This Japanese appetizer is silky smooth and made with eggs, flavoured with savory ingredients like green onions or shitake mushrooms.
Translated from Japanese, chawanmushi is actually a combination of two words: “chawan,” which means “rice bowl,” and “mushi,” which means “steaming.” The result: an egg custard that is made by steaming eggs, stock, and other ingredients together.
Chawanmushi was invented in Japan during its Edo period, in the early eighteenth century. It was popular in Kyoto and Osaka, and many cookbooks simply called it “Japanese steamed egg” before chawanmushi was agreed upon as the preferred term.
Like its less creamy counterpart, the omelette, chawanmushi is a wonderful dish because it has such an ability to be versatile. Chawanmushi can be cooked plain, or (more commonly) have some sort of filling: popular fillings include shrimp, tofu, chicken, mushrooms, or even lobster.
Of course, at Outpost, we always encourage exploration–with our palates as well as out in the world! So don’t be afraid to try out any combination that might tickle your fancy–onions and pine nuts? Ham and sauteed kale? The sky the limit!
Or for a more traditional spin, try our recipe for spicy shrimp chawanmushi, below.
Spicy Shrimp Chawanmushi
- 1/2 cup miso broth
- 1 large egg
- 6 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 tsp hot chili oil
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp salmon roe
- Marinate shrimp in sake and chili oil for 15-20 minutes.
- Beat egg in a bowl and add miso broth, whisking continuously.
- Strain egg-and-broth mixture through a seive.
- Boil enough water for your chawanmushi cups* to be able to be submerged halfway. When water is boiling, reduce to lowest heat.
- Divide green onions and marinated shrimp evenly between two chawanmushi cups.
- Gently pour egg mixture over onions and shrimp and tightly cover with aluminum foil.
- Place cups into hot water and put a lid on the pot.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until egg is cooked through.
- Remove cups from water, top with salmon roe, and serve!