Chawan Mushi

Chawan Mushi is a Japanese savory custard. Most of the recipes I’ve seen online for this
make a huge quantity – six or more. I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat that many Chawan Mushi in one sitting. And, since my wife doesn’t like it, I’m usually the only person eating it. So, here’s how I made just enough for me.

My chawan mushi starts with one half cup of cold dashi, mixed with one egg. You can, of course, made dashi from scratch, if you happen to be using it for other things (miso soup for instance). But this recipe comes out just fine with the powdered instant dashi.

Mix the egg and dashi together, and then add whatever you like. Traditional items would be shiitake mushrooms, ground chicken, or any kind of seafood. Today I’m using leftover dungeness crab meat.

Pour the mixture into small bowls or ramekins, and steam it for 10-15 minutes. My ramekins just barely fit into this bamboo steamer.

Here I’m using a bamboo steamer over a pot filled with an inch of water. If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, a plate atop an inverted bowl set inside of a big pot or wok works just as well.

Recipes suggest that you can test for doneness by poking them with a toothpick, but that
method doesn’t work for me. Even when the toothpick comes clean, sometimes they’re not
all the way done. Trial and error works best for me: I know that in my steamer, they’re not
quite done at 10 minutes, done at 12 minutes, and overcooked at 15 minutes.

Garnish with a little green onion, and enjoy!

Chawan Mushi
1/2 cup cold dashi
1 egg
1 Tbps (approximately) of filling: shiitake, ground chicken, fish
green onion (optional)

Combine all ingredients and stir with a fork until uniform. Steam until done (approx 12 minutes).
Garnish with green onion.

2 thoughts on “Chawan Mushi”

  1. Hey Goth Gourmet, you can make six and I’ll eat five of them! So I think if you want to avoid the air bubbles in the finished product you can spoon off the bubbles on the top of the mixture before steaming, or strain the egg mixture through a sieve, or try very lightly beating the egg with chopsticks (less air incorporated).

  2. Ohhhh! Just made a stack of chawan and batch #2 came out better…less watery (no wet veggies) and my dashi-egg mixture souped up with some nori komi furikake (rice seasoning). Awesome! We also bought a stacking steamer this week so i am super happy to put it to use. Chawan success leads me wanting to try custard in a bamboo steamer.
    Your blog came up whilst trying to find recipes… happy to find another goth gourmet. Are you still cooking?

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