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Truffle Chawan Mushi

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This silky smooth Japanese steamed egg custard is easy to eat and versatile, as you can add all sorts of goodies to it.


1 cups dashi (See the Glossary, page 178, for instructions on how to make dashi, or use instant dashi granules available from most supermarkets.)
1 teaspoons light soy sauce 1 teaspoons mirin
Pinch of salt
3 eggs


For the garnish:

1 teaspoon truffle oil
2 pieces shio kombu, cut into thin strips


  • Boil the dashi with the light soy sauce, mirin and salt for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • In a medium bowl, very gently stir the eggs with chopsticks until blended, without incorporating too much air. This is to ensure a smooth-as-silk custard.
  • Add the now cooled dashi to the eggs and mix gently once more. Then, strain the liquid into a jug.
  • Pour the egg mixture into 4 ramekins or small bowls. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap and steam over medium heat for about 15 minutes. The custard is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. The chawan mushi should be set but still a bit wobbly. If the chawan mushi looks grey or bubbly, instead of being pale yellow and smooth, it’s been overcooked.
  • Drizzle each chawan mushi with  teaspoon of the truffle oil (a little goes a long way) and sprinkle the shio kombu on top before serving.
Other Notes:

Shio kombu are pieces of kelp that have been boiled in soy sauce and other seasonings, dried and cut into small pieces. Often used as a filling for onigiri (rice balls), it lends an extra savoury flavour to any dish.