Chawanmushi

A gossamer-light savoury Japanese custard with prawns, salmon and shiitake mushrooms from Jill Dupleix
By Jill Dupleix
Chawanmushi
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 8 small prawns
  • 1 x 100 g salmon
  • 8 mangetout
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 free range eggs, (60-65g)
  • 600 ml Japanese dashi, (see recipe below)
  • 2 tbsp mirin, (sweet rice wine)
  • coriander leaves, to garnish

For the Japanese dashi broth

  • 30 g dried kombu, (giant kelp)
  • 1 litres cold water
  • 30 g dried bonito flakes

or

  • 1 x 10 g sachet of powdered instant dashi
  • 1 litres water

Tips and Suggestions

instant dashi powder is available from Chinese supermarkets.

Method

1. For the Japanese dashi broth: if making your own broth, slowly heat the kombu and cold water in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes without boiling. Add the dried bonito flakes, simmer for 5 minutes and strain through muslin or a fine sieve.

2. Alternatively, simply bring 1 litre of water to the boil and add a 10g sachet of instant dashi powder and simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Peel the prawns, leaving the tails on and cut the salmon into 4 cubes. Sprinkle the prawns and salmon with a little sea salt. Cut the mangetout and mushrooms in half.

4. Divide the prawns, salmon, mangetout and mushrooms evenly among 4 x 200ml ramekins, Chinese bowls or small mugs.

5. Beat the eggs lightly, to avoid froth. Whisk in the dashi, mirin and a pinch of sea salt. Strain through a sieve into the ramekins and seal each one tightly with foil.

6. Boil the water in a steamer and turn down to a medium heat. Put the ramekins in and cook for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has just set but is still a little wobbly.

7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve the ramekins with spoons.

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