“Ham And Eggs”

I was inspired by the onsen egg course that Omae-san cooked for us during our omakase meal at Morimoto, NYC 22 Dec

Morimoto NYC Onsen Egg And Truffles, white and red daikon ribbons (underneath), gin'an

Morimoto NYC Onsen Egg And Truffles, white and red daikon ribbons (underneath), gin’an

2013.  The mix of the onsen egg, gin’an sauce and truffles really left an impression.  So I thought, why not surprise my wife by making breakfast?  So I was thinking: breakfast, eggs (onsen)…. Thomas Keller…’Bacon And Eggs’ (French Laundry)…why not ‘Ham And Eggs’?

But I’d never made onsen eggs before; but fortunately, David Chang’s Momofuku has a great discussion about his Slow-Poached Eggs, (pgs 52-53) vis-a-vis onsen eggs.  Basically, you need to get a deep pot of water up to 140-145 degrees F, submerge some kind of cooking rack into the pot and then put the eggs onto that rack to cook at that temperature for 40-45 minutes.  I set up the pot of water, submerged a western-style ‘collapsible’ steamer rack and then gently lowered 4 jumbo eggs onto the rack.  I used my candy/deep fry thermometer to monitor the poaching temperature.  I set the burner to the second setting

Slow poaching eggs in a submerged steamer basket at ~141 degrees F

Slow poaching eggs in a submerged steamer basket at ~141 degrees F

past ‘Lo’ (about ~38% max power) and periodically checked the temperature to make sure it stayed in the 140-145 degree range.

In the meantime, I shredded ~1/2 lb of virginia ham to put at the bottom of two ‘soup’ bowls.  To

Preparing a chiffonade of virginia ham for the dish

Preparing a chiffonade of virginia ham for the dish

make the gin’an sauce that Omae-san added to the onsen dish, I used the recipe from Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook (p.140).  The sauce calls for mixing 2/3 cup of hot dashi with a tablespoon

Hot dashi for the sauce

Hot dashi for the sauce

each of sake and usukuchi soy sauce.  I didn’t bother with the extra salt since the usukuchi soy sauce has plenty of salt in it.  Once that was all blended, I mixed in a 1 teaspoon corn starch (didn’t have the kuzu starch)/1 teaspoon water slurry to thicken the dashi/sake/soy mixture.

So when the eggs were ready, I carefully lifted them out of the hot water and gently cracked them into their

Cracking open an onsen egg into the serving bowl

Cracking open an onsen egg into the serving bowl

respective serving bowls

Onsen egg into the bowl!

Onsen egg into the bowl!

At this point I was ready to add the gin’an sauce.

Topping the dish with ~8 tablespoon of the gin'an sauce

Topping the dish with ~8 tablespoon of the gin’an sauce

Once the dish had the ham, onsen eggs and the gin’an sauce, my wife asked for the ‘more Japanese version’

The essential dish

The essential dish

while I decided to finish my version with a little truffle oil.

Finishing one version with the white truffle oil

Finishing one version with the white truffle oil

The aromas of all the combined elements really took me back to that dish that Omae-san made for us during our most recent omakase meal.  The ‘Ham And Eggs’ was served with a simple side of congee.

'Ham And Eggs'

‘Ham And Eggs’

Suffice it to say, my wife was extremely happy and satisfied with breakfast!

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