Chawan-mushi (Savoury Egg Custard)

Japanese Chawan-mushi (Savoury Egg Custard)

I’m happy! I managed to make at home this favourite Japanese dish of mine. This savoury egg custard, called Chawan-mushi in Japanese, in not easily found in Japanese restaurants. I’ve discovered only authentic Japanese restaurants serving cuisine type dinner (not sushi izakaya bar type restaurants) have this dish on their menus. It is also not a quick dish to make, as the steps are very delicate and the steaming of the egg custard requires sufficient monitoring for it to turn out perfect.

My dish turned out to be quite good, although not as tasteful as the ones in the restaurant. I am sure it is because of the dashi stock I used. I brewed my own stock using the recipe from the book, so maybe next time I’ll have to adjust the amount of ingredients around. I bought this book from Amazon a while ago, and I’m very content with it – Quick & Easy Japanese Cuisine for Everyone by Yukiko Moriyama

It is very easy to find ready-made dashi stock in the Asian supermarkets nowadays. Your best bet would be to search in a Chinese or Korean hypermart. The recipe is for a four-person serving, but my pictures are showing only a two-person serving. I’ve got only two hungry mouths to feed in my family! šŸ˜‰

Ingredients (Serving for 4):

3 eggs

1 2/3 cup dashi stock

2/3 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon mirin (sweet seasoning – Japanese condiment)

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

The fillings:

3 1/2 oz (100g) boned and skinned chicken breast

12 small cocktail shrimp, shelled

4 small dried shiitake mushrooms, softened in hot water

4 sliced kamaboko (steamed fish paste), each 1/4 inch thick

4 small pieces lime peel

Instructions:

1. Beat eggs. Mix with dashi stock and salt. Strain with cloth into another bowl.

2. Chop chicken breast into small pieces. Add pinch of salt, mirin and light soy sauce. Marinade the chicken.

Mirin, kamaboko, and shrimp

Marinated chicken

Shiitake mushrooms softening in hot water

3. Slice the softened shiitake mushrooms.

4. Place all fillings at the bottom of four 8 oz Japanese steaming cups. You can find these steaming cups at Daiso or any other Japanese home store. These cups come with their own lids.

5. Stir egg mixture with chopsticks but do not beat. As you stir, pour them into the cups. Break any bubbles on the surface with a chopstick.

6. Add water and steamer stand into a pot. Lay the cups (without the lids) on top of the steamer stand.

7. When the water boils, lay a damp kitchen towel between the steam and the lid. Cover and cook over moderate heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until it is set. Cover, and eat with a spoon when ready! Itadakimasu! šŸ™‚

A Japanese side dish - Savoury egg custard

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