Chawanmushi (Steamed Egg Custard)
Chawanmushi, or egg custard, comes in many shapes and sizes. I like to have chawanmushi in the fall, when I appreciate the perfect combination of rich, earthy flavors and steaming hot egg that this dish is. In this recipe, I've used shiitake mushrooms, small shrimp and ginko nuts, although you can often find chicken, kamaboko (fish cakes) and various greens used also.
- 2 large eggs
- slightly less than 1 cup of seaweed/fish stock (dashi 出汁)
- 1 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp sake
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- pinch of salt
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced
- 8 small "salad" shrimp (cooked)
- 6 ginko nuts, peeled
- Fill a large covered pot with about 1" of water. Add a steaming tray at the bottom. Put on medium high heat.
- Beat the eggs well with a whisk.
- Mix all of the other ingredients together, except for the mushrooms and shrimp. Pour the combined liquid into the egg mixture. Mix well, then skim off the bubbles.
- Find two small cup-like containers - I used a Chinese tea cup with a lid for my version, you can also find chawanmushi cups at Japanese homeware stores. If you don't have cups with lids, cut pieces of foil large enough to fit securely around regular tea cups. Place an equal amount of shrimp, sliced mushrooms and ginko nuts at the bottom of each cup.
- Pour half of the egg mixture in each cup - scooping off any more bubbles at the top.
- Cover the cups and place on the already hot steaming tray. Cover the pot with a lid and steam for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve hot, or refrigerate and serve cold.
Serving Size: 2
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Preparation Time: 15 minutes