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Showing posts from February, 2007

Chawanmushi

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Known to most people who had ever dined at a Japanese eatery, chawanmushi is a tasty soup-custard served in a cutsy looking lidded Japanese tea cups. However, from the little that I have read so far of Japanese cookery, I think that chawanmushi literally means tea bowl steaming. So, I wonder which part of the three word description says anything about soup-custard? Maybe this how our steamboat may sound a foreigner.

Together with Hubby (yes, we spent Valentine's Day together cooking in the kitchen at 12.30am!), we whipped up a two stir-fried vegetables, miso soup and also chawanmushi. I was quite happy with the taste of my chawanmushi except that I didn't have a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the boiling water in the steamer, hence my chawanmushi cooked too quickly and had pock marks on the surface.

Here's my pock-marked chawanmushi in a ramekin.



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Chawanmushi
(adapted from The Japanese Kitchen)
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You-teows and Harm-chin-pengs

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So, my Hubby has been bugging me to do something with our "guest" in the fridge. Yeah, and he seems to think we ought to get some "rent" from this free-loader. So, I took a good chunk of the pre-ferment out of the fridge and tried to make something edible. And guess what? We ended up with you-teow and harm-chin-peng. Yes, your eyes didn't play tricks on you. When they came out of the oven, that was what Hubby christened them. Funny that I didn't think of them this way given my "expert" shaping skills.



Just think of the you-teows are gaint bread sticks and the harm-chin-pengs as mini boules.

The you-teows are nice and crunchy with little crumb in the centre. The harm-chin-pengs are so airy inside that they look like the ugly cousins of the beautiful and quaint-looking Puff Ball pictured in the book Dough.

The taste of bread made with a pre-ferment is amazing. I have never made pre-ferment before and so I was quite blown away with the rich flavour of …

You need to ... what??!!

My Hubby turned around and looked at me, as if I had grown another two heads.

"Yes, I need to feedit now, if not that poor thing is going to die on me soon." I almost half pleaded for him to see the light of it. But I already knew that it was a lost cause.

Hubby doesn't read enough bread making book to know that fact, or so I tried to remind myself while he bore holes into my back with his incredulous stares.

So I proceeded to make a simple dough of bread flour and water, and added the previous piece of dough into it. This is done to feed the yeast in the dough with more flour (for them to digest), hence the term "feed the dough".

While I was finishing up the mixing and covering the dough with a cling film, Hubby asked again, "So, when exactly are you going to bake that dough?"

"No, darling, I am not going to bake the whole dough, but only to add a portion of it to the next batch I am baking. This is only a pre-ferment." I replied.

And now his loo…