Cream stew is a popular Japanese dish that is often served at home, as well as family style restaurants and cafes. In Japanese cuisine, a cream stew is considered "yoshoku" which refers to a style of western cuisine that has been adapted with a uniquely Japanese twist.
Japanese cream stew is characterized by a cream or dairy-based broth that is slightly thickened and includes traditional proteins such as chicken or pork. Other proteins that may be included are fish (white fish or salmon) or seafood (shrimp) and vegetables. Commonly used vegetables are potatoes, carrots, and onions. Broccoli and mushrooms are also popular additions to Japanese cream stew.
Homemade cream stew can easily be made from scratch using the recipe below; however, it can be made with any brand of cream stew roux that is pre-made and available at Japanese grocery stores.
- 1 chicken thigh (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces)
- 1 carrot (peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 potatoes (peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 chicken consomme or bullion cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 broccoli (cut into small chunks)
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a deep stew pot over medium-high heat and saute the chicken until browned.
Add onion and saute on medium heat until soft and translucent. Add carrot and potatoes and stir-fry quickly.
Pour 2 1/2 cups of water into the pan with the vegetables and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and add consomme (or bullion) cubes. Simmer until carrots and potatoes are softened.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan make the white sauce. Melt butter on low heat and stir in flour. Cook the flour until it bubbles, making sure to mix well continuously.
Pour milk into the flour mixture and cook on medium heat, stirring quickly until it begins to thicken slightly.
Reduce heat to low and cook until the sauce is thick, making sure to stir constantly. Turn off the heat and set aside the white sauce.
In a small bowl, take about 1/3 cup of the soup broth from the chicken and vegetable stew and mix with cream cheese until it melts.
Next, add the cream cheese and soup broth mixture back into the stew.
Add the white sauce to the stew and stir lightly.
Add broccoli and simmer for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and serve immediately.