Chawanmushi is a delicate and savory Japanese egg custard dish that is typically steamed in a tea cup. I was first introduced to this dish at a restaurant called Akane. It's an incredibly comforting dish and one that you need to order in advance and expect near the end of your meal. Since I love this dish so much, I wanted to be able to share with my husband who's a vegetarian. I tried modifying several recipes and making this at home. Here's a good non-vegetarian version.
Here's my modified version. Cooks in 15 minutes. One tea cup is a serving size. Makes 3-4 cups depending on your tea cup size. I made 5 here, but just barely.
- 1 Large soup pot or deep pan with lid
- 3-4 Teacups (preferably with lids, otherwise cover with foil)
- 1 Measuring cup (preferably with spout)
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Fine strainer
- 1 Spoon
- 1 Knife
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SOUP
- 1 Pouch Kombu Dashi (this comes in a multi-pack, vegetarian)
- 2 Eggs
- 300 ml water
- 2-3 Shitake Mushrooms
- Handful of Hijiki Seaweed
- Handful of Beech or Bunapi Mushrooms
Toppings After Steaming
- 3-4 Shiso Leaves (one per serving)
- Handful of Silken Tofu (cut into mini cubes)
- Handful of Fukujinzuke (Japanese pickled, handful per serving)
- Handful of Radish Sprouts (adds a nice spicy kick)
- If you have dried hijiki, place them in a bowl of water to soak 20 minutes.
- Cut the shiitake mushrooms into thin slices.
- Cut off the ends of the bunapi or beech mushrooms and carefully peel off some of the smaller mushrooms to use.
- Take your teacups and place a handful of mushrooms carefully into each cup.
- Sprinkle in some hijiki. If it’s not ready, you can add them on top after steaming too.
- Set the teacups aside.
- To make the kombu dashi, use a single pouch. Use a measuring cup and mix with 300ml of warm water until the dashi has dissolved. I like to use more kombu for more flavor.
- Now add the two eggs into the measuring cup and mix together.
- To get rid of all the bubbles, hold the strainer over a teacup and slowly pour the dashi egg mixture into the cup until it’s about three-quarters full.
- Repeat with the remaining cups.
- Cover the cups with caps or tin foil.
- Place the cups into a stove pot carefully.
- Add water to the pot until it reaches about halfway up the teacups.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil. Then crack the lid and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the teacups from heat, add the toppings (shiso leaf, tofu, pickles and radish sprouts, etc). Eat while they’re still hot!
Placing the teacups into the pot for steaming!
We also paired the Chawanmushi with cold sobs noodles. To make this dish, simply mix together soba buckwheat noodles with edamame, furikake, Japanese pickes, sesame seeds, seaweed flakes and a little sesame oil. Makes for a great dish on a hot summer evening.