Description Edit

Rev. Saito was a great cook. We enjoyed his cooking. He loved to treat people by making sushi, steamed fish, and steak. During one Buddhist retreat he made the largest chawan-mushi (steamed egg-custard soup) I had seen in my life. Ignoring the traditional method, which involved a small soup cup, he used a huge pot into which he put dozens of eggs. When he cooked, I used to cut vegetables for him. Thanks to him, I am now not so much a Buddhist scholar as a kitchen helper. My wife Tomoko is very grateful to him because he domesticated me and taught me how to cut vegetables and cook.

Ingredients Edit

  • 80 g boned chicken thigh, cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • dash of sake and light soy sauce
  • 4 prawns, shelled
  • dash of salt
  • 1 sea eel (commercially grilled), cut lengthwise into halves and again cut across into 1 cm wide strips
  • ¼ lily bulb, flaked and lightly boiled
  • 8 ginkgo nuts, shelled with soft skin removed
  • ⅓ bunch of Japanese honewort, discard the leaves and cut the stalk into 1.5 cm sections
  • 400 cc dashi
  • 15 cc mirin
  • 15 cc light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten until smooth
  • ¼ yuzu, rind cut into several pieces

Directions Edit

  1. Boil the Chicken pieces until white on the surface.
  2. Soak in cold water and drain.
  3. Sprinkle with sake and light soy sauce the evenly coat using fingers.
  4. Set aside for 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Make a shallow cut on the dorsal side of prawns to devain. Sprinkle with salt and rub well. Rinse in water and drain. Cut into halves.
  6. Put dashi, mirin, light soy sauce and salt in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly.
  7. Add already beaten eggs and mix thoroughly.
  8. Strain through a narrow meshed strainer for a smoother texture.
  9. Place Chicken, prawns, sea eel, lily bulb, ginkgo nuts and Japanese honewort into small heatproof bowls and pour in the egg mixture.
  10. Cover and cook in a preheated steamer over high heat for the first 3 minutes.
  11. After checking that the surface of the egg mixture has a whitish hue, reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
  12. Pierce a bamboo skewer through the center of the egg custard to check whether soup is clear.
  13. Remove from steamer and top with yuzu rind.
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