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Chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard) in black steaming cups with white and red decorative lids

Authentic Chawanmushi (Japanese Steamed Egg Custard)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x


How to make authentic Chawanmushi with Japanese fish cake, shrimps and shiitake mushrooms steamed in a silky savoury egg custard.


  • 2 eggs (approx 120ml)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 slices kamaboko (Japanese fish cake)
  • 2-3 shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 100g shrimps 4 whole and the rest cut into halves or thirds
  • Dashi (three times the egg volume, approx 360ml) + extra for toppings
  • 1/2 tsp sake
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • Mistuba (Japanese parsley) optional garnish


  1. Set aside a whole shrimp, a slice of shiitake mushroom and a whole slice of kamaboko for each serving of chawanmushi and place them in a small heatproof bowl. Pour dashi (or water) into the bowl until the ingredients are submerged. Cover with foil and place it in the steaming basket.
  2. Cut the rest of the ingredients in halves or quarters and distribute them evenly between the chawanmushi containers. 
  3. Crack the eggs into a measuring cup and make a note of the liquid volume. Lightly mix to break up the yolk.
  4. Add salt, sake, mirin, and top up with dashi 3 times the volume of the egg content. The total mixture should be 4 times the egg content. (Example, 100ml eggs + 300ml dashi/condiments = 400ml mixture)
  5. Place a fine mesh sieve over a mixing bowl and pour the egg through. You might need to use a spatula to help work through any lumps.
  6. Transfer the mixture back into a jug for easy pouring and divide it evenly between the chawanmushi containers.
  7. If the cups have lids, place the lids on, if not, cover each one with foil. Place them inside a steaming basket together with the bowl of toppings from earlier.
  8. Fill up the steamer with plenty of water and bring it to a boil over a high heat. Once boiling, place the steaming basket on top with the lid on.
  9. Steam the chawanmushi for 3 minutes with the high heat, then lower to simmer and heat for 10 mins (13 minutes in total).
  10. After the time is up, check the chawanmushi is set by removing the foil and gently tilting one cup. (Use an oven mitt to protect your hands.) If it's not set, steam it for another 1-2 minutes and keep checking the progress until it's firm and doesn't move.
  11. Garnish with the dashi soaked toppings and a leaf of mitsuba (Japanese parsley).
  12. Enjoy hot or cold!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Egg
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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