Stew

East meet West in kitchen as Japanese ingredient makes Western-style cream stew more delicious

Our stew-loving reporter says a quick dash of one of Japan’s staple seasonings, added at just the right time, boosts the flavor of this cold-weather favorite.

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Imoni-kai: A hidden, delicious cultural gem of northern Japan

Hop on a train to off-the-beaten-path Yamagata Prefecture any weekend from September through November, and you’re bound to see crowds of people congregating and cooking pots of something delicious by the local river. Yup, imoni-kai season is in full swing!

Imoni (芋煮) is the name given to a taro root stew native to the Tohoku region of northern Japan. Apart from its delicious taste, imoni is also famous for the social aspects of its creation. Families traditionally congregate on a riverbank (the practice of which is known as imoni-kai, literally, “imoni gathering”) and cook the stew from scratch over a fire pit. In that sense, you can think of it a bit like an autumn version of o-hanami, the popular Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossoms in the spring.

Join us after the jump for a glimpse at a unique cultural tradition of northern Japan which many Japanese people in other parts of the country have never even heard of!

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We get a sneak peak at stew-flavored Garigari-Kun popsicles! Tastes great with rice!

Since a picture was leaked online last week, Japan has been all abuzz with rumors of the latest in the “rich” flavor line up of popular Garigari-kun brand popsicles. Their previous corn potage flavor was deemed a rousing success and now it appeared they were topping themselves this with a potato stew version.

The good news is a release date has been set for 29 October. The even better news is that we already got to take some Garigari-kun Potato Stew bars for a test taste at a presentation in Tokyo two weeks early!

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Release Your Inner Vampire by Feasting on Blood in the Philippines

What comes to mind at the mention of stew? Maybe a hearty beef stew or some creamy chicken soup? Well, it seems that many fast food restaurants in the Philippines will sell you stew that’s made from the blood of domesticated animals! Holy cow! Or maybe it’s horse. Sheep? Exactly what kind of blood are we talking here?! To find out more, we flew our top investigative reporter to the Philippines to fill us in on the heart of the matter. Read More