I was inspired by the onsen egg course that Omae-san cooked for us during our omakase meal at Morimoto, NYC 22 Dec
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
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
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
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
respective serving bowls
At this point I was ready to add 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’
while I decided to finish my version with a little 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.
Suffice it to say, my wife was extremely happy and satisfied with breakfast!