Both Chinese and Japanese cuisines feature this dish with variations in the ingredients. It is not so much the ingredients than the method (am I repeating myself too much here?) that gives the perfect smooth jello texture that is a great hit with the kids.
As with many of the "traditional" recipes I use, it's a pinch of this and a little bit of that. So please bear with me!
Steamed egg custard
2 pinches of salt.
Spring onions for garnishing
- Prepare steamer and boil the water.
- Crack 2 eggs into a measuring cup and add 2x the amount of water. Add the salt and beat the mixture until homogenous. You can add pepper if you want.
- Pour mixture through a sieve into container you want to steam the egg in. Use a container that can be placed in a steamer.
- Place egg into steamer and turn down the heat from the stove.
- Take the eggs off the stove once it turns a light yellow (from translucent yellow)
- Garnish with spring onions.
- I use a measuring cup to make it easy to gauge how much water to add. It's a 1:2 ratio I use. 1:1 gives a firmer texture if you prefer that.
- You can use chicken stock or dashi stock (for chawanmushi) instead of water. But the kids don't seem to notice the difference.
- You can add things like ginko nut, fish cake and such to make a more interesting dish. I prefer not to as it increases the surface area where bubbles can form and ruin the smooth texture. I'm anal like that.
- Do NOT boil the egg mixture. The idea is to get the egg to just cook. I use a steamer with a clear lid so I can peek in to see if the egg has cooked. I get the steamer to a boiling point and turn the fire down to the minimum so that the water simmers. Once the egg sets, I turn off the fire and leave the egg in the steamer until it's time to serve.
- If you are using a hot plate, you will need to remove the entire steamer off the stove as the water can continue to boil.