Posted every Monday at 9:00 am PST,
or more often if I get around to it...
Monday, September 9, 2013
The dish I never get to eat when guests are around. Seriously.
Custard is treated with special respect in South China. Sweet or savory, steamed or baked, simple or fancy: This is the place where eggs ascend to culinary heaven. I don’t know what it is about that place and chicken ova, but the Cantonese have a knack for bringing out the best in one of the most basic of foods.
Take this dish, for example. On the surface it looks, I admit, rather boring. This is little more than eggs mixed with broth and steamed. It is then cut into squares and fried, and a sauce is dumped on top. I know. Yawn.
But whenever I prepare this dish for guests, it completely disappears, no matter how many times I multiply the recipe. Not only that, but if I have to leave the table before the dish reaches my place, I won’t get a taste. I will see lots of happy faces when I return, but that’s about it.
Puffing up in the steamer
Why is this so good? Well, the custard is lightly seasoned and then fried in a simple coating of cornstarch. That cornstarch is a touch of genius, because it allows the outside to crunch up and the eggs to billow out, turning the little yellow squares into golden balloons.
Then, I make a lovely mix of at least three kinds ofmushroomsseasoned with lots of fresh ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, rock sugar and green onions. All of that flavor is the perfect complement to the crunchy yet understated custard....
(Read the rest here, including the recipe for Fried Custard with Mushrooms, on Zester Daily.