Banana chawan mushi
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Serves 4
This recipe is basically a creme brulee but I decided to include it because the method of preparation is very similar to the Japanese steamed custard 'Chawan mushi'.

50g (2oz) butter
80g (3oz) brown sugar
4 bananas
4 tbsp sake
8 egg yolks
300ml (just over 1 cup) double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140g (5oz) caster sugar
little more sugar for sprinkling

Heat the butter over a high heat in a frying pan and when melted add the brown sugar. This will form a kind of toffee in the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped bananas and then the sake and then simmer the mixture until the bananas are soft and most of the sake has been evaporated.
Place the banana mixture into four ramekins or heat proof serving bowls. Mix the egg yolks, cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and whisk them together. Fill the ramekins with the egg mixture.
Place the ramekins in a water bath and top with some foil. Place them in a medium oven and bake them for about 25 minutes or until they are just firm to the touch. Alternatively they can be steamed in a steamer if you have one. When cooked allow the custards to cool.
When cool sprinkle over some caster sugar and brulee the top with a gas gun. If you don't have a blow torch don't worry the custards are just as great without the caramel on the top.
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Sake is a Japanese rice wine. The quality can vary enormously but for cooking purposes I would buy quite a cheap one to start with. If you like to drink it buy a big bottle.