Tofu Flan with Dashi and Ginger

All year

This is a great and elegant flan, one that can be prepared in advance. It makes a great starter because of the complex taste.

Sake is best with this dish. The flan itself is subtle with a nice fresh touch because of the ginger and spring onion. The gel is a bit salty, given the dish a nice edge. The sake should be straight and crisp (and cold of course).

Here is what you need:

  • 8 small coddlers (so-called standard size)
  • 100 gram of Silken Tofu (light and soft)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 50 ml Dashi (preferably home-made)
  • touch of Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Mirin
  • 50 ml Chicken stock
  • 75 ml Dashi
  • bit of Cornstarch
  • Fresh Ginger
  • two Spring Onions
  • Butter

In a bowl mix the egg and the egg yolk. Use a blender to smoothen the tofu. After blendering it should look like yoghurt. In a second bowl mix tofu, 50 ml dashi, a touch of soy sauce and mirin. Now combine the content of the two bowls and mix gently. Pass through a sieve. It’s important that the mixture is very smooth, so no lumps or bits of white from the egg. If not, pass through a finer sieve.
Apply a very thin layer of butter to the coddler, just enough to cover the inside. Pour the mixture in the coddlers, but nor more than 2/3. The mixture will set but not raise (or only a little bit). Close the coddlers, but not too tight. You want to test one during the cooking process and you don’t want to burn your hands.
Set your oven to ‘classic’ and to 170° Celsius. Put the coddlers in a large oven tray and add boiling water. The water should reach ¾ of the coddler, leaving ¼ free. Once in the oven reduce the temperature to 120° Celsius and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. The coddlers are done when a metal pen comes out clean.
In parallel cook the chicken stock with the 75 ml of Dashi. Reduce. The taste should be relatively strong because the cornstarch will soften it. Better to use agar agar, but cornstarch is perfectly fine in this case. Thicken the sauce with the starch and let it cool. It should work as a gel on top of the flan.
Remove the coddlers from the oven and allow to cool. You can do this by putting them in cold water, but you can also give it a bit of time. Make sure you dry the inside of the metal lid (condense).
Grate the ginger and chop the white of the spring onion very fine.
Put a bit of ginger in the middle of the flan; sprinkle the onion over the top of the flan and finish by pouring a bit of sauce. Ideally this will cover the top (and the ginger and spring onion) and flow between the coddler and the flan.
Put the coddlers in the refrigerator and let cool. Half an hour before serving take them out of the refrigerator, remove the lid, dry it and put it back on again.