As a youngster one of our favorite pastime was hanging out at an Asian dessert house into the wee hours of the night. We would gossip, nosh on sago, sesame dumplings, soy sauce chicken wings, boba milk tea and steamed milk custard while the latest Chinese pop music was blasting in the background.
Every time without fail, when one of my friends ordered the steamed milk custard I would exclaimed, "I could make that at home!" My older cousin who was a big fan of the New Kids on Block at the time taught me how to make steamed milk custard. I was in awe as she open the piping steam pot and took out the bowls of milk custard. (I was also in awe because she had very high bangs.)
It has been a long long time since I made steamed milk custard and the No Reservations episode definitely brought back memories. It is so amazing how food can affect one's memory, the scene of my cousin making the custard was vividly playing in my head. To bring back the memory to my taste buds I immediately went into the kitchen to make the custard after the episode ended. The best part - the steamed milk custard is so easy and takes only 3 ingredients (4 or 5 ingredients if one desired more flavors.)
Steamed Milk Custard
Makes about 5-6 servings in 4oz size ramekins
2 1/2 Cups of Milk*
6 Tablespoon of Sugar or 1/3 Cup of Agave Nectar or 4 Tablespoons of honey or 6 packages of Splenda
4 egg whites
5 teaspoons of Ginger Juice** (optional)
Coconut Milk for serving (optional)
Mix milk and choice of sweetener and bring mixture to a scalded boil. Or microwave the mixture in 30 second intervals to an almost boil. Whip the egg whites with a fork until light and frothy. Temper the egg whites with 1/4 of the milk mixture, stirring quickly and then add the rest of the milk mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and skim any bubbles off the top. Ladle mixture into ramekins or heat safe bowls. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and steam for 6-7 mins. Serve immediately or room temperature with coconut milk (optional.)
*I used Organic low-fat milk which produces a fragrant rich milk flavor. My cousin made the custard with whole milk but I found low-fat works just as well.
*Peel skin off a 6-8 oz knob of ginger and run it through a grater. Put the grated ginger in a fine mesh sieve and press ginger with the back of a spoon to release the juice. Put one teaspoon of ginger juice in each ramekin before spooning in milk mixture.
I hope I don't forget this recipe in my cooking repertoire but then again it is marvelous to be reminded of good memories.
The recipe is very economical to make at home too as it is about $5/order while it cost pennies to make at home and much healthier too.