Two Spring Chawanmushi

0421_springchawanmushi
0421_springchawanmushiafter

Savory or sweet breakfast? It’s a question that keeps me up at night (actually true sometimes, but I promise it’s rarely). I’m usually partial to the savory menu offerings, but I do enjoy myself a little breakfast dessert, and the occasional dessert breakfast, too. Choosing a brunch entree is one of the few times that I feel acutely that I need a boyfriend… so that someone would be obligated to split a savory item and a sweet item with me. It’s thoughts like these that may be keeping me single, though.

Well, in the comfort of your own home, you can make a modestly-sized pair of dual-flavor chawanmushi (both savory… for now), no buddy who is obligated to share required! Though, if you’re nice, you might scale up the recipe for more people, too. The prep for these springy steamed egg cups is very minimal, keeping the flavors simple, more importantly, manageable while still half-asleep It takes a bit of time to come together slowly on the stove, especially for breakfast, but it’s not bad.

I’m writing the recipes separately, but it’s easy to make them both at once, too, given that your steamer basket can accommodate two bowls. Or you could combine them into one super-chawanmushi!

Asparagus Chawanmushi
4 thin stalks of asparagus
1 large egg
salt to taste
to garnish: scallion, sesame oil, soy sauce

Slice the asparagus into inch-long (or so) pieces and arrange in a ramekin or small bowl.

Crack the egg into a separate bowl, taking care to preserve at least one half of the egg shell into a little half-egg-cup. Add 4 half-egg-cups of water to the egg, making a 1:2 ratio of egg to water. (I like my chawanmushi a little eggy, so you may want to add more water if you prefer a lighter custard.) If you’re making both chawanmushi, double these quantities and reserve half for the other one.

Whisk the egg and water well, seasoning with a bit of salt, if desired. Pour into the ramekin.

Steam on low until the egg is just set, about 20 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion and a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce.

Chive and Pea Chawanmushi
1 tablespoon peas (frozen is okay)
1/2 bunch chives
1 large egg
salt to taste
to garnish: scallion, sesame oil, soy sauce

Place peas in a ramekin or small bowl and let defrost while you prepare he other ingredients. Mince the chives and add them to the ramekin.

If you already have half the egg mixture reserved from making the sibling chawanmushi, carefully pour it into the ramekin.

Otherwise, rack the egg into a separate bowl, taking care to preserve at least one half of the egg shell into a little half-egg-cup. Add 4 half-egg-cups of water to the egg, making a 1:2 ratio of egg to water. Whisk well, seasoning with a bit of salt, if desired. Pour into the ramekin.

Steam on low until the egg is just set, about 20 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion and a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce.