Cream Stew - Japanese Youshoku Comfort Food

Total Time
1hr
Prep 1 hr
Cook 0 mins

Obviously, since milk was not traditionally used in Japan, Cream Stew must not have started as a Japanese dish, but like Curry Rice, it is now a comfort food, and pretty easy to make. (There are quite a few favorite recipes that are youshoku, western-style.) This is considered regional cooking of Hokkaido the Canada-like northern island where I was an exchange student many years ago. This dish is my own attempt to reproduce something remembered from many years before. Typical home cooking of cream stew involves using a boxed roux, but as this product contains wheat flour, I do the white sauce from scratch. I've found that stirring in sour cream at the end results in the same rich mouth feel I remember from when I was eating wheat products and could use the commercial roux. This trick works for both Cream Stew and Curry Rice. This recipe is a good use for leftover turkey or chicken. You can eat it plain or serve with a starch. In our house, the boys like egg noodles, which I cook in a separate pot as I can't eat them. A more traditional way to add starch is to serve with steamed rice in half the dish and stew in the other half.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups chicken meat (leftover cooked chicken or turkey) or 12 lb boneless chicken breast, cut up in 1 inch chunks
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil (to cook uncooked chicken)
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen stew vegetables (or 1 1/2 cups hard vegetables, cut up in 1 inch chunks, potato, carrot, and onion are traditional)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets or 1 (10 ounce) bag cut green beans or 1 (10 ounce) bagsliced fresh mushrooms
  • 12 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. If starting with uncooked chicken, season with salt and pepper and brown in a 5 quart dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Remove and set aside.
  2. If using uncooked vegetables, saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and hard vegetables only (you don't want to cook broccoli for a long time as it gets sulferous). Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 to 30 minutes. Skim fat and residue occasionally if any comes to the top.
  4. Once that is going well, start boiling the water for noodles or make rice.
  5. After the stew has been simmering 10-15 minutes, start making the white sauce. In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until it is a smooth paste. Gradually stir in milk. Add 1 cup of hot broth from the stew and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
  6. While you are waiting for the white sauce to thicken, add the green vegetable to the stew. When the white sauce has thickened up, add it to the stew. (Add noodles to boiling water, if you are making them.) Cover and let simmer 10 more minutes so the entire stew is nicely thickened.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the sour cream.