Japanese-Inspired Comfort Fish Stew

Japanese-Inspired Comfort Fish Stew
Chef Brainy
What Started it all:
canned fish (tuna, sardines), Celery, vinegar (apple cider, balsamic), crockpot

This delightful Japanese-inspired stew combines the rich flavors of canned fish with the crispness of celery and the tang of apple cider and balsamic vinegar. Perfect for a cozy family meal, it’s both simple and satisfying.


  • 2 cans of tuna (in water or oil, drained)
  • 2 cans of sardines (in water or oil, drained)
  • 4 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups vegetable or fish broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (optional, for a touch of sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onions (sliced, for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for garnish)


  1. Drain the canned tuna and sardines.
  2. Chop the celery into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
  4. Set your crockpot to the sauté mode (or use a separate pan if your crockpot doesn’t have this function).
  5. Add the sesame oil and let it heat up.
  6. Sauté the minced garlic and grated ginger until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped celery to the crockpot.
  8. Pour in the vegetable or fish broth.
  9. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, mirin (if using), and black pepper.
  10. Gently fold in the drained tuna and sardines.
  11. Ensure the fish is evenly distributed throughout the stew.
  12. Cover the crockpot and set it to cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
  13. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  14. Once the stew is ready, ladle it into bowls.
  15. Garnish with sliced green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

This Japanese-inspired comfort fish stew is a perfect blend of flavors and textures, offering a delightful warmth and richness. Serve it with a side of steamed rice or a simple salad for a complete, nourishing meal. Enjoy!

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