Chawanmushi (Savory Egg Custard)

4 Serves

3 eggs
240ml awase dashi or dashi powder mixed with water
1 tsp cooking sake
1 tsp soy sauce
4 large cooked prawns
4 shiitake mushrooms or shimeji mushrooms
8 slices kamaboko steamed fish cake
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
sliced Mitsuba leaves or chopped green onion

Start by beating the eggs in a bowl gently, try and make sure that the eggs do not froth up at all. You can also start soaking your shiitake mushrooms in water while you are preparing the next few steps.
In a separate bowl, mix together the dashi stock, soy sauce, cooking sake, salt and sugar. Add this mix to the egg while stirring contantly to get a good mix. Once you have mixed everything together, strain the mix through a very fine sieve to make sure that the mixture is perfectly smooth.
Drain the shiitake mushrooms from the water, remove the stems and slice in half. Add two of the sliced halves of shiitake, one large prawn and two slices of kamaboko to a small cup or bowl for each person. Then fill the cups with the egg mixture to near the top.
Preheat your steamer, add the cups to it and steam them on a low heat for approximately 15 minutes. You can poke a toothpick in the chawanmushi to check if it has set. If the toothpick still has egg mix on it, allow them to steam for a little longer.
Serve as an appetiser to any traditional Japanese meal.

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