Mushroom chawan mushi
Egg dishes
Mushroom chawan mushi
Cream cheese egg roll
Leftover egg nori roll
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For 4
I have tried to cook chawan mushi many ways to try and achieve the silky texture that is required to make this dish successful and I have come to the conclusion that you will definately need a steamer. If you have an electric one great but a hob steamer is also fine. The heat is too fierce for this dish with any other method - it is too easy to overcook.

To obtain an even finer custard one could experiment with using just egg yolks. In this case you would need to double the quantity of eggs.
30ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil
200g assorted mushrooms i.e. shitake, oyster, button, chestnut
6 eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) sake
200ml (1 cup) dashi or water
30ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce

First, break and slice your mushrooms. If you are cooking this in the autumn be sure to try and find some wild mushrooms.
Next, heat the sesame oil in a wok and start to wok or pan fry the mushrooms. Keep frying over a medium heat until they have started to brown and are soft. Add the soy sauce and sugar and cook for a couple of minutes longer until the moisture has nearly disappeared from the pan.
Turn off the heat, allow the pan or wok to cool a little and then add the sake first and then the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together thoroughly scraping the bottom of the pan to ensure that all of the caramelised residues are incorporated into the mixture.
Fill 4 small bowls with the mixture and place them in a steamer. Steam for about 15 minutes. Times will vary so it is best to keep steming until you can see that the custard is just set. Serve immediately.
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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.
Sesame oil isn't generally used for cooking but added as a finish to sauces. The oil should be dark brown and have a strong toasted sesame seed flavour. Use any Asian style brand. You will find it in most supermarkets.
Dashi is the basic stock for Japanese soup making. It usually contains bonito or dried tuna flakes which gives the stock it's depth of flavour. As a vegetarian substitute for tuna flakes it is usual to use dried shitake mushrooms instead. This will lead to a more subtle stock with a slight colouration from the brown mushrooms. These mushrooms can be found in all Asian stores.