Posted by: gargupie | January 28, 2011

My Take On Chawanmushi – Savory Steamed Egg Custard

Chawanmushi  (“steamed in a tea bowl”) is a Japanese-style steamed egg custard dish that is usually prepared with ginkgo nuts.  Sometimes the odor from fried egg lingers in the air amidst my home, which I find a bit nauseating (perhaps also because I do not eat eggs, but I cook egg dishes for my mom).  But with steamed egg custard, I find it contributes less smell and actually quite appealing looking.  Just think of soft, silky, and luscious eggy goodness; much like soft tofu, except for the yellow color.  Land a big spoonful on top of some rice along with some sautéed vegetables and you have got yourself a complete, nutritious meal all in one vessel.

The secret to make a successful chawanmushi? NEVER oversteam!  I like to cook my egg mixture in my rice cooker when the rice starts to boil.  Additionally, for every egg used, I whisk in 2 tablespoons of water (or stock), so there is more liquidity to the dish rather than a dense ‘custard’. 

1. Whisk 3 eggs along with 6 tablespoons of water.

2. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp mirin, and 1 tbsp light soy sauce.

3. Add ins – don’t go too crazy because the eggs are the main feature.  I kept this vegetarian by using sliced mushrooms, a bit of diced celery, and also some cilantro.

4. You can steam it over a pot of boiling water (about 7 minutes), but since I was cooking rice anyway, I plate the egg dish when the rice started to boil.


  1. I love this dish! My husband has tried to make it before but it didn’t turn out very well. We’re going to try your recipe!

    • That’s great! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  2. I’m glad you shared this, since I’ve seen it around and I wasn’t quite sure how to make it at home! Your version looks fantastic, I really love the addition of mushrooms!

    • Thanks Faith! Steaming egg can be tricky, but well worth the effort. 🙂

  3. chawanmushi is my fav dish ever!!! I enjoyed this post 🙂

    • Thanks for your compliment! Thought you might appreciate this Japanese dish post. 🙂

  4. I have never steamed egg nor thought to do so. This is inspiring as it looks so utterly delicious.

    • Glad I got you inspired. 🙂

  5. Mmmmmmmmmm, this is something I’d love to try! (Just need to buy eggs first.)

  6. Thanks Kath! Do give it a go. 🙂

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