Japanese Gastronomy: Chawanmushi-Basic Recipe

Chawanmushi or Chyawanmushi/茶碗蒸し is the Japanese equivalent of a French flan with the big difference that is not a dessert, but an appetizer!
It is quite easy to prepare and open to so many variations.
Here is the basic recipe. Just let your imagination fly!



-Eggs: 2
-Shrimps: 10 small
Shiitake mushrooms: 2
-Chopped leeks: to decorate and taste (or trefoil/mitsuba)
(you can use gingko nuts, kamaboko, crab, sea urchin, etc.)
-Dashi: 100 cc/ml (of your choice)
-Japanese sake: 50 cc/ml
Soy sauce: half a teaspoon
-Sugar: half a teaspoon
-Salt: 1 pinch
-Water: 2 cups, 400 cc/ml


Take shell and head off every shrimp.
Let shrimps marinate in the sake for a while.
If you use frozen shrimps, thaw them and sponge off their water first.

Cut the shiitake in two.
If you use fresh shiitake, fry them just a little in butter and sponge them off.
If you use dried shiitake, let them marinate in lukewarm water for two hours. Their water can be used as part of the dashi.
If you use frozen shiitake, thaw them and sponge them off first.

in a saucepan, drop dashi, water, salt, sugar and soy sauce. Heat to before bubbles come up (bubbles will be the main reason for failure!).

Beat eggs and pour them slowly into the dashi, whisking them all the time.

Once all the eggs are mixed in, switch off fire and strain/sieve soup.

Place half of the shrimps and mushrooms at the bottom of each cup.

Slowly pour half of the soup in each cup/ramequin/small bowl.

Pour 3 cm of water into your steamer pan and bring to boil.

Place steaming tray inside steamer and place cups on it with lids on.

Cover as shown on above picture.
Cook over strong fire for 2 minutes, then 10 minutes over low fire (over high fire all the way through will end into failure!).

Check if chawanmushi are properly cooked. If you stab a toothpick in it, no dashi shoud come out.

Decorate with leeks or trefoil and serve!


Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

6 thoughts on “Japanese Gastronomy: Chawanmushi-Basic Recipe”

  1. Hi RG – I think I saw Nami make this once, it looks really good, though I had no idea it was savoury – I assumed it would be sweet. How creamy and delicious it looks!


  2. chawan mushi is my one of my ultimate favourite japanese dishes. growing up, sashimi and stuff kind of scared me. but that lovely savoury custard I had no problem loving. actually, the chinese also have a very similar dish, we just call it steamed eggs. I posted it on my blog before. It’s like, plain chawan mushi, but of course you can add all sorts of goodies to it! the method is slightly different though, sounds a bit tricky beating the eggs into hot dashi without it cooking , but I reallyw ant to give it a go!


  3. Robert-Gilles, chawan mushi is such a wonderful, light dish and yours looks perfect! You make me feel ashamed of my old chawan mushi post… I must definitely remake the photo (I have made it without the lid, it was too thick, so it doesn’t look at all like chawan mushi 😉 although it was delicious)
    I have just planted some mitsuba on my balcony (I have got it by miracle in a Swiss seeds shop and grew it also last year) so I will hopefully make it soon and 100% Japanese way!


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