Japanese Cream Stew
Cream stew is a popular Japanese dish usually found in family style restaurants, in fact it was so popular I seen this a lot of times when we had our vacation in Japan early this year. It is a type of “yoshoku” dish which is made with either chicken, pork or fish with mixed vegetables such as broccoli, mushroom, potatoes and carrots on a creamy thick sauce. Making this in Japan is quite easy since there are a lot of available cream stew roux that you can buy in most Japanese groceries but if you can’t find one you can always make it from scratch.
Kurimu shichu is its Japanese name and it was attributed to Japanese school lunches after World War II. The first version of these were made with salmon and macaroni simmered in milk. The milk used on the dish was the powdered skimmed milk from the relief supplies provided by the United States. Many years later when Japan’s economy is starting to get back NHK TV cooking programmes started to showcase recipes for white sauce-based stews. Then in 1966 the instant roux for creamy white stews started to get commercialized and this started its popularity due to its convenience.
Today we will be making this from scratch and it’s not that hard, almost similar to the French roux. It’s a really nice dish, in fact it reminds me of the Filipino American inspired dish called chicken pastel, its creamy savoury and most important of all its delicious.
- 700g chicken thigh fillets, cubed
- 2 medium potatoes, cubed
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 12 pcs button mushrooms, halved
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- ½ cup cream
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp butter
- olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper, set it aside.
- On a pot add olive oil then sauté onions in medium low heat until soft.
- Add the chicken and cook until the pinkish colour has disappeared, important not to brown it.
- Add the carrots and potatoes, then continue to stir fry for 2 minutes. Remove everything from the pot then set it aside.
- Add the butter then once its melted add the flour, cook until it forms a roux.
- Gently add in the chicken stock while mixing.
- Add the chicken, mushrooms and vegetables that was set aside earlier. Simmer in low heat, mixing occasionally until potatoes are tender, this might take 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and corn then pour in the cream and cream cheese, continue to cook in low heat for 10 more minutes.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve.