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Chawanmushi – Japanese Egg Custard with Ginger Sauce

Servings: 4 small cups


Egg Custard Base Ingredients

Large Eggs2
Awase Dashi (Kelp & Bonito Japanese Stock)400 ml
Salt1 teaspoon
Takara Mirin1 teaspoon
Soy Sauce1/2 teaspoon

Main Ingredients - Can Substitute with a Variety of Seafood and Vegetables

Chicken Thigh - Cut into Small Bite-Size Pieces2 oz.
Sho Chiku Bai Sake1 tablespoon
Spinach - Cut into Small PiecesFew Leaves
Cooked Bamboo Shoots - Cut into Small PiecesFew
Small chunks of Crabmeat or Shrimp4 pcs
Dried or Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms2
Water to Rehydrate Dried Shiitake Mushrooms1/2 cup

Optional Ginger Sauce Ingredients

Awase dashi (100ml) + Water Used from Hydrating Shiitake Mushrooms (50ml)150 ml
Sugar1 teaspoon
Grated Ginger1/4 teaspoon
Salt1/4 teaspoon
Soy Sauce1/2 teaspoon
Corn Starch1 teaspoon
Water1 teaspoon



  1. Rehydrate sliced dried shiitake mushrooms in ½ cup of water and set aside

  2. Splash Chicken thigh with Sho Chiku Bai sake and set aside

  3. Crack eggs into a small bowl. Beat well, but avoid making too many bubbles

  4. Combine awase dashi, salt, Takara Mirin and soy sauce in a large bowl and mix well. If you are using freshly made dashi, make sure it is cooled to room temperature before adding eggs

  5. While pouring eggs into above large bowl of dashi mixture stir gently to blend all ingredients well. If you prefer a smoother texture, you may strain this egg mixture through a sieve

  6. Divide chicken, rehydrated sliced shiitake mushroom, spinach, cooked bamboo shoots & crabmeat into 4 equal portions and place one portion into each of the 4 small cups. Next, fill each cup ¾ of the way with the egg & dashi mixture

  7. Cover each cup with aluminum foil

  8. For the ginger sauce: Mix corn starch and water and set aside. Combine remaining ginger sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add corn starch & water mixture to sauce and stir well till desirable thickness is achieved

  9. With heat off, place the 4 cups containing the chawanmushi into a large pot and add water to the pot until the water level reaches half-way up the cups. Remove the 4 cups from the pot, place lid on the pot and bring water to a boil

  10. When water boils, reduce heat to med-low (to sustain a gentle boil), and place the 4 cups into the pot, being careful of the very hot water. Place lid on pot and cook for 7 minutes

  11. After 7 minutes, turn off heat completely and leave cups in pot for another 7 minutes

  12. (You can check the custard with a wooden skewer to see if it’s done. Insert skewer in custard and if it comes out clean, it is ready)

  13. Very carefully remove the 4 cups from the pot. Cups are HOT!

  14. Pour a small amount of ginger sauce on top of each egg custard before serving


  1. Ratio of egg-to-liquid mixture can vary - 1 large egg to 160ml~200ml dashi (approx. 2 serving), depending on personal preference for softer or firmer custard

  2. If using a steamer, place cups in steamer after water boils and cook on mid-low heat for 10~15 minutes. Make sure steamer can hold all 4 cups prior to cooking

  3. Egg custard is a very versatile dish which requires only small amounts of the main ingredients. Try substituting with a variety of vegetables, seafood, etc

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