Monday, March 2, 2009

Mushi Mushi

Tonight I made a little snack that Steph likes a great deal. Chawan Mushi. Chawan Mushi essentially a savory Japanese custard dish.

Once a dish only to be tasted only by the Emperor It's history is long and celebrated in Japan, dating back several centuries. In Japanese it means "Food of a man whose father has turned his back on him in great shame." During one emperor's brutal reign he used to eat Chawan Mushi daily, and he would have the cooks who created it for him executed immediately following his meal. He did this because it was believed that Chawan Mushi prepared by the same person twice in a row is considered very bad luck. This belief can still be found today as Japanese people will never eat Chawan Mushi twice in a week. It was a great honor to become a chef in the Emperors vast kitchens. Villagers would offer their strongest boys to the cooking schools in hopes they would one day have the honor of preparing Chawan Mushi for his majesty. Great honor would be brought to that chef's home village.

Of course I made all that up.

As far as making it. It's pretty easy. I made ours with peas, Shitake mushrooms, asparagus, and crab.


shitake mushrooms

What I did:

I had to make the Dashi (soup stock), and I sort of winged it a bit. I took fish stock and added a little Miso paste, Nori and water that the Shitake mushrooms were soaking in. I then strained this to get rid of any particles. I then combined this with 4 beaten eggs.

Next, I had the stove up to 350, and placed a deep baking dish in the oven. I placed 2 ramikens inside the baking dish and I filled the dish with water until the the ramikens were about halfway covered.

I proceeded to fill the ramiken with a little bit of the egg mixture. I cooked that uncovered for about 5 minutes. Then I'd cover it and bake another 7 minutes. Then I'd add some of the ingredients and simply repeat the steps until the ramiken was totally full.

The verdict:

It came out really well. I think I possibly could have cooked it a bit longer because some of the Dashi had separated and the inside was little bit liquified. But the eggs did set up nicely and I thought the flavors were nice and clean. Just the way the Emperor would like it. Again that part is bullshit.

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