Chawanmushi is the Japanese version of savoury steamed egg custard.
In this seafood version, sweet Hokkaido scallops are used and the egg is made very light with dashi, a seafood stock made with kelp (konbu) and bonito flakes. The chawanmushi is topped with trout caviar (available at leading Cold Storage supermarkets), which can also be substituted with salmon caviar.
3 medium eggs
400ml dashi stock (see below)
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
2 tablespoons of sake
½ teaspoon salt
4 Hokkaido scallops
4 teaspoons trout (or salmon) caviar
1 sprig chervil, for garnish
1. To make the dashi stock, heat the water and konbu (kelp) over medium heat (do not allow to boil).
2. Just before boiling, remove the konbu and add the bonito flakes, turn off the heat and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes.
3. Strain and reserve until needed.
4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth, then add the dashi, sake, soy sauce and salt.
5. Mix well and strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
6. Slice each scallop to produce 3-4 disc and lay them overlapping in the bottom of the bowl suitable for steaming.
7. Fill with the egg mixture and remove any bubbles that have formed on the surface with a kitchen towel.
8. Cover the bowl with cling film and steam for 15-20 minutes (you can test by piercing with a toothpick and it comes out clean).
9. Top with a teaspoon of trout roe and a leave of chervil as garnish.
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