Japanese Set Custard

This savoury dish is a delicious take on the classic Japanese Set Custard, with a silky smooth texture and strong, tangy flavours.

Recipe by: Simon Toohey - Contestant

Serves: 6


Pickled Daikon:

Fried Garlic, Shallots, Enoki Mushrooms:

Japanese Set Custard:

Pickled Shiitake:

Burnt Leek:

Soy, Mirin and Sesame Dressing:

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  1. Half fill a large wide saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
  2. For the Pickled Daikon, combine the mirin, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and 40ml water in a small bowl. Add the daikon and allow to pickle for 20 minutes. Drain then transfer to a small serving ramekin.
  3. For the Fried Garlic, Shallots and Enoki Mushrooms, place the oil into a small saucepan and heat to 180C.
  4. Cook the garlic, shallots and mushrooms separately in the hot oil until crispy and golden.
  5. Remove from the oil and place onto kitchen paper. Season lightly with salt then transfer to a small serving ramekin.
  6. For the Japanese Set Custard, prepare a dashi stock. Place the kombu, shiitake, ginger, garlic and 1L of water into a medium saucepan over low heat and bring to 80C.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the bonito. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
  8. Pass the dashi stock through a muslin lined fine sieve into a large deep baking dish. Reserve 6 for the shiitake and set the stock aside in the fridge to cool to 40C.
  9. Meanwhile, without incorporating any air, lightly whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.
  10. Add 600ml cooled dashi stock and spring onion and stir through until evenly combined. Skin any bubbles from the surface of the mixture.
  11. Pour the mixture into six 9cm wide x 5cm deep ramekins. Cover each ramekin with foil and place into the base of a steamer basket.
  12. Cover with a lid and place the basket over the simmering water. Steam custards until mostly set and a little softness remains in the centre, about 25 minutes. Remove the custards from the basket, uncover and set aside.
  13. For the Pickled Shiitake, place the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, mirin and 100ml water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Slice the shiitakes and add to the saucepan. Remove from the heat and set aside to pickle for 20 minutes. Drain well then transfer to a small serving ramekin.
  14. For the Burnt Leek, place a small frypan over medium high heat. Add the oil and when hot, add the leek slices and cook until charred, about 1½ minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Transfer to a small serving ramekin.
  15. For the soy, Mirin and Sesame Dressing, combine ingredients along with 20ml water in a small serving jug and mix together to combine. Set aside.
  16. To serve, place Japanese Set Custards and accompaniments onto a large serving tray.
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