- I did my first 10 km race this year (I will post about this sometime this week)
- I made my favorite egg dish for the first time in 2 years, and I am thrilled to tell you about it in this post.
The theme for this fortnight's cookbook challenge is 'Eggs'. I was fazed when I first learnt about this theme. As some of you may know, I am sensitive to eggs. What will happen when I eat eggs? On most occasions, I break out in rash and eczema - it's not a pretty sight. Yet the strange thing is, I used to have no problem with eggs. In fact, I liked eggs so much, I would keep a few hard-boiled eggs in my pouch to snack on throughout the day. It was only two years ago that my body started rebelling, thereby forcing me to cut down on eggs in my diet.
During my egg-eating days, my favorite egg dish was (it still is) the smooth and silky Chawanmushi. The delectable Chawanmushi is a savory egg custard dish found in the Japanese cuisine. Literally translated, it means ‘steamed in a tea bowl’. The traditional Chawanmushi is made with ginko seeds, shiitake mushrooms, and shrimps, but one can easily adapt substitute it with ingredients of their choice. It is not uncommon to see salmon roe, carrots, and other vegetables being used in Chawanmushi.
Apart from being my favorite egg dish, Chawanmushi is also my brother's favorite. My mom used to make it every fortnight, but she has since stopped making it after she found out about my food intolerances. Since it has been a long while since my brother has had this beautiful dish, I decided to use this rare opportunity to surprise him.
The recipe that I used for this fortnight's challenge is adapted from my mom's go-to Japanese cookbook. She has been using this cook book for more than 15 years, and has kept my family's picky tummies happy. But before I proceed, here are 5 important tips that you need to remember if you want to make the perfect Chawanmushi.
5 Important Tips for Making the Perfect Chawanmushi
- Remember the ratio 3:1 – 3 parts of dashi to 1 part of egg. There are various sizes of eggs in the market, so I will usually break the eggs into a measuring cup, and measure out the proportionate amount of dashi required.
- Strain the egg mixture through a sieve. This is the secret to a silky and smooth Chawanmushi.
- Pour the mixture into the cups/ramekins SLOWLY, to prevent all the ingredients from floating to the top.
- Place a tea towel under the lid to catch any condensation. Alternatively, you could wrap each tea cup/ramekins with aluminum foil. (I have never tried the second method though)
- Steam on high for 2 mins, then on low heat for another 7-8 mins.
Traditional Chawanmushi (Savory Japanese Egg Custard)
3 large eggs (about 150 ml)
450 ml dashi OR 450 ml water+1.5 tsp dashi powder
4 shrimps, peeled and deveined
60g chicken thigh/breast, diced
2 dried shiitake, soaked and halved
8 ginko seeds
Seasoning Set 1
1 tsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce/tamari sauce
Seasoning Set 2
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp soy sauce/ tamari sauce
½ tsp salt
- In a bowl, combine the shrimps, diced chicken, dried shiitake, ginko seeds and seasoning set 1; mix well.
- In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs so that you do not create air bubbles; mix in dashi and seasoning set 2. Strain the egg mixture into another bowl through a fine sieve.
- Divide chicken meat, shiitake mushrooms, and 4 ginko nuts equally into the cups/ramekins; gently pour the egg mixture into the cups/ramekins.
- Place the cups in a steamer and put a tea towel under the lid to catch any condensation. Tilt the lid a little to allow the steam to escape. Steam for 2 minutes on a HIGH heat, then reduce the heat and steam for another 2 minutes.
- Gently place the 1 shrimp and 1 ginko seed in each tea cup. Continue steaming for another 5-6 mins.
- Using a wooden skewer, check if the egg is done; the skewer should come clean when you prick it.
- Remove from heat. Serve immediately, or chill if desired. Enjoy!
- Gluten-free: Use tamari sauce instead.
- Do note that the size of the eggs used will determine the amount of dashi stock that you will need.
What is your favorite egg dish?
Do check out my fellow Cookbook Challengers' entries here.