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By Annette Tan
22 August 2013 2:28 PM Updated 23 Aug 2013


Photo: Annette Tan

This Japanese egg custard is comfort in a bowl and versatile enough that you can add whatever ingredients you want to it. We used prawns and shimeiji mushrooms, but you can put things like pumpkin cubes, sliced Japanese fish cakes and chunks of chicken as well.

Recipe serves 4
Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

For the dashi stock
2 cups water
1 piece konbu
½ cup bonito flakes

For the custard:
4 medium prawns, peeled and deveined
A small handful of shimeiji mushrooms, cleaned
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups dashi stock
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sake or white wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1. To make dashi, wipe the konbu with a damp towel to clean it. Place in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil.
2. Once the water comes to a boil, lower heat, add the bonito flakes and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the stock, discarding the konbu and bonito flakes. Allow the stock to cool before using.
3. To make the egg custard, prepare four heatproof bowls. Place a prawn in each bowl, as well as a few mushrooms.
4. In a medium bowl, gently mix the eggs, stock, sugar, sake and soy sauce using a pair of chopsticks (a whisk or a fork will cause too many bubbles to form). Pour the mixture through a strainer into the individual bowls and steam over high heat for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


Passion (and gluttony) for good food led Annette Tan to pursue a career that marries her talent for writing with her love for beautiful plates. Food writer, stylist and instructor, Tan contributes recipes and images to magazines like Appetite (Singapore) and BBC Good Food (Asian Edition), and is the restaurant reviewer for Today newspaper. Also the editor of The Miele Guide, she somehow manages to find time to feed her family and friends often.

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