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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chawanmushi (Japanese Style Savory Egg Custard)

Here I am cooking Japanese food again!  J
This dish is delicate and delicious. It’s a side dish. You can mix any meat of fish, in byte size pieces. There are special serving dishes for chawanmushi but I don’t have them, so I use bowls covered with foil and I steam them in a pan.

Chawanmushi (Japanese Style Savory Egg Custard)
4 Servings

2 cups water
½ oz kombu seaweed (kelp) or 3 inches strip
1/2 cup dried bonito flakes

3 eggs
1 2/3 cup dashi 
1 tsp soy sauce

4 oz chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
4 large or 12 small shrimp, shelled, tail on (optional)
4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced, or 1/4 enoki mushrooms, chopped
8 slices kamaboko or narutomaki fish cakes
Japanese herb leaves such as mitsuba/trefoil (optional)

Dashi: Heat the water with kelp, uncovered, over medium heat, remove kelp right before the water boils. Add a little bit of water and add the dried bonito flakes just before the water starts boiling. When the foam starts to raise, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 seconds. Turn off the heat. Add a pinch of salt and let stand until the flakes sink to the bottom. Strain.

Lightly beat eggs in a bowl, strain the eggs, add cold dashi and salt. Marinade the chicken with the mirin and soy sauce for a couple of minutes. Place fillings in the bottom of 8 oz bowls. Stir in the egg mixture carefully. Break any bubbles on the surface. Place mitsuba leaves on top of the egg mixture. Cover the cups with foil. Preheat a steamer on high heat. Turn down the heat to low and carefully place cups in the steamer. Steam for about 15 to 20 minutes until set.

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