Food

Chawanmushi

Japanese savoury steamed eggs with kombu dashi in a cup. It is soft, silky, almost like a tofu except more silky! I simply love them as a starter to any Japanese meal. In fact, in my opinion, they are a better Japanese starter than Miso Soup.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 6 eggs
  • 750ml kombu dashi
  • 1tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 200g cooked and peeled Prawns or small cooked Scallops
  • 200g Shiitake mushrooms (soaked and washed)
  • 1 tbsp Mirin
  • A handful of Goji Berries (soaked and washed)
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Methods

The crucial part to making a good Chawanmushi is the proportion of eggs to dashi stock. I use 1:3 (egg:dashi) to get that smooth silky texture.

First, prepare Shiitake mushroom. I soak them in hot boiling water for at least 20 minutes. Wash them thoroughly under the tap. Then, slice the mushrooms thinly. Leave on side to use later. Clean the prawns or scallops for use later.

You can also add in thinly cut carrots, ginkgo nuts, shelled edamame. Make sure it is all pre-cooked or par-boiled.

The first step to making Chawanmushi is to get good eggs. I prefer organic eggs. Crack 6 eggs into a bowl, stir it very gently to avoid bubbles. Too much aeration will alter the silky smooth texture of the Chawanmushi.

Next, add in the Kombu Dashi. Again, do this with care to avoid bubbles. Add in the Japanese soy sauce and Mirin. Now, put the mixture through a sieve to ensure it is smooth.

Gently pour the sieved mixture into small cups. I don’t have small Japanese cups at home, so I use ramekins and flat wide bowls (as shown above).

Steam the Chawanmushi in a large pan

Now, steam the mixture for 5-7 minutes. The tip to doing this is to put water in a big pan, bring it boil. Place a stand inside the pan, put the cups in to steam. Another tip to avoid the condensation dripping into your Chawanmushi, is to cover the lid with a clean kitchen cloth.

Use a clean kitchen cloth to cover the lid of the pan to avoid condensation dripping into your Chawanmushi

After 5-7 minutes, add in the Shiitake mushrooms, cooked prawns, Goji berries and coriander leaves. They should sit on top of the Chawanmushi and not sink. If it sinks, you will have to steam it for a few more minutes before attempting to decorate it again.

Steam for another 3-5 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Itadakimasu!

Margaux’s Chawanmushi
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13th June 2020