Apr 8
I was contacted recently by Ali, who writes the blog Fat to Fit, about a challenge she was hosting called the Healthy Slow Cooker Challenge, in which participants were being challenged to cook at least one healthy slow cooker meal this week.

Healthy Slow Cooker Challenge

Tuesday, during our drive home from Utah, Squirrel began to complain that she didn’t feel well.  She occasionally gets a bit carsick, so I figured that this was the case.  Yesterday morning when she woke up, however, she was running a fever.

Sick Squirrel

The situation called for some chicken soup and also presented the perfect opportunity for me to participate in the Healthy Slow Cooker Challenge.  The chicken soup that I came up with is really more of a stew, because it is nice and thick.  This stew is like a cross between chicken noodle soup, tori zosui, and sopa pollo.  It’s what might happen if chicken noodle soup took a little trip to Japan and had a layover in Mexico on the way home.  Rice (rice is “gohan” in Japanese) replaces the noodles and helps to thicken the stew.  A note on rice: the rice used in this stew is Japanese rice (japonica), a shorter grained rice.  It is often labeled as medium-grain rice, sushi rice, or Calrose rice at the store.

The stew is very easy to make, requiring very little active work.  Chicken breasts and thinly sliced ginger are stewed in chicken stock for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours in the slow cooker on a low-heat setting until the chicken is tender.

Chicken, ginger, and chicken broth simmer in the slow cooker

Then you add some rice, carrot matchsticks, and peas, and continue cooking until the rice is tender.  The rice absorbs a lot of broth and becomes plump and juicy.  Some of the rice also breaks down a bit helping to thicken the stew.  When everything has finished cooking you shred the chicken and then stir in some soy sauce and lime juice and serve it topped with thinly sliced scallions and shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice) if you want to add a bit of heat.

Shred the chicken with two forks

I like to buy large pieces of ginger and peel the whole piece at one time.  I then cut off the amount that I need for the recipe and place the rest in a freezer bag in the freezer for future use.

Peeled and sliced fresh ginger

Make sure that your peas (if you’re using frozen peas) have been defrosted.  Adding frozen ingredients to the cooker lowers the temperature of the contents of the cooker and increases the cooking time because everything has to be brought back up to a simmering temperature.  I plan ahead by measuring out my peas and putting them in the refrigerator to defrost the night before, but you could always defrost them in the microwave.

The finished stew is healthy, thick, and comforting with a hint of citrusy tang from the addition of the lime juice.  The perfect way to comfort a little girl who isn’t feeling well—or anyone for that matter!

Slow Cooker Chicken Gohan Stew

Print This Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Gohan Stew

Makes 6 – 8 servings

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 – 4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
6 cups chicken broth
5 ounces frozen green peas, defrosted
5 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
3/4 cup uncooked Japanese rice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper, to taste
scallions, thinly sliced to garnish
shichimi togarashi, to garnish (optional)

1. Cut the chicken breasts in half (or thirds if the breasts are large) so that the pieces are about the same size as chicken thighs.  Place the pieces in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, along with the sliced ginger.  Pour the chicken broth into the slow cooker.  Place the lid on the cooker and cooke on a low-heat setting for 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours, until the chicken is tender.

2. Stir in the rice, peas, and carrots and replace the lid.  Continue to cook on the low-heat setting for 40 to 50 minutes more until the rice is tender.

3. Shred the chicken using two forks and then return it to the slow cooker.  Stir in the soy sauce and lime juice and add salt and pepper as needed.  Served garnished with thinly sliced scallions and shichimi togarashi (if desired).


Today is the last to enter my Zojirushi Giveaway!  To enter, see this post for details.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ How To: Simplify April 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

Wow, this looks amazing. I’m definitely trying this recipe! I hope she’s feeling better!


Paula - bell'alimento April 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

I love the addition of GINGER! You’re a genius ; )


qsogirl April 8, 2010 at 11:28 am

This looks absolutely delicious. I will be bookmarking this one. And I hope that your sweet little girl gets better soon!


The Duo Dishes April 8, 2010 at 11:35 am

Wish someone would gift us with a slow cooker come next fall. It would be so fun to make soups and stews like this. This is a great one for anyone who might be sick.


Tracy April 8, 2010 at 11:50 am

Looks delicious! I’m always looking for more slow-cooker meals.


Sara April 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

Yum, this looks heavenly. I’ve been fighting a bad cold for a couple days now; maybe some this delicous soup with ginger will do the trick!


Maria April 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I am all about the healthy recipes. Great job with this one!


Fuji Papa April 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Love chicken soup on a cold day or when I’m feeling lousy. Hugs to Squirrel.


Lucie April 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm

it’s kind of arroz caldo……minus the veggies…very popular out here on Guam!!!


