Sunday, December 22, 2013

Japanese Eggnog: Festive Drink or Sickness Remedy?

For me December 2013 has been a time of sore throats and coughing that has developed into a very special Holiday Bronchitis. There is no cure for Holiday Bronchitis, but there are treatments. Sure, NyQuil and Tussin and cough drops maybe, but my favorite is eating my way through my Japanese ramen supply:
Salt Flavored Ramen with Yuba
Add an egg. Do it.

Tempura Ramen

 Good stuff for a sore throat. What else can Japan offer to ease the Holiday Bronchitis?

Tea. Looking up Japanese folk cures will result in Japanese Ginger and Lemon Tea.  AKA Shoga Yu.

Which is great, but so completely universal, it's not exactly a Japan exclusive. It's been in use in Western medicine for a while. In fact, my money is on China for being the originator. But seriously, it's not bad to try this stuff if you're sick. Warm and zingy.  But for the love of Pete, strain your ginger out.

Back to the post title theme. The other sick remedy you'll bump into when looking for Japanese folk wisdom is Tamago Zake or Egg Sake or some translations say Eggnog.
Okay, this looks doable, and even though I only have the dregs of Holiday Bronchitis left, I am all about Eggnog. Full disclosure: there are 2 different types of Eggnog in my fridge, and I plan to make a 3rd for Christmas Eve involving almond milk. This will be a 4th if you count it as real Eggnog.

Taking a look at Cookpad, it looks like the traditional way is indeed egg, sugar, and sake.
Here's one recipe.

Fuwa Fuwa=fluffy
2 methods, 1 for kids

 And this is another.

It looks like if you want it to be "creamy" and/or kid-friendly, add milk in place of some of the sake. I'm going to try the traditional way. I have enough milk-based Eggnog to last me till...well, shortly after Christmas probably, but anyway, I want to try this sake-based version the traditional way.
Looks like this guy had some issues with high heat and eggs scrambling:

So I've got to be careful. Here I go!

OK, stir the heck out of 1 egg, add 2/3 cup sake and like almost 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Turn on the heat to lower-is-better. Stir always, stir well. That's why I went with a whisk instead of cooking chopsticks. It gets all foamy. Good.

Then it gets a little bit steamy and I notice it's slightly thicker. Good. Then I hear the Ima-bout-to-boil rushing sound, and then sure enough little boil bubbles appear, and they seem to chase away the eggy foam. I wait a few more moments to make sure it has boiled through everywhere, then I take it off, still stirring.
Hmm...definitely thicker, but...
Into a mug.
Well, it was promising, but it turned out slightly broken. Mayhaps I should have taken it off once I heard the sound of the almost-boiling. It was a little thicker in parts and thin in others like pudding with puddles. Not a bad idea for a sore throat with the alcohol heat in your throat and the soothing creaminess. Or just something to build up energy if nothing else. Probably not so great if you're nauseous. But perfect for Warm Holiday Cheer.

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