Chawan Mushi (Savory Individual Custard)

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on April 28, 2010.

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Ingredients:

Chawan Mushi (Savory Individual Custard)

  • 4 cups dashi (mix 4 cups water with 2 1/2 teaspoons of dashi-no-moto)
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon shoyu
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2/3 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and slightly beaten
  • 1/4 pound chicken filet, julienne; marinate for 10 minutes in 1/2 tablespoon shoyu and 1/2 tablespoon mirin
  • 6 small shrimps, shell and devein
  • 18 ginko nuts, optional
  • 12 small button mushrooms
  • 6 slices kamaboko (fishcake), cut in 3 triangular pieces
  • Mitsuba or Chinese peas, blanch
  • Lemon peel, sliver

Directions:

Combine first five ingredients together; mix well. Add to beaten eggs; strain. Arrange remaining ingredients attractively in bottom of six individual heat resistant bowls or cups. Pour egg mixture over until 3/4 full. Cover. Place in a pot large enough to hold six (6) individual cups; add water to cover half way up sides of cups. Place clean cloth under cover of steamer to keep moisture from dripping into custard. Bring water to a boil, steam 1 to 2 minutes, lower heat and continue steaming 20 to 25 minutes. Place Mistuba or peas on top of each custard; steam additional 3 to 5 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean or if mixture is firm and there is no liquid on the surface. Cover bowls and serve hot on saucers, each with a spoon. Makes 6 servings.

Variations:
Try other ingredients such as 12 bay scallops, 12 bay shrimps, 12 frozen peas, 1/4 cup shitake (dried mushroom) softened and finely slivered, 1/4 cup carrots finely slivered. When boiled noodles are added as one of the ingredients it is called Odamaki Mushi.

Editor's Note:
Be sure to add seasoning to the dashi first and mix well because salt will not melt in the egg readily. This dish is usually served hot but it is also excellent served cold in the summer.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving:
120 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 165 mg cholesterol, 750 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 13 g protein

Recipe from "The Legacy of the Japanese in Hawaii: Cuisine" published by The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

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