Are you looking for the perfect comfort food to warm and inspire you as autumn days get chillier? Try making simple and soothing Japanese Cream Stew. This dish is an example of yōshoku, a Japanese adaptation of a food that originated in the West.
Cream Stew, also called White Stew, is a popular type of nimono (simmered or stewed dish). According to the Japan Times, nimono that contain chicken and other meat only appeared in Japan during the Meiji era (1868-1912). At that point in time, the Japanese government claimed that animal-based protein was good for the health of the nation and encouraged its widespread use. The introduction of Western vegetables like carrots, along with the rise of dairy farming in Japan, increased the prevalence of stew-like dishes in the country.
White Stew was not introduced in Japan until 1945, when the United States gave Japan powdered milk in order to bolster the health of Japanese children who suffered from malnourishment during World War II. A chicken stew with milk powder-based sauce was soon after added to school lunch programs, evolving into the thick and satisfying Cream Stew that is popular today. It was not until 1966 that House Foods released a stew roux box mix, similar to the solid blocks of roux used to make curry dishes. Japanese cream stew is a simple dish to put together at home, making it popular with children in Japan.
We suggest serving your stew with a heaping portion of warm white rice. If you want to get creative with this dish, try cutting thin slices of carrot with small flower or heart shaped cookie cutters before adding them to your pan for a playful upgrade. This recipe does not contain meat, but feel free to add cooked chicken, pork, or shrimp to your hearty feast. Other ingredients you may want to add are sliced mushrooms, cauliflower, or kabocha squash.
Yōshokudishes are wonderful entry points into Japanese cuisine. Give Japanese Cream Stew a try and use it as a launching point to explore and master more complicated Japanese dishes!
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3 servings
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil from Bokksu Market
- ½ head broccoli, cut into florets>
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 potato (any variety), chopped into ½” pieces
- 3 ¾ cups water
- ½ cup whole milk
- In a large frying pan with high edges, heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil over medium heat.
- Add diced onion to the pan and sauté over medium heat until translucent.
- Add the potato, carrots, and broccoli, and then cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add 3 ¾ cups water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes with the lid on over medium-low heat.
- Add ½ box of Tasty Creamy Stew Mix.
- Add ½ cup whole milk and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat while stirring slowly until the stew mix is incorporated.
- Serve with a helping of warm white rice.
By Hadley Sui