Chawanmushi (Japanese Egg Custard)
My son is not a big fan of meat. He used to inhale any meat I put in front of him but one day (because kids are strange) he stopped eating meat. He said “it’s too chewy” and I said “that’s why God gave you teeth”. Now, this didn’t work but was worth a shot. Now days, the only protein he will get excited about are seafood and eggs. So I decided to make chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard) for dinner. I used to make this dish a lot, but back then, my little guy was not a fan of eggs. Now he loves them…go figure.
It’s a simple dish to make, and pretty fast too if you have stock on hand. I almost always have chicken or dashi stock in the freezer. You can always use the store-bought chicken stock. You can also add any filling. I had some shrimp and sugar snap peas on hand so that’s what I used. But chicken, crab, mushrooms, and broccoli are some ideas. The key is to blanch them before use. Most recipes use a steamer to cook the custard but I don’t own one so I use my trusted le crueset pot and it has worked beautifully for me.
makes 2 servings
2 large eggs
1 cup stock (dashi or chicken)
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 small shrimp (or 4 large shrimp), halved lengthwise, blanched
1/3 cup sugar snap peas, blanched
scallions, to garnish
Fill a pot (with a lid) with enough water so it comes up to the ramekin halfway.
Mix the stock, soy sauce, mirin and salt. Mix (not whip) eggs lightly in a bowl with a fork. Slowly add the stock mixture to the eggs so that you don’t create a lot of bubbles. Strain. Place the shrimp and sugar snap peas in the center of the ramekin. Slowly pour in the egg mixture.
Carefully place the 2 ramekins in the pot. Close the lid. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to low and cook for another 12-15 minutes. Insert a small knife into the center of the custard and if clear liquid runs out it’s ready. If cooked perfectly, the custard will have silken tofu consistency.
Garnish with scallions.