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February is coming to an end and the unusually cold weather this month has brought misery to most people. The cold winds from the north were icy cold, making temperatures drop to sub-zero every morning and night. A large amount of snowfall especially in North Western Japan may be good for ski resorts but for ordinary day-to-day living, it could be very challenging.

To cope with such cold temperatures, I share with you a winter recipe perfect for keeping the body warm and making the immune system strong. This recipe is called cream stew which is a popular Japanese dish served at home or in cafes. This dish originates from the West and is considered a “yoshoku” with a Japanese twist.



Pre-made cream stew roux at the supermarket.

Cooking instructions in Japanese.

Japanese cream stew is made of cream or dairy-based broth giving the dish a white appearance. It includes meat such as chicken or mixed seafood (diced squid and shrimps) and whitefish. Common vegetables added are potatoes, white onions, carrots, and broccoli. Not only they are nutritious but it gives color and life to the dish.

In this recipe, I prefer to make a cream stew with chicken meat and vegetables and added a pre-made cream stew roux that is available in Japanese supermarkets. You can also make cream stew from scratch by mixing the following ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Here is the cooking procedure for cream stew with a pre-made cream roux.


Cream stew ingredients. Apologies for not including the potatoes.

Onions sliced thinly.

Chicken, cut into bite-size pieces.

Chopped vegetables.

150g chicken breast meat (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into bite-size pieces
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
1/2 head shimeji mushrooms
1 small head brocolli, cut into florets
1/4 cup olive oil
500 ml water (2 1/4 cup)
200 ml milk (3/4 cup)
1/2 pack (70 g) cream stew roux, any brand


1. In a deep stew pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until slightly brown. Add the chicken meat and saute until cooked.

2. Saute the chopped carrots, potatoes, and broccoli on medium heat. When it is slightly cooked, add the shimeji mushrooms.
3. Add water and close the pot. Simmer the meat and vegetable mixture for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender.

4. Turn off the heat and add the cream stew roux. Mix the roux thoroughly until dissolved.

5. Turn on the heat at a low level and gradually add milk while stirring the mixture. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with plain rice or crusty bread. You can store the leftover in the refrigerator using an airtight container.

Feel free to add or change the vegetables that you want. For a more distinctive taste, sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese when serving.



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