Savory Egg Custard With Clams And Shrimp

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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1/2 cup juice from canned clams
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 dash white pepper
4 large eggs
1/2 cup canned whole baby clams
3 tablespoons garlic chopped
1 bunch chives, or green onions
6 medium shrimp, shelled, deveined
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

Preparation / Directions:

This steamed egg dish exemplifies the simplicity of Chinese home cooking it takes about 5 minutes to prepare. The Chinese use a heat- proof porcelain shallow bowl 7 inches wide by 3 inches deep with sloping sides to steam this egg dish. A 1 quart ceramic soufflé dish or a Pyrex bowl works just as well. To ensure a smooth, silky texture, avoid high heat when steaming. Combine the clam juice, chicken broth, oil, wine, soy sauce, sugar and pepper in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cool completely. Lightly beat the eggs in bowl. Slowly stir the cooled broth mixture into the eggs until thoroughly mixed. Avoid over-beating. Scatter the clams and 2 tablespoons of the chives in the bottom of a 1quart heat-proof bowl. Strain the egg mixture through a fine mesh sieve over the clams. Bring the water in a steamer to a boil over high heat. Place the bowl on a rack above the boiling water. Cover, reduce heat to a gentle boil, and steam for 2 minutes, or until the eggs begin to set. Carefully remove cover from steamer, and scatter the shrimp on top of the custard. Cover and steam for 5 minutes longer, The custard is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Carefully remove bowl from the steamer. Drizzle with oyster sauce and garnish with remaining chives. Spoon over rice. Serve hot. From an article by Joyce Jue, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/11/92.

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