Savory Dinner Egg Custard
|Dried shiitake mushrooms||4|
|Skinless boneless chicken breast||4 Ounce (115 Grams)|
|Soy sauce||1 Teaspoon|
|Raw shrimp||8 Small|
|Salt||To Taste (To Season Shrimp)|
|Sake||1 Teaspoon (Or To Taste, To Season Shrimp)|
|Spinach leaves/4 snow peas||2 (Fresh Young, Without Stem)|
|Primary bonito stock||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
1. Soak mushrooms in warm water until soft (about 1 hour), keeping them submerged by covering with drop-lid, flat pan lid, or saucer. Drain. Discard stems and notch a decorative cross on each mushroom cap.
2. Combine SEASONING ingredients and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Remove from heat and cool.
3. Chicken: Remove any fat from breast and cut into 8 pieces. Mix sake and soy sauce and sprinkle over chicken pieces.
Shrimp: Shell and devein, leaving tail intact. Sprinkle with salt and a little sake.
Vegetable: Blanch spinach in boiling water and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths. If using snow peas, string and blanch in boiling water, then cut in half.
4. Beat eggs, frothing as little as possible. Mix in cooled seasoning broth and strain through cheesecloth.
To cook and serve
1. Divide mixture evenly among 4 cups (use custard cups or heat-resistant coffee mugs). Add chicken, carefully position shrimp so that tail peeks out of egg mixture, add vegetables, and float a whole mushroom cap (beveled side up).
2. Cook, using one of the following methods.
Stove-top method: Steam, using a conventional steamer, a Chinese-style bamboo steamer, or a makeshift steamer. Bring water to a boil. Place uncovered cups in steamer. If steaming in a metal vessel, drape a towel over pot before covering. Cover and steam 2 minutes over high heat, then reduce to low and steam until set. Total steaming time will be 15 to 20 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The surface of the custard should have a smooth (not dry and cracked) look.
Oven method: Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Cover cups with foil and pierce foil. Set cups in a pan and fill with boiling water to a level one-third the height of cups. Place cups in pan and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 360°F (180°C) and continue to cook until set. Total cooking time will be about 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Remove foil if using oven method. Ideally, for decorative purposes, shrimp and at least one other ingredient should be peeping out. Serve hot or chilled in cup.