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Japanese Cream Stew

Japanese Cream Stew

Japanese Cream Stew, (White Stew), is rich creamy without being heavy. A classic Yoshoku meal packed with chicken, bite-size vegetables, and served with steamed rice or crusty bread.

Ready in: 60 minutes

Serves: 4

Complexity: very-easy

kcal: 443

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chicken, 454 g, 2-4 pieces
1 head broccoli, 120 g
1 tsp sea salt, for blanching
1 onion
2 carrots
2 potatoes 450 g
6 cremini mushrooms, 85 g
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp rice bran oil
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp cream
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg


Cut the chicken into 4 cm pieces at a diagonal angle. The slanted surface gives each piece a flatter and more open surface so the chicken cooks evenly and faster. This cutting technique is called Sogigiri in Japanese.
Season the chicken with SIDS SALT & PEPPER.
Cut off the broccoli florets and remove the tough skin of the stem and cut into small pieces.
Boil a pot of water and add salt. Start cooking the stem first for 1½-2 minutes.
Add the florets and cook for 2 minutes, until almost tender but crisp. Remove from the water and let cool. You can shock the blanched broccoli in ice water to make it as bright green as possible, but since I add them to the stew anyway, I usually skip that extra step. But don’t overcook as we will reheat them in the stew.
Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then into wedges. Tip: Separate each layer at this step, then you don't have to do it in the pot later.
Peel and cut the carrots at an angle into 4 cm pieces, after rotating 90 degrees each time. This cutting technique is called Rangiri in Japanese.
Cut the potatoes into 4 cm pieces. No need to remove the skin.
Cut and slice the mushroom stems and slice caps.
In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. If you're using a non-stick pot, you can omit the oil. Add the chicken and sauté until 80% cooked through. Add the onion and stir to cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the potatoes and carrots and coat well with oil in the pot. Add the chicken broth and 2 bay leaves. The chicken broth doesn’t have to fully cover ingredients at this time as they will be eventually submerged when vegetables release moisture.
Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Once boiling, skim off the scum and foam and reduce heat to simmer. Add mushrooms and simmer on a gentle heat, covered, for 10 minutes (set timer!).
Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)
Meanwhile (you have 10 minutes!), we make Bechamel Sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and let it melt completely on medium-low heat. During this time, heat up the milk to warm to touch in the microwave or on the stove.
Add in the flour and stir constantly, without stopping. The butter-flour mixture will swell and bubbly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for the next 5 minutes. You want to make sure the flour is cooked and does not have raw flour taste.
Slowly and gradually add warm milk to the saucepan, one tablespoon at a time while you combine it with the butter-flour mixture.
Don’t hurry, and NEVER add too much liquid. You do not want to create lumps and once you get them, they are hard to fix. The goal is to blend the mixture COMPLETELY before you add more liquid.
Add SIDS SALT & PEPPER, nutmeg, and mix all together. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
After 10 minutes of simmering, open the lid. Check the doneness by inserting a skewer into a potato. It should be tender, but don't overcook. It should not break easily. Scoop broth with a ladle. Slowly pour the broth into the Bechamel sauce while stirring to blend together completely. Add another ladle of broth and combine well. Now pour the white sauce back into the pot. Gently mix so that white sauce is well blended with the broth. Add the heavy cream (if you’re using it) and season with salt to taste.
Simmer, uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes on low heat. To improve the flavour, I highly encourage you to let the stew sit at the stove or counter to let cool to room temperature (keep the lid open). The stew will naturally thicken as the moisture evaporate and let the flavours meld as it cools.
Right before serving, add the blanched broccoli to the stew to reheat. Simmer on low heat and do not boil. Once everything is nice and warm, serve the stew. Enjoy it with steamed rice or crusty bread.
To Store: You can store the leftover in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you plan to freeze, remove the potatoes (their texture will change) and freeze for up to a month.