Written by: The Nutrition Guru
This is a new dish that I have stumbled upon, and was most upset at the chef for not having introduced this to me before. Working at a Japanese restaurant, he makes this all the time. I went on my own ‘chawamushi’ expedition and came up with my own recipe and was in pure heaven when I tasted the final product. Read on at the end, to discover the nutritional benefits of this heart warming dish.
There’s a couple of steps to this
1. Make a dashi stock (easy)2. Make the Chawanmushi (easy)3. Eat it all up
TO MAKE THE DASHI STOCK
- 1/2 post card size piece of dried kombu (Seaweed available from health food stores, asian grocers and some supermarkets
- 8 slices of dried shitake mushrooms (available at most supermarkets and all asian grocery stores)
- 1/2 Cup Bonito flakes (this is dried fish – available from asian grocery stores, and online asian grocery websites) This is optional. If you don’t like fish, simply omit.
- 800ml Water
- In a large saucepan, place the kombu and shitake mushrooms in the water
- Bring to the simmer (LOW heat) and simmer for 20 mins.
- Add the bonito flakes and continue to simmer for 10-15 mins until the flakes sink to the bottom
Now this dashi can be used as a base for all soups. You can add 1 cup of dashi to 1tsp of miso paste (available from all supermarkets) to make MISO SOUP!
BUT, we are here to make Chawanmushi so let’s go!
2 cups dashi stock
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cooking sake (available from all supermarkets in the asian section)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, slowly whisk the eggs to combine but we do not want any air bubbles, so slowly slowly
In another bowl, combine the other ingredients (make sure the dashi has cooled).
Slowly incorporate this mix into the egg mix, slowly whisking to combine all ingredients but taking care not to create bubbles.
Pour into ramekins or small heat proof bowls.
Cover each with foil.
Set your steamer up. This can be a bamboo steamer, or I normally use a saucepan as follows.
Use a large saucepan with lid. Take a small bowl and turn upside down, place in the bottom of the saucepan. This is to be used as a base for the plate on which you will place your bowls to steam. Fill saucepan with water until it comes halfway up your bowl basse. Find a plate that is not quite as large as your saucepan and place on top (steam needs to be able to come up from around the plate).
Cover with lid and bring the saucepan to the boil (high heat).
When boiling, remove the lid, and place your covered bowls onto the plate in the saucepan. Quickly drop the heat back to low so that the water is just SIMMERING. Simmer for 10 mins
When cooked the chawanmushi should have a slight wobble and be silky smooth.
Served here with finely chopped nori on top.
- You can add the cooked shitake mushrooms and kombu (slice finely) from the dashi stock back on top.
- Before placing the raw chawanmushi into the bowls, lay some cooked chicken or fish in the bottom of the bowl and then pour custard mix on top. Yummo!
- Serve next to a grilled or steamed piece of fish.
WHY IS THIS DISH SO NUTRITIOUS?
EGGS: High in omega 3’s and 11 essential vitamins and minerals
Kombu: High in iodine which is important for thyroid function, hormone production and metabolism. It is high in the amino acid ‘glutimate’ which gives it the distinctive ‘umami’ flavour (meaning SAVOURY in japanese). Kombu is often used as a natural flavour enhancer in many of your favourite foods.
Shitake Mushrooms: Protein, and also high in glutamate and the umami flavour. They also have immune boosting and anti bacterial properties