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!
Chawanmushi with Shrimp
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 Tbsp water (for hydrating dried shiitake mushrooms)
- ½ boneless, skinless chicken thigh (cut into small pieces, soak in 1 Tbsp sake to get rid of the unwanted smell)
- 4 shrimp (peeled, deveined, soak in 1 Tbsp sake to get rid of the unwanted smell)
- 4 mitsuba (Japanese parsley) (or you can use scallion/green onion)
- 4 ginkgo nuts (pre-cooked; optional)
- ½ package shimeji mushrooms (1.8 oz, 50 g)
- 4 slices kamaboko (fish cake)
For Egg Custard Mixture
- Gather all the ingredients. Feel free to replace ingredients with any seasonal ingredients.
To Prepare the 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 ½ cup dashi in this recipe. To do that, strain shiitake dashi (to remove any impurities), and add dashi till you get ½ cup total.
- Make a knot with mitsuba (if you have it). 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).
To Make Egg Custard Mixture
- Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Add mirin, soy sauce, salt, and ½ cup dashi. Mix well together.
- Then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl. This helps making a silky texture.
- Pour the egg custard mixture into the prepared cups. Instead of covering the ingredients completely with egg, leave some ingredients exposed so chawanmushi will look nice. Remove any air bubbles with a spoon or bamboo skewer. Put the chawanmushi lid on (or tightly cover with foil).
To Cook Chawanmushi
- Prepare a pot and lid that fits your chawanmushi cups. Add water that covers half of the chawanmush cups. Bring it to a boil and once boiling, reduce the heat to the LOWEST setting. 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 custard and see if the egg is done. If clear liquid comes out, it's done.
- Serve warm with uni and ikura on the side (optional). Place them on top right before you eat.
- You can keep the leftovers in a chawanmushi cup and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, steam for 2 minutes.