Chawan mushi with flaked fish



1 egg

1 cup of bonito stock (either from a packet that is monosodium glutamate-free or homemade) or chicken stock

1 tsp mirin wine (sweetened rice wine), a pinch of salt and, if liked, light soya sauce to taste

1 small piece of white fish fillet, skinless

A pinch of sesame seeds


5 cm sq piece of dried kelp

or kombu

1 small handful of dried bonito flakes


To make the dashi or bonito stock, boil a cup of water.

Add the fish to cook for a few minutes. Remove and flake it, taking care to check there are no bones.


Add the kombu and bonito flakes to the pot. You can obtain both from a Japanese supermarket.

Leave to seep for 30 minutes.

Beat the egg just enough to break it up. Don't do it too vigorously for then you might create little bubbles in the final custard.

Add the cooled-down stock and flaked fish into the beaten egg, beating gently all the time with a fork.

Flavour the mixture with mirin and soya sauce.

Add the egg mixture into a heatproof bowl.

Bring a pot half full of water to boil. When steaming hot, place bowl on a steamer stand in the pot and steam covered on medium heat for eight minutes.

The custard is done if a toothpick pricked into the centre of the custard emerges clean.

Allow it to cool before serving with some sesame seeds sprinkled on top.


A healthy snack

Bibi Chia, Principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre. RAFFLES MEDICAL

This is a low-fat and high- protein dish. It can be a healthy snack or a side dish with your healthy bowl of salad or soba noodles.

To make it healthier, one can use low-cholesterol eggs.

This dish also provides a range of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, iodine, iron, zinc and calcium.

Using steaming as the cooking method is a healthier option as it does not require additional oil or fat during cooking.

In steaming, temperatures do not exceed 100 deg C. This prevents the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

These are chemicals formed when meat, including beef, pork, fish or poultry, is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling directly over an open flame.

In laboratory experiments, HCAs and PAHs have been found to be mutagenic - that is, they cause changes to human DNA which may increase the risk of cancer.

Finally, limit the use of soya sauce and salt. This will help in reducing the overall daily sodium intake.


(Per serving of 300g)

Energy: 132 kcal

Protein: 14g

Total fat: 5.8g

Saturated fat: 1.6g

Dietary fibre: 0.2g

Carbohydrate: 5.7g

Cholesterol: 155mg

Sodium: 449mg

*The quantity of fish used in this analysis is 20g and the stock used is fish stock (bonito).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'Chawan mushi with flaked fish'. Subscribe