Easier-than-you-think Chawanmushi Recipe

Chawanmushi is a Japanese appetizer, served hot or cold. It is a savoury egg custard, steamed in a a small cup. Richard and I have talked about making this for years and we’ve assumed it must be hard to make. But we actually had all the ingredients for a simplified version. There are many variations to what actually goes in the egg custard. Some recipes call for chicken, fresh Japanese mushrooms, fish cakes, fresh fish etc. We just used what we had in the pantry.

It took us only 5-10 minutes to prepare and the chawanmushi took 15 minutes to steam. And before we knew it, we had scoffed down two cups each, burning our tongues in the process as we just wouldn’t wait for it to cool down. It was just so warm and sweet and salty at the same time. The soft texture of the egg custard and the chewiness of the shitake mushrooms complimented each other beautifully.

Chawanmushi or Savoury Steamed Egg Custard

Chawanmushi or Savoury Steamed Egg Custard
Adapted from this recipe and the sauce is from Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking cookbook (pg 26)

Serves 4
Ingredients for Savoury Steamed Egg Custards (Chawanmushi):
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup Campbell’s fish stock
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sake
10g dry shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 mins till soft, chopped
2 pak choy leaves, sliced into small pieces
2 stalks spring onion, chopped (garnish)

  1. Beat eggs gently, try not to get bubbles. Add stock, salt, soy sauce, sugar and sake. Mix well & strain through sieve.
  2. Divide mushrooms and pak choy into 4 small cups and pour egg mixture on top.
  3. Preheat a steamer on high heat (until water is boiling). Lower heat and place cups into steamer. Cover with tea towel and then with the lid. Steam for 15mins or until firm to touch.


Ingredients for the sauce:

A little granulated chicken stock powder
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

  1. Dissolve stock powder with hot water. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  2. When the chawan mushi is ready, pour a little sauce on each one and garnish with spring onion.
{ 5 comments }

5 Responses to “Easier-than-you-think Chawanmushi Recipe”

  1. Oiyi says:

    It looks so delicious and delicate.

  2. Umi says:

    I’ll probably try it if it has no sake. I don’t think it is halal. But then again, I’m rather conservative.

  3. Salihan says:

    Oiyi: Thank you! Delicate is a good way to describe it.

    Umi: You simply omit the sake if you do not wish to have it. It just adds another depth of flavour which doesn’t affect the overall taste.

  4. Eve says:

    Yum yum yum! I want to make this immediately!

    Eve’s last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day!

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