Chawanmushi (Savory Egg Custard) Recipe: A Japanese 101

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Craving a light and flavorful Japanese dish? Look no further than chawanmushi, a savory steamed egg custard. This deceptively simple recipe is packed with umami flavor and boasts a silky smooth texture. Perfect for a quick and satisfying meal or a delightful appetizer, chawanmushi is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


Chawanmushi Recipe
Chawanmushi Recipe

4 large eggs [2]

  • 2 cups (480ml) dashi (Japanese fish broth) [3] You can substitute vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) mirin (sweet rice wine) [4]
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon shiitake mushroom flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) cooked and shredded chicken or shrimp (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) thawed and frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) chopped mitsuba (Japanese parsley) or chopped green onions

  • Directions:

    1. Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until well beaten and slightly frothy.

    2. Combine the broth, soy sauce, mirin, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Whisk well to dissolve the seasonings.

    3. Strain the broth mixture into the eggs. Slowly whisk the broth mixture into the beaten eggs. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure a smooth texture.

    4. Incorporate the optional ingredients. If using, gently fold in the cooked and shredded chicken or shrimp, frozen peas, and shiitake mushroom flakes.

    5. Prepare individual serving bowls. Divide the egg mixture evenly among four heat-resistant ramekins or small bowls.

    6. Steam the chawanmushi. Place the ramekins in a steamer basket and arrange the basket over a pot of simmering water. Ensure the water level doesn’t touch the bottom of the ramekins. Cover the pot and steam for 10-12 minutes, or until the custard is set but still slightly wobbly in the center.

    7. Garnish and serve. Once cooked, remove the ramekins from the steamer and garnish with chopped mitsuba or green onions. Serve immediately while hot.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving) [5]:

    Calories: 180

  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 180mg
  • Sodium: 500mg (depending on the sodium content of your dashi)
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 12g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on common ingredients. The actual nutritional content may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    Chawanmushi is a delightful and easy-to-make Japanese dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its simple ingredients and delicious flavor, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. So next time you’re looking for a light and satisfying meal, give chawanmushi a try!

    FAQs After The Conclusion

    1. Can I substitute other vegetables for the peas?

    Absolutely! Chopped carrots, broccoli florets, or green beans would all be delicious additions to your chawanmushi.

    2. What can I use if I don’t have dashi?

    If you don’t have dashi on hand, you can substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth. However, using dashi will provide the most authentic flavor. You can find pre-made dashi at most Asian grocery stores.

    3. How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

    Simply omit the chicken or shrimp and use vegetable broth instead of dashi. You can also add additional vegetables, such as mushrooms or bamboo shoots, for extra protein and flavor.

    4. What if I don’t have mitsuba or green onions?

    Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro can be used as a substitute for the mitsuba or green onions.

    5. Can I make chawanmushi ahead of time?

    Chawanmushi can be prepared up to a day in advance. Simply store the cooked and cooled custard in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a steamer before serving. However, the texture may not be quite as smooth as freshly made chawanmushi.