Chawanmushi is a savory Japanese egg custard dish that’s served as part of a traditional kaiseki meal or as an appetizer. This is a simplified version you can make at home with just 9 ingredients and in less than 25 minutes from start to finish!

I’ve been in love with chawanmushi ever since I had my first taste of it as a child back in Japan.

The smooth texture reminds me of silken tofu and I just love digging into the cup to find what ingredients are hidden in my egg custard. It’s both beautiful and fun to eat!

What is Chawanmushi?

Chawanmushi is an egg custard filled with various ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, ginko, kamaboko (fish cakes), and sometimes shrimp. It’s steamed in a cup and drizzled with a savory sauce made of dashi, mirin and soy sauce. My version is a little different as you can tell by the ingredients I’m using.

You can eat it with chopsticks but in Japan chawanmushi is eaten with a spoon since the custard is very delicate and breaks easily.

Japanese chawan mushi

How To Make Chawanmushi

The traditional way to make chawanmushi requires chawanmushi cups which are small ceramic cups that come with a lid. You can buy them on Amazon, at Asian grocery stores or Japanese supermarkets, in the cookware section.

Since I don’t have chawanmushi cups, I used small coffee cups for this recipe. It won’t look as pretty but the texture comes out just as silky and fluffy as in the traditional cups.

You can use a food steamer to steam the cups which is very easy. Set the temperature to high and steam for 12-14 minutes.

The other option is to fill a pot with enough water to cover half of the cups. Before adding the cups bring the water to a boil and then reduce the temperature to the lowest heat. Place the cups inside the pot, cover with a lid and steam for 12-14 minutes.

Check the doneness by sticking a skewer in the center of the custard. If it comes out clean, the chawanmushi is ready. If not, steam for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the custard has set.

Traditional Japanese Food

Traditional Japanese food is generally very healthy and surprisingly easy to make.

A lot of attention is paid to small details like perfectly cut garnishes and plate settings, and this can be intimidating for those of us who don’t have the skills or time to prepare something so exquisite.

But if what you are mainly looking for is flavor, then you can make Japanese food with few ingredients and in no time.

There are so many amazing dishes hailing from Japan, no wonder why many famous chefs consider it to be the world’s best cuisine.

And chawanmushi happens to be one of them.

Other quick, easy and yummy Japanese recipes:

Did you like this Chawanmushi Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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Chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard)

Chawanmushi is a savory Japanese egg custard dish that’s served as part of a traditional kaiseki meal or as an appetizer. This is a simplified version you can make at home with just 9 ingredients and in less than 25 minutes from start to finish!
  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Japanese
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dashi broth, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 stalks scallions (finely chopped)

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup dashi broth, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Add the recommended amount of water to your food steamer (follow the booklet instructions) and set it to high.
  2. Meanwhile, add oil and mushrooms to a pan over high heat, and cook for a few minutes, until the mushrooms are slightly caramelized. Turn the heat off, transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside. Let them cool to room temperature.
  3. Whisk the eggs and add dashi broth. In four separate cups, equally divide the mushrooms and pour in the egg mixture. Add a few scallions in each cup and briefly stir. Put the cups in the steamer, cover and steam for 12-14 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients of the sauce together and set aside.
  5. Insert a toothpick or skewer in the center the custard – the chawanmushi is ready when the skewer comes out clean. If not, cover and steam for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until cooked.
  6. Take the cups out of the steamer, pour a little sauce on top and garnish with scallions.

Notes

Cover the chawanmushi cups with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. They will keep for 4-5 days.

Keywords: recipe, traditional Japanese food, egg custard, side

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Print

Chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard)

Chawanmushi is a savory Japanese egg custard dish that’s served as part of a traditional kaiseki meal or as an appetizer. This is a simplified version you can make at home with just 9 ingredients and in less than 25 minutes from start to finish!
  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Japanese
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dashi broth, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 stalks scallions (finely chopped)

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup dashi broth, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Add the recommended amount of water to your food steamer (follow the booklet instructions) and set it to high.
  2. Meanwhile, add oil and mushrooms to a pan over high heat, and cook for a few minutes, until the mushrooms are slightly caramelized. Turn the heat off, transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside. Let them cool to room temperature.
  3. Whisk the eggs and add dashi broth. In four separate cups, equally divide the mushrooms and pour in the egg mixture. Add a few scallions in each cup and briefly stir. Put the cups in the steamer, cover and steam for 12-14 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients of the sauce together and set aside.
  5. Insert a toothpick or skewer in the center the custard – the chawanmushi is ready when the skewer comes out clean. If not, cover and steam for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until cooked.
  6. Take the cups out of the steamer, pour a little sauce on top and garnish with scallions.

Notes

Cover the chawanmushi cups with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. They will keep for 4-5 days.

Keywords: recipe, traditional Japanese food, egg custard, side

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