January 22, 13 | Takako Chiba
With such cold nights sweeping Hokkaido, it’s time for really good food that will warm you from the inside out.
Sapporo’s Hug Mart is selling a special set for just such cooking. With well known and very carefully selected Hokkaido produce and seafood, Hug Mart presents their new Marugoto Hokkaido Cream Stew Set.
▲ Marugoto Hokkaido Cream Stew Set
▲ The staff at Hug Mart choose only the best ingredients, all native to Hokkaido, to include in this box set.
When it comes to stew, Hug Mart is very particular in their choice of producers for potatoes, carrots, onions, and other raw produce—crucial ingredients for a good stew.
“For potatoes, we use Hasa San May Queens from Otofuke. We use Nishida onions from Kuri Yama, Abe San carrots from Hakodate, Betsukai (also known as Bekkai) milk, and Nomura salmon. Our ingredients come from quality producers and regions known for particular goods,” said Hug Mart’s shop manager, Nanashima san.
▲ All of Hug Mart’s vegetables, fish and dairy products are from Hokkaido and bought directly from the producers.
It’s not just that the food is delicious, but seeing the friendly faces of the local producers is somewhat reassuring, making the experience all the more enjoyable.
▲ In the Tokachi fields, they take advantage of the difference in temperature throughout to grow really delicious potatoes. These May Queens are carefully ripened until it is time to ship, maintaining the perfect amount of sweetness. “For stew, I recommend you cut the potatoes into large pieces, rather than small ones, to really take advantage of the flavor,” says Nanashima san.
Did we mention that this stew is made with salmon, not beef? That’s another reason why this stew is so special. As Nanashima says, “This is another aspect where [we] are really focused on bringing the taste of Hokkaido to the dish. In order to make the salmon into a no-fuss ingredient, Hug Mart has chosen a pre-cut, diced salmon to include in the set.
The stew also called for another flavor, something subtle but something that would really bring out the flavors of all the other ingredients. That something is cheese.
“We use a unique cheese from Yubumachi’s Blue Glass Farm. You should try to make the stew with and without the cheese. You’ll see it makes a world of difference when you add it to the stew.” – Nanashima san
▲ The town of Betsukai produces some of Japan’s best milk. The milk comes from cows raised in the fresh air and vast pastures near lake Mashu, which provides much of the ground water in the area.
Adding mushrooms, spinach, and kabocha squash makes this dish into a well-balanced, nutritious meal.
When you buy the box set, there are recipes included. There is the simple, “Shiawase (Joyful) Stew,” and the more complex “Weekend Feast Stew.” And for those leftover ingredients, there’s even an bonus recipe included, but we’ll leave that one a mystery to enjoy when you buy the set.
▲ Hug Coordinator Hikiji san’s Simply Joyful Stew recipe.
The box set, which will serve about 4 people, is reasonably priced at 2,980 yen. Of course this makes a great gift to bring home. Hug Mart expects to off the set until March, but once the season for Kabocha squash ends, the set may change a bit.
This has certainly become a favorite of Hokkaido Likers this season.
If you do decide to try the box set, you can order it from the Hug Life site mentioned below. But be sure to mention that you saw the Hokkaido Likers’ article, and they’ll add a free bag (400g) of their new Inca Rouge potatoes to your order.
● Tanuki Koji Coop（HUG MART）
● Marugoto Hokkaido Cream Stew Set Order Site (Hug Life)
※ Depending on the season, the products and producers may change from those mentioned above.
※ Mention this Hokkaido Likers article at the time of ordering and receive one 400g bag of ripe Inca Rouge potatoes.
Sapporo, Chuo-ku, S. 2 W. 5 (Tanuki Koji 5 chome)
TEL ：011 - 242 - 8989
FAX ：011 - 242 - 8990
Open year-round, closed only for New Year
( Hokkaido Likers Writer – Chiba Takako )
( All photos supplied by HUGマート )