Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Egg custard or chawanmushi
When I was little, this is one of the little luxuries we could afford on a regular basis. My mother was not a great cook except for this egg custard. So when I come across 尤今 story of her mother's egg custard in 螃蟹爬上树, I know I have to get this dish out of my system. Now all grown up and having traveled round the world, I inject a bit of Japanese into the stock using bonito , instead of plain old water.
The secret of a perfectly smooth and no-pocked marked egg custard is this : scoop up bubbles created by the beating of the eggs with the fingers and cellophane the top of the steaming bowl so no steam falls back on the surface of the custard.
From here, you are on the road to the perfect egg custard, with a Japanese twist.
1 packet ( 10g ) bonito flakes
3.5 cups water
3 big eggs
Bring to boil 3.5 cups of water with bonito flakes, available in most Japanese stores. Steep for 30 minutes to get the most of the flavor. Sieve stock, cool and set aside.
Beat 3 eggs in the steaming container. Add 3 cups of the stock and beat. Season with salt. Use fingers and scoop up any bubbles created.
Cover the container with cellophane and steam for 15 minutes.