Chawanmushi is a traditional Japanese dish, which translates to “steamed in a tea bowl.” It is a savory egg custard that is steamed in individual cups or ramekins. The dish has a delicate and silky texture, making it a delightful and comforting appetizer or side dish. Chawanmushi is typically served as part of a multi-course meal, such as kaiseki ryori, or as a stand-alone dish in Japanese restaurants.
Tips for Making Chawanmushi:
- Use high-quality dashi: The base of chawanmushi is the dashi, a Japanese soup stock typically made from kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes. Using high-quality dashi will greatly enhance the flavor of your custard.
- Strain the egg mixture: To achieve a smooth and silky texture, be sure to strain the egg mixture through a fine mesh sieve before pouring it into the cups. This step will remove any lumps and ensure an even consistency.
- Serve immediately: Gently remove the cups from the steamer using a pair of tongs or a towel, and serve immediately.
How To Make Chawanmushi
Chawanmushi: A Delicate Japanese Steamed Egg Custard
- 2 cup dashi (Japanese soup stock)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet cooking rice wine)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 4 small cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 thin slices of kamaboko (fish cake)
- 4 sprigs of mitsuba (Japanese parsley) or cilantro, for garnish
- Prepare the dashi if you are using a homemade version or reconstitute it from a granulated or liquid concentrate according to the package directions.
- In a medium bowl, gently whisk the eggs until well beaten but not frothy.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Stir well to combine.
- Slowly pour the dashi mixture into the beaten eggs, whisking continuously to create a uniform mixture.
- Strain the egg mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout to ensure a smooth and even consistency.
- Evenly distribute the sliced shiitake mushrooms, shrimp, and kamaboko among four heatproof cups or ramekins. Each cup should be about half full.
- Carefully pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in each cup, filling them almost to the top.
- Cover each cup with aluminum foil or a heatproof lid.Fill a large pot or a steamer with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a gentle simmer.
- Place the cups in the steamer, cover the pot, and steam the custard over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the custard is set but still slightly jiggly in the center. You can check the doneness by inserting a skewer into the center of the custard; it should come out clean.
- Carefully remove the cups from the steamer using a pair of tongs or a towel.Garnish each chawanmushi with a sprig of mitsuba or cilantro. Serve immediately. Enjoy your homemade Chawanmushi!
Chawanmushi is a delightful Japanese dish that showcases the delicate flavors and textures of steamed egg custard. Its versatility allows you to incorporate a wide range of ingredients, making it an excellent choice for special occasions or casual gatherings. Happy cooking!