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Chawanmushi (Japanese savoury egg custard.)

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

Chawanmushi Japanese steamed savoury egg cups by kurumicooks tasty easy healthy Japanese Asian and Fusion cooking and food for your kitchen

Steamed tea cup is a literal translation for what the Japanese call "chawanmushi". (chawan = tea cup, mushi = steamed). I can't think of a lighter, more delicate egg dish than this - small pieces of chicken, shrimp, shiitake and fish meal with a green garnish over which is poured a mixture of dashi, egg, soy sauce, mirin and salt. A lot of people omit the salt nowadays as they use an instant stock (which is already salty) but if you are using your own dashi stock (you can see my recipes by clicking first Japanese stock secondJapanese stock and my youtube tutorial here), you may want to pop in a 1/4 teaspoon. The origins of this dish go back to the eighteenth century and the southern coastal city of Nagasaki where it was a fine dining menu favourite - these days, it's made in many Japanese homes and can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chawanmushi probably crossed the sea from China - the giveaway is that it is one of the few Japanese dishes you don't it with chopsticks - you use a spoon. Chawanmushi can be eaten hot or cold. However you choose to eat it, it's delicious! You can find my recipe below and my youtube tutorial by clicking Chawanmushi or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.




(makes 4 servings)

4 heatproof 200 ml small cups or bowls (you can use cling film instead of a lid)

330 mls japanese stock*

2 eggs (m size)

1 tsp japanese cooking sake

4 small shiitake mushrooms

60g chicken breast

4 seafood sticks

4 large fresh prawn

some salad cress

*if you are using first or second stock made from bonito, you may wish to add a 1/4tsp of salt to the recipe


how to:

make the japanese stock and let it cool

cut the chicken into 4 chunks and halve the seafood sticks

break the eggs and whisk lightly in a bowl

add half of the stock to the eggs and mix well, then add the rest and mix once more

place the chicken, prawn, 2 pieces of seafood stick and shiitake mushroom in each cup

pour the egg mixture into the 4 cups equally, then place a little cress on top of each cup

fill a large pan with enough water to cover the bottom 1/3 of the cups (this avoids over-cooking and getting water inside the cups as the egg mixture cooks)

cover the cups with their lids (or cling film in which case you need to pierce a hole in each clingfilm lid)

when the water comes to the boil, place the cups in the pan

cook for 8-10 minutes over a medium high heat

turn off the heat and leave to stand for 2-3minutes


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