Impress your friends with Chawan Mushi, a comforting and silky smooth Japanese egg custard steamed in a cup. It makes a lovely starter to any meal.
Chawan Mushi is a much loved Japanese steamed egg custard. It is often homemade and also found in good restaurants where they are made in limited batches. To produce a smooth custard, it has to be steamed at a low temperature. Rapidly boiling water will cause the egg custard to puff up and collapse when removed. This will produce a “rough” custard.
Filling in Chawan Mushi
The fun part about eating Chawan Mushi is discovering the “treasures” hidden in the custard. A lot of times what is inside the custard cannot be seen until you dig in. The filling can be as simple as diced chicken meat and kamaboko (steamed fish cakes), or as luxurious as scallops, shrimps, ginkgo nuts, and shiitake mushrooms. I have even used dried scallops which gives the custard a really sweet flavor.
Savory steamed Egg Custard
Savory steamed egg custard is fairly common in East Asian cuisine but this Japanese version in individual cups is such a delight! It is normally served as an appetizer and is to be savored slowly.
I have made this Chawan Mushi many, many times and each time it is a little different. Today, I have decided to use three ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store – asparagus, shrimps, and fish sticks. You can substitute with pre-cooked chicken, mushrooms, scallops, carrots, and whatever takes your fancy. Do give it a try.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Chawan Mushi
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TENMOKU-KARAKUSA 2.8in Small Bowl with the Cover
COLORED-TOKUSA 3.1 in Small Bowl with the Cover
NASHIJI-LINE Jiki Japanese Porcelain Set of 4 Small BowlS with the Cover
Gosu Blue Lines 3.1inch Set of 2 Small Bowls with covers
- 4 sticks asparagus (trimmed and cut diagonally into 2½-inch pieces)
- 4 medium shrimps (peeled and deveined)
- 1 piece surimi fish stick (cut diagonally into 4 pieces)
- Bring a small pot of water to boil. Lightly salt the water and cook asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Add shrimps and cook until they curl and turn pink. Remove and drain.
- Place 1½ cups (360ml) warm water in a medium sized bowl. Add instant dashi and salt. Stir to dissolve. Add mirin and soy sauce. Set aside to cool.
- Once water is cooled, add eggs. Beat lightly with a whisk. Strain into another bowl.
- Bring a large pan of water to boil. Place a steaming rack in the pan. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Divide asparagus, shrimps, and fish sticks between 2 egg cups or ramekins. Slowly pour the egg mixture evenly between the two egg cups.
- Carefully place egg cups or ramekins into the prepared steamer. Cover cups with chawan lid or aluminum foil if using ramekins. Place cover on steamer and steam on low heat for 15 minutes or until eggs are set.
- Remove and serve immediately.
NOTE: This post was updated on October 23rd, 2013 with new pictures.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎
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