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Seafood custards to start a meal.

INSPIRED BY JAPANESE AND Chinese egg classics, these delicate, savory seafood custards start a meal lightly and elegantly.

Unlike richer custards, our lean versions use claim juice or nonfat milk instead of cream. When baked, they set into a soft, moist, silky custard.

Savory Seafood Custard

This custard may weep slightly when cut; that is not a sign of being overcooked.

4 cooked clams (recipe follows) or 1/4 pound shelled cooked crab 1 bottle (8 oz.) clam juice 4 large egg whites About 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam) or soy sauce 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger About 2 tablespoons finely shredded green onion

Place 1 clam in each of 4 custard cups or bowls (3/4-cup size). Set the cups in a large baking pan at least 2 inches deep.

In a bowl, combine reserved 1/4 cup liquid from cooked clams (or water if using crab), clam juice, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, and ginger; beat lightly just to blend. Pour 1/4 of the mixture into each cup.

Set pan on center rack of a 325[degrees] oven. Pour boiling water into pan around cups to level of custard. Bake until custard jiggles only slightly when gently shaken, 25 to 35 minutes. Lift cups from pan. Let stand at least 10 minutes. If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to a day. Garnish with onion. Offer warm or cold, with fish sauce to add to taste. Serves 4. Per serving: 39 cal.; 6.5 g protein; 0.5 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 1.7 g carbo.; 194 mg sodium; 6 mg chol.

Cooked clams. Scrub and rinse 4 clams in shells, suitable for steaming (about 1-1/2 in. wide). In a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan, bring 1/4 cup water to a boil. Add clams; cover and simmer until they open, about 5 minutes.

Or, to cook in microwave oven, place clams in a microwave-safe 1-quart container. Cover with plastic wrap and cook at full power (100 percent), checking every 30 seconds, until clams open, 2 to 3 minutes total.

Remove the clams as they open; continue cooking until all are open. (If a clam doesn't open, discard it and cook another.) Use clams warm or cool. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

Shrimp Custard

1/4 pound shelled, cooked tiny shrimp 1 cup nonfat milk 2 large eggs 4 teaspoons dry sherry About 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam) or soy sauce 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed 1/4 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil (optional) 1/8 teaspoon white pepper 1 tablespoon sesame seed

In each of 4 custard cups or bowls (3/4-cup size), place 1/4 of the shrimp. Set cups in a large baking pan at least 2 inches deep.

In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, sherry, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, ginger, garlic, oil, and pepper; beat lightly just to blend. Pour 1/4 of the mixture into each cup.

Set pan on center rack of a 325[degrees] oven. Pour boiling water into pan around cups to level of custard. Bake until custard jiggles only slightly when gently shaken, 25 to 35 minutes. Lift cups from pan. Let stand at least 10 minutes. If made ahead, let cool, then cover and chill up to a day.

Meanwhile, toast sesame seed in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium-low heat, shaking pan often until seed is golden, about 8 minutes; remove from pan and set aside. Just before serving, garnish custards with sesame seed. Offer warm or cold, with fish sauce to add to taste. Serves 4. Per serving: 110 cal.; 12 g protein; 4.3 g fat (1.1 g sat.); 5.3 g carbo.; 128 mg sodium; 163 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Lipman, Karyn I.
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:643
Previous Article:Easter buffet is easygoing.
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