[From April Issue 2010]
Ingredients [Serves 2]
- 1 pc (40g) sasami (white chicken meat)
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp sake
- 2 mid-size prawns
- 1/2 tsp sake
- 1/4 pkg (30g) shimeji mushrooms
- 2 sprigs mitsuba (honeywort)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups dashi (see below)
- 2 cups water （to be boiled down to 1 1/2 cups）
- 5 x 10cm long kelp slices
- 1/2 cup shaved dried bonito
- (A) 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mirin cooking sake
- 2 or 3 drops soy sauce
Tips on Making Smooth Chawan-Mushi
For a smooth taste keep the ratio of eggs to stock at 1:3. Since eggs solidify at 80℃, keep the steamer temperature between 80 ~ 90℃, but pay attention. Continuous steaming over a high flame will result in air-bubbles. (“su ga tatsu” in Japanese.)
- Leave the kelp unwashed as the white surface powder adds flavoring. Clean with a dry cloth then let soak in (2 cups) of water for about 30 minutes.
- Heat all the above over a low flame removing the kelp just before it boils. Add shaved, dried bonito, bring to a boil, and then turn off heat. Let cool for a minute or two, then strain stock through a damp, tightly wrung out dishcloth or paper towel.
- With stock still warm (approx. 60℃, the temperature of lukewarm tea), add (A) salt, mirin cooking sake and soy sauce.
- Remove prawns from shells leaving only the tails intact. Devein then pour sake.
- Strip the sasami (white chicken meat) of any bones or cartilage then cut into 4 pieces by sogi-giri (long, thin diagonal cuts). Season with salt and sake.
- After removing the hard tips from the shimeji mushroom, divide them into small amounts. Similarly divide the stems and the leaves of the mitsuba (honeywort). Slice the stems into 2-to-3 cm lengths.
- Break the eggs but do not beat them. Add them to no. 3 above, then strain.
- Put all ingredients except for mitsuba into tea bowls then slowly pour in the egg mix, careful to avoid any air bubbles.
- Put water in steamer and heat over a high flame. When steam occurs, place the tea bowls inside.
- Steam over high flame for 3 minutes. When the surfaces turn whitish, lower the flame and continue steaming for another 12 to 13 minutes.
- Poke a bamboo skewer into a tea bowl, to see if the soup is still clear – if so, stop steaming.
- Turn off heat, then place mitsuba on element and continue steaming with the remaining heat for about a minute.
- Remove tea bowls from steamer and cover with lids. You are now ready to serve.