All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.

2014-07-03

Tamago fuwafuwa / steamed egg soufle over broth

This simple egg dish with a very descriptive name (fluffy egg) may not look like anything special today, but it is supposed to be the oldest egg dish on record in Japan, dating back to the early 17th century when the dish was served to the privileged few in power. It took some time to spread to lesser folks, but by the 19th century it was a popular dish, although still considered to be very special. Tamago fuwafuwa can be as plain as dashi and egg topped with pepper or some herbs. Below is slightly indulgent version featuring shimeji mushrooms, shrimp and sea scallops.




92 calories per serving (1/2 of recipe); 11.9 g protein; 2.9 g fat; 3.6 g carbohydrate; 3.0 net carbs; 267 mg sodium; 145.0 mg cholesterol; 0. 6g fiber


<Ingredients>


1 egg
Small handful shimeji mushrooms (36 g in photo)
2 shrimp (42 g in photo)
2 sea scallops (46 g in photo)
A few mitsuba leaves
175cc dashi
1 tsp usukuchi shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
1 tsp sake
1/3 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
Black pepper, to taste
Katakuriko potato starch (to clean shrimp; not in photo)


<Directions>
1.

Shell shrimp, clean with potato starch, and rinse well.

Slice scallops horizontally into two.
Remove root ends of shimeji.
Thinly slice mitsuba.


2.

In a small pot, put dashi and usukuchi shoyukoji, mix well, and heat.








3.
Heat some water in a medium pot.


4.

In a small or medium mixing bowl, put egg, black pepper, sake, shiokoji and 1/2 tbsp of dashi + usukuchi shoyukoji (from pot).









Place egg mixture bowl in the warm water, and beat.





When egg mixture is warm (slightly higher than body temperature), remove from warm water pot, and continue beating until it makes peaks when whisk is lifted.


5.

In the meantime, when dashi and usukuchi shoyukoji boil, add shimeji, cover, and simmer until shimeji is soft.

Add shrimp and scallops, cover, and continue simmering until basically done (shrimp and scallops turn opaque).



6.

Pour egg mixture over goodies in pot.
Top with mitsuba, cover, and wait 1 minute (turn off heat after 30 seconds or so). 

(Sneak peak after 1 minute.)
Serve immediately.







(Fluffy!)


<Notes>
  • This makes a great substitute for soup (miso soup or osumashi clear soup).
  • Putting the egg mixture bowl in warm water expedites the process, but is optional.
  • When the water temperature (and thus the temperature of egg mixture) is much higher, making peaks is easier and quicker. However, the texture would be rough in the final dish (as shown in photo at right). 
  • In Step 4, take 1/2 tbsp dashi + usukuchi shoyukoji from the pot while it is still cold (to prevent cooking egg).
  • If usukuchi shoyukoji (or regular shoyukoji) is not available, use usukuchi soy sauce. (This would increase the sodium figure above to 334 mg.)
  • If shiokoji is not at hand, use a pinch of salt. (This could raise the above sodium figure by 40 mg or more, depending on the volume of your pinch).
  • Replace sake with mirin, if a slightly sweet note is desired; if not using shiokoji (shiokoji has a salty and mellow taste), replace at least some sake with mirin
  • Black pepper can be used as a topping, instead of mixing it in egg.
  • Any soft-tasting mushroom works fine. Shiitake, hiratake oyster, eringi king oyster and chanterelles would be great options.
  • Kamboko fishcake, boiled takenoko bamboo shoots and tofu are other good goodies for the broth. Udon, hiyamugi or somen (all wheat noodles) would be yummy and filling options, too. (Anything that would be found in chawanmushi savory steamed custard would work great.)
  • The above sodium figure can easily be reduced by skipping shrimp (subtracting approx. 40mg) and/or scallops (another 40 mg reduction). The cholesterol figure also goes down by leaving out shrimp (by approx. 30 mg).
  • The dish is mentioned in a 1831 travel journal by a merchant who stayed in Fukuroi (now a city in Shizuoka Prefecture), which led the city not so long ago to adopt it as a local specialty as part of the city's tourism promotion.
  • At restaurants, the whole recipe above is likely to be for one person.

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