How To Make Japanese Cream Stew (White Stew) From Scratch-Japanese Taste

How To Make Japanese Cream Stew (White Stew) From Scratch

by Megumi Moriya

Autumn Winter Stew Dairy Chicken Easy Kid-friendly Yoshoku One Pot Weeknight Dinner Idea

Cream stew is often considered by Japanese people as a dish with foreign origins, much like omelet rice, doria (rice gratin), and Napolitan. Despite their appearance resembling non-Japanese dishes, these culinary delights have deep roots in Japan. In this recipe, we introduce another dish of this kind – the beloved 'Cream Stew.'

While stew is a globally celebrated dish, the typical image might be of a brown stew. However, in Japan, when people mention 'stew,' it generally refers to a white cream-based stew in most cases.

Let's delve into the stories behind Japanese cream stew. Its origin remains somewhat unclear, but it gained popularity in the post-war period as a nutritious school lunch for children. At that time, the prevalent milk was skimmed milk (not regular milk), and cream stew was created as a delicious way to utilize it.

Despite its popularity, making cream stew at home presented challenges. Adding flour to milk often resulted in lumps, requiring specific know-how for successful preparation. The turning point came with the introduction of ready-made stew roux powder in 1966 by House Foods. This product paved the way for cream stew to become a home-cooked meal that anyone could easily prepare.

While block-type ready-made roux is more popular than powdered versions in Japan today, there are three major types available at supermarkets for curry, hashed beef, and cream stew. These convenient options help people save time in the kitchen. If you're interested in cube-type roux, we have some available on our website – feel free to check them out.

However, in this recipe, we'll walk you through making Japanese cream stew from scratch without using any block-type roux. Enjoy preparing this comforting dish at home with just a few readily available ingredients.


Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Total servings: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 300 g Chicken Thighs
  • 250 g Potato
  • 100 g Carrot
  • 150 g Onion
  • 100 g Broccoli
  • 1 Tbsp Olive or Cooking Oil
  • 30 g Butter
  • 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 30 ml White Wine
  • 200 ml Water
  • 500 ml Milk
  • 2 tsp Consomme Powder
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

Expert's Tip

How To Make Japanese Cream Stew (White Stew) From Scratch

When making Japanese cream stew quickly, this block-type cream stew roux can be a great help! All you need to do is stir-fry the ingredients and simmer them. With this stew roux, you won't need to buy all-purpose flour and consommé powder. What's more, you can relax or do other tasks while enjoying a delicious dish!


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together.

2) Preparing the Raw Ingredients

Cut the ingredients for the stew into small pieces. Be sure to follow these simple steps: 

  • Chicken thigh: Cut it into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Potato: Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Soak them in extra water until ready to cook.
  • Carrot: Slice it into 5mm slices. (If the carrot is large, cut it in half before slicing.)
  • Onion: Slice it into 1cm slices.
  • Broccoli: Divide it into individual portions and boil for about 1 minute in boiling water. Drain the water and set aside until adding to the pot.

3) Pre-cooking the Chicken & Vegetables

Pour olive or cooking oil into a frying pan and sauté the chicken. Once both sides are golden brown, remove them and set aside on a plate.

In a pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the carrot and onion, and stir-fry to prevent burning. (*This step is crucial to achieve a white stew.)

Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the drained potato. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and stir-fry for an additional 3-4 minutes.

4) Making the White Sauce

Sprinkle all-purpose flour over the ingredients and stir until no powdery residue remains, as shown in the picture. Gradually pour in water to dissolve the all-purpose flour. Add white wine and boil for 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.

Then, add milk, consommé powder, and a bay leaf. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom of the pot.

5) Adding the Chicken Back

Place the sautéed chicken thigh into the pot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom. Once the ingredients are well-cooked, add the broccoli and heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Check the taste and add salt if the seasoning is not sufficient.

6) Dishing Up The Cream Stew

Dish up the cream stew. It can be enjoyed with both rice and bread, so choose your preference.

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