Fuji Nana April 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Since ginger is a home remedy for upset tummies, it seems like a perfect addition to chicken soup. Now why didn’t I think of that 30 years ago???


redkathy April 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Great looking stew. My son would so love this. I didn’t know that fresh ginger could be frozen, thanks for sharing that most helpful tip.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm

@redkathy, Freezing ginger without the skin on does change the texture a bit, but if you’re using the ginger to cook with, I don’t find that this matters!


Ann @ Healthy Tasty Chow April 8, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Yum! This looks fantastic, comforting and different than most other chicken soup/stews. You sold me with the limes!


Ali @ Fat to Fit April 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm

This looks so fantastic! Thanks again for participating. Hope your little girl is feeling better soon, my little one is down and out with the flu, too. I think I’ll be making this ASAP.


Melanie (Kimono Reincarnate) April 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm

That looks delicious! I hope Squirrel is feeling much better really soon!


Kayte April 9, 2010 at 6:59 am

Wonderful addition to my soup collection, going to give it a trial run when I get home…thanks for the tip on freezing ginger, was never sure I could do that or if I should leave the skin on before freezing it, etc. Hope the little one is feeling much better. This soup looks like the perfect cure to me!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm

@Kayte, Freezing ginger without the skin on does change the texture a bit, but if you’re using the ginger to cook with, I don’t find that this matters!


Janna April 9, 2010 at 8:11 am

That looks FANTASTIC!

Hope your little one is feeling better soon!


Kelly Azuma April 9, 2010 at 8:17 am

I hope Squirrel gets better soon :) I’m going to give this recipe a whirl when we get into winter, it looks like it could be a winner.


Cookin' Canuck April 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

I hope Squirrel feels better soon. A hearty chicken soup like this (with plenty of ginger) should put her on the road to recovery.


Michelle April 9, 2010 at 9:20 am

OH MY does this sound delicious! Perfect for our still chilly spring nights!


Kathy April 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I wish I was that little girl! :D

This is really a comfort food. It is cook slow yet you will be satisfied on the outcome. This is very great on a cold weather or rainy nights! I’ll keep your recipe. Thank you for sharing!


tigerfish April 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm

My kind of easy quick comforting tasty one-dish meal. YAY!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction April 9, 2010 at 8:11 pm

This is lovely. I think I will make it one night next week… I’ll be super busy and need an easy meal, and I love that it’s healthy, too!


Sophie April 11, 2010 at 2:22 am

A georgous & tasty looking chicken stew !!

MMMMMMMM,…a must try, I think!

Lovely food!


Brett Sutcliffe April 11, 2010 at 4:04 am

This is totally my type. Btw my bf just got bad cold I believe this one is the rice soup i was looking for since a lot of ginger inside. Love it a lot. Thank you for your tutorial.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

@Brett Sutcliffe, I hope this helps!


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm

GREAT recipe Rachael. I hope it made Squirrel feel better!


Jennifer April 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Can this be frozen?


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

@Jennifer, I haven’t personally tried freezing it, but it would freeze just as well as any other stew!


Tina @ Squirrel Acorns April 13, 2010 at 8:07 am

I made this last night for dinner and it was awesome! I can’t wait to have some of the leftover for lunch. The only thing that I changed was that I used boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breast meat. It’s cheaper, and in general, we like it better. I passed the recipe along to my friend who asked me if I thought she could use other rice except sushi/Japanese rice. Any idea? I suggested that it might affect the thickening quality of the rice, and if I was going to substitute, I’d probably choose a medium grain variety as opposed to a long-grain variety. I suggested jasmine, but upon further research, I discovered that it’s a long grain rice. Hmm..didn’t realize. Maybe arborio would be better?


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

@Tina @ Squirrel Acorns, I’m so glad that you liked it! I’m sure the chicken thighs were delish! I tend to prefer them also, but happened to have the breast meat on hand when I dreamed this up, LOL! Yes, she could use another variety, but the texture will be different. Japanese rice, like Arborio rice, soaks in moisture and plumps up (which is why they are used in risotto). A longer grain rice (like Jasmine or Basmati) would still be delicious–just different! Arborio rice would be a great substitute for Japanese rice.


molly April 19, 2010 at 7:24 am

Once again, I looked to you for inspiration…and once again you did not fail me! I made this dish over the weekend and it was FANTASTIC! It was so easy and made the whole house smell great!!! Thank you!


DessertForTwo May 20, 2010 at 10:54 am

I have a weakness for chicken soup recipes and this one sounds amazing. I can’t wait to make it! Thanks for sharing!


Skeattle March 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I made this recipe tonight…and it was fantastic!!! I used 1/2 c brown rice and 1/4 c pearled barley. Great flavors…and the lime and soy sauce meld beautifully. Thank you for such a great recipe. This is a keeper!


Dierdra July 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Can’t wait to try this one!!Looks wonderful.


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