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Marinate the shrimp in sake for 15 minutes. If you use chicken, cut into small pieces and marinate them in sake.
Clean the matsutake mushroom with damp towel or paper towel. Do not wash the mushroom. Cut into thin slices.
Whisk the egg in a medium bowl, but do not create air pockets. Add the seasonings and dashi. Then strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl.
In a large pot, bring water to boil. The amount of water should cover ½ of chawanmushi cup. When boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest heat.
Divide all the ingredients into 2 cups. I started with one shrimp, ginkgo nuts, and matsutake mushroom. Then put naruto, the other shrimp, and mitsuba on top (the colorful ingredients should be near the top of cup). Lastly, tie mitsuba’s stem into a knot and put it on top.
Gently pour the egg mixture into the cups without creating bubbles. Instead of covering the ingredients completely with the egg mixture, leave some ingredients exposed so it will be visually pleasing when cooked. Put the lid on (or cover tightly with aluminum foil if you don’t have chawanmushi cup).
Gently place the chawanmushi cups inside the hot water (it should NOT be “boiling”) and cover the pot with the lid. Cook for 25-30 minutes on the lowest heat. If you are not adding shrimp and/or chicken, the cooking time should only be 15-20 minutes. Insert a skewer in the center of the cup to check if the egg is done. Serve warm.