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Chawanmushi Japanese Egg Custard Recipe

Chawanmushi (Japanese Egg Custard) is a simple to prepare recipe that yields flavorful results.Japanese_Egg_Custard

Serves 4


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups dashi or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • ¼ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 shitake mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 8 shrimps or 8 slices kamaboton
  • 8 tinned gingko seeds (optional)
  • Fresh coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinate in sake and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
  2. Drain from marinade and fry over a medium heat until lightly browned.
  3. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl, taking care not to beat too many bubbles into the mixture.
  4. Mix cool dashi or chicken stock with one teaspoon soy sauce, one teaspoon sake, salt and sugar.
  5. Gradually mix dashi mixture into the egg mixture.
  6. Strain the resultant liquid and skim off any bubbles that form on the surface.
  7. Take 4 chawan mushi cups and place chicken, kamboton or shrimp, shitake, and if used, gingko seeds, in the cups. If chawan mushi cups are not available ordinary teacups will work equally well. Remember that the thicker the cup the longer it takes to cook.
  8. Cover the cups with tin foil or a lid.
  9. Place the chawan mushi in a steamer and steam on a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Alternatively they can be cooked in a bain-marie in an oven preheated to 220o for 30 minutes.
  10. When they are cooked a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean, and a clear watery liquid should seep out. They should be set but soft enough to wobble when shaken.
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm.

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