Tuesday 8 September 2015

Soy Milk Chawanmushi (Egg Custard) 豆奶茶碗蒸

It's Japanese home-cook night!  I am preparing unagi, miso soup and the meal would not be complete without the ever popular Japanese egg custard - Chawanmushi 茶碗蒸.

Most people use Dashi (a Japanese fish stock base) and Mirin or Sake (Japanese fermented rice wine) to make authentic Chawanmushi. As usual, I am not about to run to a supermarket to stock up things that I would only use once in a while. I just have to make magic out of existing items sitting in my kitchen pantry. 

I experimented different methods to make Chawanmushi in the past. I must say this version, with some modified ingredients (such as soy milk, Chinese rice wine, ikan bills stock powder etc) seemed to give me the softest and most silky smooth egg custard so far.

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Ingredients (enough for 2 pax) :

  • 2 eggs 
  • 200 ml unsweetened soy milk
  • 3 pcs dried mushrooms (soak till softened and cut to thin slices) 
  • 2 large jujubes/red dates
  • 1 tsp wolfberries
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp ikan bilis/anchovies stock powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Tip : The key to smooth egg custard is to sieve the egg mixture while folding into Japanese tea cups and cover with lids or aluminum foil/shrink wrap when steaming.

Method : 

Crack 2 eggs into bowl.
Beat the eggs.
Add soy milk.
Add 1 tsp rice wine, 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ikan bilis/anchovies stock powder (optional). Beat mixture thoroughly.
Add your desired ingredients into Japanese tea cups (for serving the Chawanmushi). I choose red dates, wolfberries and mushrooms this time. Remember to separately steam/boil a few pieces for garnishing.
It is important to sieve the egg mixture while folding into the Japanese tea cups.
How it should look like before sending into steamer. Do not fill the egg mixture to the brim.
Cover with lid or aluminum foil or shrink wrap.
Ensure water is already boiling when you place your egg mixture for steaming. Steam at high heat for 1 minute then low heat for 7 minutes.
Add garnishing.
Melt-in-the-mouth Chawanmushi (modified using Chinese cooking ingredients)
Sneak peek of our Japanese home-cook meal.
Allow me to digress a bit to other dishes of the night - Unagi with Japanese short grain steamed rice.
Miso soup.
Cut fruits.


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