The reward for this delightful steamed egg dish, smooth and savory, will seem much too high for the effort. Reminiscent of Chinese zheng shui dan, Japanese chawanmushi and Korean gyeran jjim, this streamlined recipe cooks entirely in the microwave. The key to that perfect, soft-set wibble-wobble texture (think silken tofu) is using your microwave at around 500 watts — or half its power on a 1,000-watt machine. This lower heat lets the eggs and broth steam together gently until they cohere into something ethereal, existing somewhere between liquid and solid. More slurpable than chewable, it tastes fantastic as a light starter or breakfast on its own, or for lunch or dinner alongside steamed rice and other dishes to complete the spread.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 2large eggs
- 1cup instant or kombu dashi (see Tip), vegetable or chicken broth, or water
- Pinch of salt
- 1teaspoon soy sauce
- 1teaspoon maple syrup
- 1tablespoon finely snipped chives or scallion greens, for garnish (optional)
Step 1In a medium, microwave-safe shallow cereal bowl, whisk together the eggs, dashi and salt until very well combined, at least 30 seconds. Skim off any bubbles with a spoon or pop them by blowing on them.
Step 2Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate and microwave at 500 watts (on 50 percent power or power level 5 on a 1,000-watt microwave) until the eggs have just set and are no longer liquid in the middle, 5 to 7 minutes. (Every machine differs, so check for doneness at 5 minutes, then in 30-second intervals after that if needed.)
Step 3Let sit in the microwave to cool slightly, then carefully remove, uncover and drizzle with the soy sauce and maple syrup, and garnish with the chives, if using. Serve immediately.