This healthy, silky smooth version of chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg) includes tofu and the rich flavors of toona, shiitake, dried shrimp, and Chinese pickled vegetable. We used the tender shoots from the toona tree in our backyard. It's hard to describe the flavor of toona...imagine a really intense, meaty, mushroomy, bacon-y, soy-saucy, savory and almost salty, saliva-inducing flavor packed into a tiny leaf. Got it? Good for you!
A garnish of freshly cut scallions from the Farmer's Market and a drizzle of seasoning sauce provide the perfect flavor contrast to the egg.
These were super easy to make, and you can add your own variations simply by switching out the flavoring components. The original recipe called for fresh shrimp which we didn't have on hand, so we just used dried shrimp (pre-soaked in water). Fresh shrimp probably would have been devilishly good. Otherwise, you just blend together 1 package of tofu, 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp shitake water (the water you have left after soaking shiitake; if you don't have this, chicken stock would work beautifully) and add a little bit of chopped shiitake, chopped pickled vegetables, etc. Cover with plastic wrap and steam for 13 minutes or until just set (don't over steam!) The sauce for topping is just a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, and mirin in a 3:2:1 ratio, and you can garnish the cups with fresh cilantro and scallions.