Strewn with slivers of mushroom, gingko nuts, carrots and strands of vermicelli noodles, this savoury egg custard is generally steamed in little cups. It can then be served hot or cold. This is my vegan version of chilled chawanmushi – usually eaten in the summer in Japan, when temperatures can soar. If you are making a meal of multiple courses, serve this chawanmushi as an interlude between two rich or complex dishes.
Use tamari in place of soy sauce.
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the mushrooms and carrot and cook until the carrots are tender, about 3–4 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Rinse out the pan, then add the soy milk, mirin, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, salt and sugar. Mix to combine well, then add the agar powder and stir until it has completely dissolved. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, still stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.
Divide the noodles between 2 Japanese teacups or small ramekins. Add half of the spring onions and half of the mushroom and carrot mixture to each one, along with half of the heated soy milk mixture – do this carefully, so as not to create too many bubbles or splashes.
Chill in the fridge until set, about 1–2 hours, before serving.
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