Chawanmushi with local mushrooms

Chawanmushi with local mushrooms

Salt of the Earth, Pittsburgh

Foraged mushrooms add both local color and umami to this dish that, with its seaweed and bonito flakes, already is an umami powerhouse.

Chef Kevin Sousa starts by making a dashi, or seaweed-and-bonito stock, with kombu seaweed, smoked bonito, mushroom stems, garlic, ginger and sake. Then he adds a beaten egg and slowly simmers the stock until it thickens. He thickens it slightly more with a little kudzu, which he buys in crystallized form and grinds into a fine powder.

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