adapted from Japanese Cooking for Health & Fitness by Kiyoko Konishi
1 boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sake
5 to 10 medium shrimp
2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 package shimeji mushrooms, separated into pieces
1/2 small carrot
1/2 bunch fresh spinach
2 cups dashi mixed with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sake
1. Put 2 cups water into a saucepan with a 4-inch piece of dashi kombu. Just before water boils, turn off heat and remove kombu. Add 1/2 cup dried bonito flakes and let steep until cool. Drain through fine-meshed strainer. OR, use powdered dashi stock, following package directions. Chicken broth may also be substituted. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce & 1 tablespoon sake to 2 cups dashi or broth.
2. Cut chicken into 1 inch squares. Put into small bowl and season with 1 teaspoon each, soy sauce and sake.
3. Peel and clean shrimp, peel carrot, slice and cut into flower shapes. Blanch spinach & squeeze out excess water, then cut into 1-inch lengths. Remove mushroom stems and slice shiitake thinly, separate shimeji.
4. Mix eggs well, but do not beat. Stir broth into eggs, then strain through a fine-meshed strainer to remove slippery substance from egg white.
5. Fill chawanmushi pots with ingredients, placing the colorful shrimp, spinach and carrot on top. Add the egg mixture, not covering some of the ingredients and cover. Use foil if necessary.
6. Boil about 3 cups of water in a large pot. Turn off heat and add covered chawanmushi cups. Water should be about 1/3 of the way up cups. Turn heat to lowest setting, place the lid on the pot allowing a little steam to escape. Simmer for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. The chawanmushi may also be cooked in the oven in a water bath at 350ºF for 20 minutes.