Chawan Mushi is a Japanese steamed, savory egg custard made with dashi broth and eggs. Bon Appetit April 2013 has a great recipe that adds fresh spring peas, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms. Spring peas are now in season, and are worth the extra work compared to frozen peas. The peas, mushrooms, and shrimp are first individually steamed in a bamboo steamer. The egg custard is made by mixing eggs with a dashi broth. Dashi is a Japanese stock made from dried kombu (seaweed) and shaved bonito flakes that imparts a lot of umami. Instant dashi granules are available in Japanese markets. When the eggs and dashi mixture is steamed, it produces a very light, flavorful custard, punctuated by the shrimp and vegetables. Great recipe!
Cost: about $5-10 (one needs to buy dashi granules) for six servings
Level of difficulty: not too difficult, but requires bamboo steamer and multiple steps of steaming peas, mushrooms, shrimp, and then the chawan mushi
Time: about 1 hour
Deliciousness: excellent (4 out of five stars)
Health: pretty healthy
Make again: definitely
Link to recipe here.
A good recipe in the accompanying feature on spring peas is the Herbed Pea Sauce. It is simply blanched fresh peas, sauteed in butter with scallions, parsley, lemon zest, and chives. It is a nice, easy accompaniment to meat or fish such as sauteed tilapia. Link to Herbed Pea Sauce recipe here.