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Cooking in a water bath, just like crème brûlée, makes these Japanese custards set yet incredibly silky. These chawanmushi from Eric Wolfinger are infused with umami-rich dashi and soy. They make a beautiful first course with a drizzle of Yuzu Ponzu and a garnish of fresh crab or uni.

Active: 5 mins Total: 20 mins

Yield: 4 Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon Master Dashi (see Note), divided

  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sake

  • Uni, crabmeat, steamed enoki mushrooms, scallions, and cilantro, for garnish (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon Yuzu Ponzu (see Note)


Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Place eggs in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 11/3 cups dashi, soy sauce, and sake. Pour liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard solids. Divide liquid among 4 small heatproof bowls or ramekins. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

  • Step 2Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a pot fitted with a steamer basket over medium-low. Add bowls to steamer. Cover and steam until custard is set, about 15 minutes.

  • Step 3Unwrap custards. Garnish with uni, crabmeat, mushrooms, scallions, and cilantro, if desired. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon dashi with yuzu ponzu, and top custards evenly with mixture. Serve immediately.

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