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11 Ways to Thicken Your Food Stew

Updated on April 26, 2019

Ingredients in a stew

Food stew can include ingredients such as:

  • Vegetables like carrots,potatoes,beans,mushrooms,tomatoes,peppers.
  • Meat such as beef
  • Poultry
  • Sausages
  • Seafood
  • Water or stock which are used as the stew cooking liquid
  • Seasoning and spices which are used to add flavour to the stew

Types of stews

There are two types of stews.

  1. White stew
  2. Brown stew
  1. White stew
  • Blanquette.This is a white stew that is traditionally made from veal, chicken, or lamb. Ulike other stews,the meat or other ingredients of blanquettes aren’t browned hence giving the sauce a white or blanc appearance. The stew is traditionally garnished with things like mushrooms and pearl onions and are then finished using a liaisonof egg yolks and cream.
  • Fricassée.This is a white stew which is made of veal, poultry, or rabbit.
  • Bouillabaisse.This is a traditional fish stew that originated from the port city of Marseille. The stew was majorly made by fishermen who used fish which restaurants or markets failed to buy. It may also contain shellfish and other seafood such as crab,octopus, sea urchins and ,mussels. The broth can be simmered together with vegetables such as potatoes, leeks, tomatoes,onions and celery and is then served with the fish.

2.Brown stew

Brown stews are normally made with some pieces of red meat which are first seared or browned, before a browned mirepoix and at other times browned stock, flour, stand wine are added.

List of stews

There are many varieties of stews but the most common are:

  • Meat Stew.It is made by using different kinds of meat.Below are some common meat stews.
  1. Beef stew
  2. Chicken stew
  3. Fish stew
  4. Pork stew
  • Grain stew.This is made from grains such as:
  1. Beans
  2. Peas
  3. Green grams
  • Vegetable stews.This are made from different kinds of vegetables such as:
  1. Tomatoes
  2. Potatoes
  3. Carrots
  4. Onions
  5. Pepper

Meat Stew(Fish stew)

Chicken stew

Grain stew(Bean Stew)

Peas Stew

Difference between soup and stew

Stews are almost the same as soups and at times there may not be a very clear difference between the two.Below are some differences between soups and stews.

  • Amount of liquid.Stews normally have lesser liquid than soups.
  • Thickness.Stews are more thicker than soups.
  • Amount of cooking time and heat required.Stews require a little more time cooking on low heat than soups.
  • Serving.While stews are thick enough for them to be served on a plate over solid ingredients such as meat, soups are mostly served in bowls because they are not very thick as stews.

Amount of liquid required
Less liquid
More liquid
More Thick
Less thick
Cooking time required
More cooking time
Less cooking time

Difference between stew and soups

How to make thick food stew

There are so many ways to make thick food stews with easily available products.Whether its meat,vegetable or grain stew here are some things you can use to make your food stew thick.

  1. Tomatoes.Enough deep red tomatoes should make your stew thick.Most people don't use enough tomatoes hence the stew remains watery.
  2. Pumpkins.Most people in many countries think that pumpkins are just for Halloween decoration or a thanksgiving pie filling.Pumpkins are however so nutritious and beneficial to our bodies.They contain nutrients such as fibre,vitamins, and potassium which are great for improving eye health and maintaining a healthy heart.You can great uncooked pumpkin into tour stew or mash cooked pumpkin into your stew to make it thick.
  3. Arrowroots.Arrowroot Is another healthier alternative for making thick stew.It is completely safe,has no side effects,and it’s also known to be even safe for baby formula though there are other more superior foods that one can use to feed an infant.Arrowroot contains several B vitamins, minerals like magnesium,copper and iron, phosphorous, manganese and that provide necessary nutrientsfor your body.Arrowroot also contains more protein than most of the other root vegetables and starches.To make your stew thick using arrowrrots, just add a few pieces of cooked arrowroots or powdered arrowroots to your stew.
  4. Potatoes.Chop or grate tomatoes into your stew and let the potatoes boil with the stew.
  5. Courgettes.Cut or grate courgettes into your stew and let ithe courgettes cook.As they cook your stew will begin to thicken.
  6. Peanut butter.Add some tablespoons of peanut butter to your stew to make it thick.
  7. Royco.This is a great spice that is not only used to sweeten stew but also to thicken.Just add a little to your stew to thicken it.
  8. Soysauce.Soysauce which is oftenly chemically produced is a great stew thickener. Just add a little to your stew,stir and let it boil for some minutes.
  9. Tomatoes paste.Depending on the quantity of your stew,add some tablespoons of tomatoes paste to your stew to make it thick.
  10. Eggplant(Biriganya).This is also another great healthy option for thickening your stew.It contains nutrients such as fibres,vitamins, minerals and is low in calories.To thicken your stew using eggplant,cut or grate the egg plant into your stew and allow it to boil for some few minutes.
  11. Corn starch.Though its rich in calories,most restaurants,hotels and eating outlets use corn starch to thicken their stews.Cornstarch is available in supermarkets and you just need to add a little to your stew and let it boil.
  12. Flour.Most people use flour because its readily available.To thicken tour stew using flour, mix some flour together with warm or cold water in a bowl.Stir until there are no lumps then add the mixture to your stew.Wait for the stew to boil for some few minutes.If after boiling the stew is not yet thick ,mix some more flour and water and add to your stew the let it boil.Your stew will thicken as it boils.You can use any of this flours to thicken your soup.
  • Wheat flour
  • Maize /Corn flour
  • Amarath flour which is nutrious and much more healthier than the rest if you are into eating healthy or you are trying to loose weight.

Which ingredients do you prefer to use to make your stew thick?

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