This Egg Soufflé recipe is my go-to for quickly getting something on the table when you are out of time and have few options. It’s fast, comforting, deeply savory, and packs a ton of protein. You won’t believe how soft and custardy the eggs cook up, and the boiled sardines (yes, you read that right) really give that little blast of funk that I crave. This is weeknight pantry cooking at its best- I always have eggs, dashi, and mirin on hand. And you should too! A few simple ingredients, and you’re rewarded with something nourishing and delicious in just 15 minutes.
While this Egg Soufflé has its roots in Korea (where it’s served as a side, or banchan) with their famous bbq, my version hails from my mom. This is a woman who knows what it’s like to spend all day feeding people in a restaurant, and then get home to hungry kids that need to eat too. She made this regularly and now I do too. And I still make it just like she did; why improve upon perfection?
Let’s Get Cracking!
To start making this Egg Soufflé, combine the seasonings in a small pot and then whip the eggs with a fork. That’s it. Time to move to the stove.
Don’t be scared of the boiled sardines in this recipe, they make the dish! Known as shirasu, the tiny steamed fish add a subtle saltiness and a bit of texture to the velvety eggs. I keep these sardine packages in the freezer and take them out as needed. Usually, I take the packages out the night before and stick them in the fridge, but they also defrost quickly under running water.
Shirasu are one of the most common seafood options in Japan, often given to toddlers as a way of introducing seafood. They are juvenile sardines, anchovies, or round herring and are caught off the coasts of Japan twice yearly. Full of calcium, Vitamin D, and beneficial oils like DHA, Shirasu are soft and have a very mild flavor. My nephew Noah loves them and is perfectly happy eating a couple packages (Often still frozen!) on top of some rice as a meal.
Shirasu and their cousin Chirimen Jako (which is the same fish first boiled and then dried) are available in the freezer section of most Asian markets. You can use either one, but if you cannot find them, you can substitute with a little shredded crab stick or even some small shrimp. Or you can also skip the seafood entirely if you prefer.
After stirring the eggs, I cover the pot and let it cook gently for 4-5 minutes. The steam will make the eggs puff up and inflate. You can serve it directly from the pot, or carefully transfer it to a shallow bowl. I like to garnish it with scallions for some color, and serve it with either a quick veggie side like Stir Fried Pea Shoots or with Japanese Style Spinach. Or go ultra simple with some steamed rice and pickles.
Make this savory Egg Soufflé for dinner tonight, and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you and seeing your creations!
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons shirasu baby sardines
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- ½ teaspoon dashi powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
1 scallion minced
- Crack the eggs and whip them with a fork. Set aside.
- Put the water, mirin, dashi powder, and salt in a small pot and stir to combine.
- Put the pot over medium high heat and bring to a simmer, 1-2 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium low, add the sardines, and pour the eggs into the pot. Stir gently.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 4-5 minutes. The eggs will inflate and turn into a soft mousse-like consistency.
- Sprinkle with scallions and serve either in the pot or transferred to a shallow bowl.