Today I am going to be making, Cream Stew in Japanese style.
Cherry blossoms are about to bloom in Japan.
We have the return of chilly days in this time of the year.
We call the weather as “Hana-bie”, means “flower-cold.”
I want to make something warm for my family.
Let’s get started!
One boneless skinless chicken thigh: cut into chunks
Two medium potato
One stalk celery
One carrot or a bunch of baby carrots
A bunch of small turnips
Two cubes of chicken soup, bay leaves, One cup (240ml) water
1. First thing we do is to prepare the vegetables. Remove the firm stringy fiber from the celery. Cut into 2 inches long.
Cut off the greens from turnip leaving an inch stem ends. Cut in half an wash thoroughly to remove all the sand between the stem.
Keep the soft leaf for toppings.
Keep the rest of the greens for something else. I will do the video someday for kind of recycle recipe.
Peel the baby carrots, and remove the stem ends.
Peel the onion, cut in half lengthwise. Then cut in half crosswise, and cut into chunks.
Peel the potato and cut into chunks. Soak in water to remove excess starch.
Today, I found red potatos at my local farmers market, but you can use any potatoes that you have on your hand.
2. Next, let’s prepare chicken. I always pre-boil chicken before adding to the pot. It is an old school technique of Washoku to remove any gamy smells.
Drain and set aside.
One of my viewers asked me that do the Japanese chicken always have gamy smells? Actually, it doesn’t! We’d like to make flavorful dishes without unwanting smells that possibly have.
3. Cook your firm vegetable that requires longer cooking time. First, put prepared carrot, onion and celery into a pot. Add in bay leaves, two chicken soup cubes and a cup of water. Turn the heat to medium, cook 10 minutes or until everything has almost cooked.
4. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the bechamel sauce.
40g (1.5oz) unsalted butter
40g (1.5oz) all-purpose flour
500ml (2cups) whole milk
Put your butter into medium size pot and cook on medium heat until melt. Add in flour and mix until well combined. Turn the heat to low and cook a couple of minutes to maximize the power of thickening property.
Keep it in mind that you don’t want to brown the mixture.
After a couple of minutes, it should look like this. It should be fully boiling.
Add in milk at once. Cook on medium-high, keep whisking. Well, some of you are thinking that you should add in milk little by little or gradually. But trust me, you will get the smoothest and the silkiest bechamel.
After 5 to 6 minutes, the butter and flour mixture is melt in the milk, but still, haven’t reached the boiling point.
Switch to a spatula, keep stirring until it comes to a boil.
Take a look at the bechamel! It doesn’t have any lumps at all.
5. Let’s go back to the pot. After 10 minutes, these firm vegetables are almost cooked but still has firmness. Add in pre-boiled chicken thigh, potatoes and turnips and cook 10 to 15 minutes more.
6. After 10 minutes, all the ingredients cooked nice and tender. Add in the bechamel, and stir to combine. Cook on low for a couple of minutes more, or until all the ingredients mingling together in the pot.
7. Serve on a warm shallow bowl immediately. Drizzle with heavy cream if you have in your fridge. Top with turnip green for the final touch.
There you have warm and comfortable Japanese style cream strew. We like to serve with roll pan which I have introduced you last week. But I like the best is with rice! I am very Japanese! The vegetables can be versatile, and you can use pork or even oysters and crams are good substitutions. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!