flexible enough to bend around the veggles and hold when cooked. Something like turkey ham or chicken ham will probably work. If you're using something like bologna you may need to secure it with a toothpick. Something like Spam will not work since it's too crumbly and not flexible enough.

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Wouldn't a lot of the meat you're looking for be deli meat, here in the US - thin cuts of pork, ham, turkey, chicken, or beef? Much of it is already cooked or roasted, but that shouldn't prevent anyone from preparing a new dish and cooking it again - as a matter of fact, most veggies wouldn't really want long cooking...

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Yum! Just don't make the mistake I did the first time- over-microwaved the onions and ended up with dry little husks ;_;

Re: Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and ...

Many high end grocery stores in California carry something called "beef bacon" - very thinly sliced fatty beef - excellent for yasai no nikumaki.

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