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Make Delicious Savory Egg Custard (Chawanmushi) Using Instant Soup Mix

Make Delicious Savory Egg Custard (Chawanmushi) Using Instant Soup Mix

You don't have to make dashi stock from scratch for this! Make an easy chawanmushi (savory egg custard) using instant clear soup (osuimono) soup mix. It's unquestionably yummy and simple! Add this to the list of your best dishes. It's a dish you can be proud of.

Ingredients: Serves 4

Egg (extra-large)
2
Instant clear soup (osuimono) mix (I recommend using matsutake mushroom-flavored ones)
2 packets (for 150 ml)
Chicken (bite-size)
4 pieces
Soy Sauce (to marinate the chicken)
A little
Water (to add to the egg)
300 ml
How Water (to add to the soup stock)
100 ml
Sugar (for easy mixing of the egg)
A little
Salt
a pinch
Please add the following if you have them:
Gingko nuts or corn kernels
to taste
Mixed seafood
to taste
Imitation crab meat or naruto
4 cuts
Shiitake or shimeji mushrooms
To taste
Mitsuba
to taste

Steps

1. The amount of water you add depends on the size of the egg. (The brown egg is small). Please reduce the amount of water if the egg is smaller. The egg to water (+hot water) ratio = 1:3
2. If using extra-large eggs, add 200 ml of water and 1 packet of soup mix. For medium-sized eggs, use 180 ml of water (including the hot water)
3. Marinate the chicken in soy sauce (the amount in the picture serves 6). Marinate for about 30 minutes to remove the gamey odor of the chicken.
4. In the meantime, use a small container to dissolve the clear soup mix in hot water. Leave to cool. I used a packet meant for commercial restaurant use (1 serving packet makes 150 ml of soup).
5. Crack the egg, add the sugar and mix well (but don't whip any air into it). Once the sugar has dissolved, add water and mix well. Strain the egg mixture through a coarse sieve.
6. Attention! Use a coarse-mesh sieve. It's easier to strain the mixture using a coarse sieve rather than a fine-mesh sieve, and easier to clean too. The reason the mixture is strained is to make it smooth.
7. Another reason to strain the egg mixture is to remove the chalaza (the opaque white bit that attaches the yolk to the egg white) as well as any bits of shell. So be sure to strain it - using a coarse sieve is fine.
8. Add the strained egg mixture to the cooled clear soup. This time, I have strained the egg directly into the soup. Add salt to taste.
9. About the shiitake mushrooms: I bought these when they were cheap and froze them. Cut the stems off and put them into bags without washing. You can slice them thinly without having to defrost them.
10. Place the chicken and other ingredients into 5 chawanmushi containers, then gently pour in the egg mixture. This time I used only chicken and shiitake mushrooms, but I added the ingredients in the soup mix so it's ok.
11. ~Add if you have these~: Gingko nuts (10) Put them in an envelope (one from junk mail or something that you'll throw away anyway) and fold the envelope closed 2-3 times. Microwave for 1 minute.
12. You can also add peeled and cleaned shrimp or scallops (from a bag of mixed frozen seafood or so), corn kernels, mitsuba, etc. if you have them too.
13. If the custard starts to form bubbles, use a spoon to remove them. Fill a pot or frying pan that has a lid with water to come halfway up the sides of the chawanmushi cups.
14. Cover the frying pan or pot with a lid, but leave a small opening. You can do this by sticking a chopstick in between the lid and the rim of the pot or pan. To prevent condensation from dripping onto the chawanmushi, you can also wrap the lid in a towel. Be careful that the cloth won't catch fire.
15. Start on high heat. When the lid starts making a clattering sound, it means has come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 10 minutes (you should be able to hear little bits of clattering).
16. The chawanmushi that are at the end of the pan where the lid is held open won't set well, so after 3 minutes switch the position of the chopstick to the other side of the pot or pan. They are done when clear liquid runs out of the hole when you poke them with a chopstick.
17. I cut up the chicken for chawanmushi into small pieces, sprinkle it with soy sauce and freeze it. Just take it out 30 minutes before you need it, and it will have defrosted and is already pre-flavored.
18. This tastes great with a lot of ingredients added, or just a few added. Please note that f you don't add chicken, there won't be any clear liquid when you poke the custard!
19. It is really delicious with just the salt in the soup stock. The fragrance and flavor of the matsutake mushroom is really addictive.
20. For reference, when I used a 6-serving soup mix packet, I needed 4 eggs and 700 ml of water (+ hot water).

Story Behind this Recipe

This is very simple to make since I used instant clear soup (osuimono) packets as the soup stock. I love chawanmushi, and I wanted to be able to make it at any time. I came up with this recipe through trial and error. You can make this very easily in a frying pan too. Steaming the custard is the most difficult part, but as long as there's steam, you can cook them fine over low heat.