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Chawanmushi Recipe (Japanese Steamed Egg Custard/茶碗蒸し)

Chawanmushi (Japanese Steamed Eggs)
Chawanmushi (Japanese Steamed Eggs) pictures (6 of 6)

This is a special post to my readers who have requested for a chawanmushi recipe. Chawanmushi or steamed egg custard (茶碗蒸し) is a popular Japanese dish, one that is mostly ordered as an appetizer at Japanese restaurants.

From the name of this dish in Kanji 茶碗蒸, I believe chawanmushi is originally a Chinese dish, but has since been perfected by Japanese chefs. The Chinese version of steamed egg custard or 蒸水蛋 is a lot simpler, but not as tasty as chawanmushi, in my honest opinion. The reason is very simple: chawanmushi is loaded with treasures that are buried at the bottom of the steamed egg custard while the Chinese version is usually plain! Plus, the use of dashi stock and sake are great seasonings for an otherwise plain steamed egg taste.

Japanese Recipe: Chawanmushi (Steamed Egg Custard/茶碗蒸し)For my recipe, I used shrimp and chicken–two common ingredients for chawanmushi. Inspired by my favorite Japanese restaurant in Beverly Hills, I also added a bay scallop in each serving. I did it without gingko nuts but traditional chawanmushi recipe calls for them.

All in all though, I love chawanmushi and made them two days in a row! It does take some techniques to make them picture perfect and silky smooth (which I am still learning), but am very pleased with the results.

Other popular Japanese recipes on Rasa Malaysia:

1. Chicken Karaage (Sesame fried chicken)
2. Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelet)
3. Steamed Asari (Manila) Clams
4. Spicy Miso Ramen
5. And more….

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38 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Chocolate Shavings

    Those look perfect. Great photo! And the blend of flavors sounds delicious, I will definitely have to give this a try.

  2. diva

    i am obsessed with chawanmushi!! thak you for putting up a recipe of this – i have everything to make it tmr. awesome :) love the photos.x

  3. Syrie

    Bee I love chawanmushi, my mum’s Japanese friend makes it all the time. It has such a delicate flavour. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Marc @ NoRecipes

    Looks good:-) Chawan means bowl and mushi means steamed in Japanese. I’ve found that using bain-marie setup (like making creme brulee) in the oven works well in the texture department.

  5. "Joe" who is constantly craving

    i prefer the chinese style with all the salted egg,preserved egg n etc etc…but this is still just as tempting!

  6. ChichaJo

    My husband and I are big fans of Japanese food…mainly sashimi and sushi, but the first time we tried chawanmushi we were smitten! We love this egg custard! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  7. youlinchng

    The Chawan mushi(茶碗蒸し)picture looks great & I think the taste must be perfect:)美味しそう!..Think I need to improve the photo skill in order to get more good 1st impression of the food.. Get more free japanese food recipe @

  8. Lori Lynn

    Ha! We made savory custards back in July, and were so smitten we had three versions within 48 hours! Know how you feel!
    Yours look gorgeous. I’ll have to look into the addition of dashi.

  9. Luis

    Chinese egg custard also has little tid bits of goodies on the bottom. My grandmother would make it with minced flank steak and minced dried shrimp.

    • Joe

      4 medium shrimp
      4 gingko nuts (optional)
      Divide… among four ramekins.

      Somehow I have an inkling it might be a recipe for four people.

  10. jo

    I have this down to a science almost now – I practically live on chawan mushi – it is so delicious. My version is a little over 1/2 cup liquid (dashi stock is a must) to 1 egg. maybe a dash more dashi…(I usually do 1 1/4 cup dashi with 2 eggs) and I would probably fo 11/2 cups and a smidge more with 3 eggs.
    I add a bit of chicken and shrimp marinated in mirin and soy, and some shelled edamame or green peas to the bowl and steam for about 20 minutes or until done. It is so simple and so satisfying. I have never bothered doing the straining of the egg. I mix it well and I find it smooth enough. It presents best in individual ramekins for serving to guests – but I eat the whole batch myself so I cook it in one big double boiler.

  11. novice cook

    hey there, i finally tried e chawanmushi recipe n it turned out great! :))
    this webbie is a treasure-trove of asian recipes. keep up e good work! ^^

  12. mt

    My mother taught me how to make this, then I learned a Chinese version from my mil. I think the key differences are staining the egg mixture to give it the silky texture and using high quality dashi for the flavor. The ‘MSG’ flavor comes from seaweed, and dashi is made from seaweed (kombu).

  13. Leah

    Hi all, my chawan mushi is very ugly. It does not have the smooth surface.instead , it looked like the surface of the moon. I use a rice cooker to steam. What did I do wrong?

    • Grace

      Try steaming method in which you place the ramekin dishes(with the egg mixture) in a pot with some water in it. Then, prior to steaming the egg, you should cover the mouth of the pot with a cheesecloth and then put the lid on top. That way, you won’t have the water dropping into the ramekin dishes as the water simmers.

  14. YT

    Hi, i’ve been trying your recipes and i must say it helped me score points with my husband! hee… but i’m a noob still and i can’t figure out the below about this recipe:

    2 cups water
    1/2 teaspoon dashi-no-moto (or equal amount of dashi stock)


    *Ratio of eggs to dashi stock/water is 1:3

    My Dashi stock is in powder form….how does it work? is it 1/2teaspoon of dashi with 2 cups of water?

    Thanks alot!

  15. PH Kao

    It is not correct to say that the Chinese version is served “plain”. Perhaps you have only had it plain. Chinese egg custard, depending on the region of China, will have flavor builders steamed with the egg custard base including seafood, sometimes chicken, and vegetables. Both Japanese and Chinese versions are lovely and delicate – neither is better as, in matters of taste, it is ultimately an issue of preference.

  16. Fellow Msian Away from Home

    Rasa Malaysia – try the following if you’re not satisfied with texture. Steam in at high heat for the first two minutes then lower the flame right down for the remaining 13 minutes – keeping the cups cowered of course. For ratio of dashi to egg, I find two cups of cold dashi and three eggs (lightly beaten, minimal bubbles and strained) works best.

    Thanks for all your other recipes. They have been inspirational.

  17. Dawn

    Tried the chawanmushi yesterday and its turns out smooth and delicious. I used only fresh shitake and it has a nice delicate taste of shitake and sake. Hubby and children loves it!!

  18. presa1200

    chinese steamed egg is usually eaten with mixed rice whereas japanese chawanmushi can be eaten on its own, that explains why chinese version is simpler and usually topped with salted egg york.

  19. teo ai li

    Hi, I have planned a Japanese dinner for tomorrow. I will also be cooking using your Oyakodon recipe. May I know if I have interpreted the ratio of eggs to water/dashi stock correctly i.e if I use 1 egg (65gm) then 3x water or dashi stock (65gm x 3). But if I am using water (65gmx3) and dashi powder, how much powder do I use (1/2tsp)? Appreciate if you can reply me. Thanks!

  20. Pam Saltzman

    We are invited to a dinner party Sat. night and we are supposed to do wine pairing with the different courses. The first course is a seafood chawn mushi—what do you suggest for a wine to compliment? Thanks Pam

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