Chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) is a savory egg custard dish which served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants. It literary means ‘steamed in a tea bowl/cup’. Chawan in Japanese means tea bowl or bowl, and -Mushi means steamed.
Typically Chawanmushi includes ginkgo nuts, shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko fish cake and filled with an egg mixture that is flavored with dashi, soy sauce, and mirin.
I often put shrimp in Chawanmushi as it looks pretty when shrimp’s orange/red color peeks from top of the egg custard. My signature recipe for this dish includes ikura (salmon roe) and uni (sea urchin) on top of the Chawanmushi. It’s our favorite way to eat Chawanmushi and I hope you give it a try!
I hope you will enjoy making this Chawanmushi with shrimp recipe! If you try it, don’t forget to share your picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #JustOneCookbook. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!
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- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 Tbsp water
- ½ cup dashi (120 ml)
- ½ boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 Tbsp sake (for chicken and shrimp)
- 1 large egg
- 4 ginkgo nuts (pre-cooked) (optional)
- ½ pkg shimeji mushrooms
- 4 slices Kamaboko (fish cake)
- 4 Mitsuba (Japanese parsley) (or scallion/green onion)
Gather all the ingredients. You can add any seasonal ingredients.
- In a small bowl, put 2 dried shiitake and 3 Tbsp water and rehydrate for 15 minutes. When shiitake becomes soft, squeeze water out and slice them thinly. Tip: This liquid is Shiitake Dashi. If you want to use this Shiitake Dashi as a part of your dashi in this recipe, remove 2 Tbsp from ½ cup dashi, and replace with 2 Tbsp Shiitake Dashi.
Cut chicken into small cubes so that they will be cooked fast. Marinate the chicken and shrimp in sake for 15 minutes (sake will get rid of unwanted smell).
- Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Add seasonings and ½ cup dashi. Mix well.
- Then strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl.
In a large pot, bring water to boil. The amount of water should cover ½ of chawanmushi cup. When boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest heat.
- Divide all the ingredients into 2 cups. I start with chicken, shiitake, ginkgo nuts, and shimeji. Then put kamaboko, shrimp, and mitsuba on top (the colorful ingredients should be at the top).
- Gently pour the egg mixture into the cups to avoid creating bubbles. Instead of covering the ingredients completely with egg, leave some ingredients exposed so chawanmushi will look nice. Put the chawanmushi lid on (or tightly cover with aluminum foil).
- Gently place the chawanmushi cups inside the hot water (it should NOT be “boiling”) and cover the pot with the lid. Cook for 25-30 minutes on the lowest heat. If you are not adding shrimp and/or chicken, the cooking time should only be 15-20 minutes. Insert a skewer in the center of the cup to check if the egg is done.
- Serve warm with uni and ikura on the side (optional). Place them on top right before you eat.
Soy Sauce: Use Usukuchi Soy Sauce (light color soy sauce) so the egg mixture will not become too dark.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.