Chawanmushi– Japanese egg custard with ginger sauce

Egg Custard Base Ingredients

Egg Custard Base Ingredients
Large Eggs 2
Awase Dashi (Kelp & Bonito Japanese Stock) 400 ml
Salt 1 teaspoon
Takara Mirin 1 teaspoon
Soy Sauce 1/2 teaspoon

Main Ingredients - Can Substitute with a Variety of Seafood and Vegetables

Main Ingredients - Can Substitute with a Variety of Seafood and Vegetables
Chicken Thigh - Cut into Small Bite-Size Pieces 2 oz.
Sho Chiku Bai Sake 1 tablespoon
Spinach - Cut into Small Pieces Few Leaves
Cooked Bamboo Shoots - Cut into Small Pieces Few
Small chunks of Crabmeat or Shrimp 4 pcs
Dried or Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms 2
Water to Rehydrate Dried Shiitake Mushrooms 1/2 cup

Optional Ginger Sauce Ingredients

Optional Ginger Sauce Ingredients
Awase dashi (100ml) + Water Used from Hydrating Shiitake Mushrooms (50ml) 150 ml
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Grated Ginger 1/4 teaspoon
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Soy Sauce 1/2 teaspoon
Corn Starch 1 teaspoon
Water 1 teaspoon

Directions

Directions
Rehydrate sliced dried shiitake mushrooms in ½ cup of water and set aside
Splash Chicken thigh with Sho Chiku Bai sake and set aside
Crack eggs into a small bowl. Beat well, but avoid making too many bubbles
Combine awase dashi, salt, Takara Mirin and soy sauce in a large bowl and mix well. If you are using freshly made dashi, make sure it is cooled to room temperature before adding eggs
While pouring eggs into above large bowl of dashi mixture stir gently to blend all ingredients well. If you prefer a smoother texture, you may strain this egg mixture through a sieve
Divide chicken, rehydrated sliced shiitake mushroom, spinach, cooked bamboo shoots & crabmeat into 4 equal portions and place one portion into each of the 4 small cups. Next, fill each cup ¾ of the way with the egg & dashi mixture
Cover each cup with aluminum foil
For the ginger sauce: Mix corn starch and water and set aside. Combine remaining ginger sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add corn starch & water mixture to sauce and stir well till desirable thickness is achieved
With heat off, place the 4 cups containing the chawanmushi into a large pot and add water to the pot until the water level reaches half-way up the cups. Remove the 4 cups from the pot, place lid on the pot and bring water to a boil
When water boils, reduce heat to med-low (to sustain a gentle boil), and place the 4 cups into the pot, being careful of the very hot water. Place lid on pot and cook for 7 minutes
After 7 minutes, turn off heat completely and leave cups in pot for another 7 minutes
(You can check the custard with a wooden skewer to see if it’s done. Insert skewer in custard and if it comes out clean, it is ready)
Very carefully remove the 4 cups from the pot. Cups are HOT!
Pour a small amount of ginger sauce on top of each egg custard before serving

Point

Point
Ratio of egg-to-liquid mixture can vary - 1 large egg to 160ml~200ml dashi (approx. 2 serving), depending on personal preference for softer or firmer custard
If using a steamer, place cups in steamer after water boils and cook on mid-low heat for 10~15 minutes. Make sure steamer can hold all 4 cups prior to cooking
Egg custard is a very versatile dish which requires only small amounts of the main ingredients. Try substituting with a variety of vegetables, seafood, etc