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There are many versions of these savory custards. This one is from the "Japanese Cooking Class Cookbook".
- 2 1⁄2 cups dashi
- 4 teaspoons sake, divided
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons light soy sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces skinned and boneless chicken
- 8 medium shrimp, shelled (tails intact)
- 8 small fresh shiitake mushrooms (or 4 medium)
- 1 small carrot, pared
- 2 ounces spinach
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 piece lemon rind, cut into 1/16-inch strips (1-inch square)
- 4 large eggs
- 3 -4 cups boiling water
- Heat dashi, 1 tbsp sake, 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce and the salt in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until hot; stir to dissolve salt. Cool completely.
- Cut chicken into 1-inch squares; place in small bowl. Stir in remaining teaspoon of sake and 1 teaspoons soy sauce; let marinate 10 minutes, then drain.
- Remove and discard mushroom stems; if using medium mushrooms cut caps into halves. Cut carrot crosswise into 1/8-inch slices; if desired, cut slices into halves or quarters.
- Place spinach and 1/4 Celsius water in 1-quart saucepan; heat to boiling on high heat, then reduce heat and simmer/steam 2 minutes. Drain well, and cut into 1-inch lengths.
- Mix eggs well with fork in a large bowl; do not beat. Stir dashi mixture gently into the eggs in a slow, steady stream. Strain egg mixture through a fine sieve or damp cheesecloth.
- Place chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, carrot, and spinach in 4 individual bowls, ramekins, mugs or teacups, dividing evenly. Ladle 1/4 of the egg mixture into each bowl, leaving at least 1/2 inch head space. Cover each bowl with aluminum foil.
- Place boiling water to a depth of about 1 inch in steamer or large kettle; set bowls in steamer basket or on rack above water. Cover steamer with vented lid, or position kettle lid so a small amount of steam can escape. Steam over medium-high heat 1 minute, then reduce heat and adjust heat to maintain steady, gentle steam. Steam until wooden pick inserted in custard comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove bowls from steamer. Serve hot, garnished with lemon strips.