Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Japanese Steamed Egg (Chawanmushi) Recipe

There are many versions of steamed eggs. Some of my favourites include those with 3 types of eggs; normal chicken egg, century egg (pi dan) and salted egg. Another version that is often served in restaurants is the combination of century egg (pi dan), salted egg and spinach

A simple variation of steamed egg is Chawanmushi or Japanese steamed egg custard. All you need is some stock and eggs.

(makes 4 portions)

3 eggs
350ml stock (either chicken or dashi flavoured)
Any other ingredients to line base of cup, you can use imitation crabmeat, Japanese fish cake, gingko nuts, chicken cubes (I only used 1 imitation crabstick for 4 cups)

2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar

1. Mix eggs well. Do not beat vigorously as that will cause your chawanmushi to be un-smooth. Stir with a pair of chopsticks in a clockwise motion.

2. Make stock. In 450ml of plain water, add in 1 pack of instant dashi powder or half a cube of instant chicken stock. For more details, refer to Tips section.

3. Mix stock with eggs and add in soy sauce and sugar. Line small bowls with ingredients like crabstick, etc.

4. Sieve mixture directly into small bowls! This is an important step to make your chawanmushi as smooth as possible.

5. Cover small bowls with lids and steam for 10 minutes.

For convenience, I use instant stock in powder form or in cubes. You can use chicken or dashi-flavoured and I like both. Instant chicken stock tastes sweeter whereas bonito flavoured dashi tastes fresher and lighter. You can get instant dashi from major supermarkets or from Daiso.

Always check the description on the packaging on the amounts of seasoning to add to 450ml of water. My estimates above are based on brands I use, Maggi chicken stock or Shimaya bonito dashi. If you don't have either, using plain water will also achieve the smooth consistency but the taste will not be as good.

You can use any type of container to make chawanmushi but you should use bowls with lids. I use steam egg cups from Daiso but previously I used ramekins without lids and they turned out like this. Not pretty but taste wise, just as good.

If you do not have bowls with lids, you can use cling wrap to seal the bowl when steaming but I still don't like the idea of exposing your food to such material at high temperatures. Aesthetics is always a secondary concern of mine.

1 comment:

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