(Photo Via Bon Appetit By Emma Fishman)
The world is in a strange place right now. Times like these highlight just how interwoven the fabric of our lives are, and our dependance on human connection just as we are told to temporarily put them on hold. A lot of us are spending time at home, perhaps alone, and maybe cooking a bit more than usual. In the absence of physical touch, the warm embrace of nostalgic comfort food is a welcome respite, and a reminder of the simple pleasures of life most of us still have access to. In this spirit, when I saw our friend Cathy Erway's article about her mother's steamed egg in Bon Appetit yesterday, I immediately went to the kitchen and whipped myself up a bowl, reminded of how much joy it always brings me.
This is a recipe I've adapted from Chinese and Japanese traditions and served countless times at our pop up dinners around the world. It requires just 3 ingredients, and is just as good topped with scallions and chili oil, as it is with uni and caviar, if you're feeling fancy.
Try it out. In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands, and be gentle with yourself and others.
Makes 4 medium bowls or 6 smaller ramekins
5 large eggs
2 cups dashi (chicken or vegetable stock is fine)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
Whisk eggs in a bowl, adding dashi and soy sauce and mixing well.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer - this step is the most important part to achieving silky smoothness.
Divide egg mixture between your bowls or ramekins. You can put shrimp, crab meat or shiitake into the bowls and it will be a nice surprise at the bottom of your steamed egg.
Get the steamer going, I usually use a wok with a large steamer basket on top. Bring the water to boil and then turn the heat to medium so that there's a steady stream of steam coming up but it's not too hot. This is important so your steamed egg doesn't have unsightly bubbles at the top.
Cover the bowls in plastic wrap, making sure the plastic is as tight as possible and not dipping into the egg mixture.
Place inside steamer and set a timer for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how big the bowls are and how many are in the steamer. Check on it after 12 minutes, move the bowl a little to jiggle it, if it is still very wobbly, leave it in for longer, you might need to turn up the heat a little. The color should turn a paler yellow, and should be fully set while still soft. When I'm entertaining, I usually make an extra one so I can test it for readiness.
When done, take them out of the steamer and serve with chives or scallions, drizzle of chili oil, or go big and top with uni, caviar, or salmon roe.