I love this soup. You can serve it without the custard, but with it, it becomes something very special (that means “impressive”), but still easy to do. If you have stock from Ginger-Poached Chicken, it would add great depth of flavor here; you might then want to cut the amount of additional ginger unless you’re a ginger freak like me.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the shiitakes, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat until the mushrooms just begin to color, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and stir in the watercress and hot pepper sesame oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into wide bowls. Run a knife around the side of each custard to release it. Carefully place it in the center of each soup bowl. Garnish with green onions, enoki mushrooms, and nori strips, if desired, and serve immediately.
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.