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From Elizabeth Andoh's classic "At Home With Japanese Cooking". This is a delicately seasoned, elegant little side dish to serve with more intensely flavored fish or meat courses.
- 4 jumbo shrimp
- 3 -4 turnips
- 1 egg white
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄2 cup dashi (basic Japanese soup stock)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon light colored soy sauce (usu kuchi shoyu)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sake
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon prepared wasabi (trefoil0 or coriander (cilantro) or 2 -3 sprigs mitsuba (trefoil0 or coriander (cilantro)
- Shell and devein shrimp, then cut each into 4-5 pieces. Divide the pieces among the bottoms of 4 small heatproof bowls (or use teacups, preferably without handles).
- Peel and grate the turnips onto a kitchen towel. Bring the corners of the towel together to form a small bag and twist the top closed, squeezing out about half the liquid. You should have approximately 1/2 Celsius grated turnip.
- In a bowl, beat the egg white with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the grated turnip, mixing in gently but thoroughly.
- Divide the turnip mixture among the 4 bowls, mounding it softly to cover the pieces of shrimp. Steam the bowls of turnip clouds for 10-12 minutes.
- In the meantime, season the dashi with the soy sauce, salt, and sake, and heat it through for several minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in an equal amount of cold water and stir it into the seasoned stock. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly. Pour some of the sauce over each steamed turnip cloud. Garnish the top of each portion with either a small dab of wasabi (to be dissolved into the surrounding sauce by each diner), or chop sprigs of trefoil or coriander and scatter them over each cloud. Serve piping hot.