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Chawanmushi (Japanese savory egg custard)
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5 from 2 votes

Chawanmushi (Japanese savory egg custard)

This Japanese savory custard is easy to make and incredibly smooth and comforting. Change up the fillings to taste as well.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Side
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


For the egg custard

  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dashi 120ml
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce (light usucuchi soy if possible)
  • ½ teaspoon sake
  • 1 pinch salt

For the filling

  • 6 slices carrot thin slices are best
  • 2 shiitake mushroom stem removed, cleaned
  • 2 cooked shrimp (prawn)


  • Use a pan wide enough to hold two cups/ramekins and part fill it with water so that it comes half way up the cups/ramekins. Bring it to a boil.
  • Lightly whisk the egg so that it breaks up but doesn't get too much air in it. Add the dashi, soy, sake and salt and mix together.
  • Prepare the cups or ramekins with the fillings - split the shrimp in half through the middle and put the two pieces in the bottom, top with a couple slices of mushroom then the carrot slices. (If you like, you can use vegetable cutters to make the carrots into a flower shape.)
  • Strain the egg mixture over the fillings, letting the carrot slices float to the top.
  • Put the lids on the cups, if they have them, or cover with foil. Reduce the heat of the pan so that it is just simmering and carefully add the cups/ramekins.
  • Leave the custards to cook over a low heat for around 10-15 minutes until the custard is fully set. You can eat them warm or cold, as you prefer.


If you are not sure about putting the cup/ramekins right on the bottom of your pan, you can raise them slightly with a stand so they don't touch the bottom but are still partly submerged.
You can easily adapt the fillings to what you have and/or prefer - Japanese fish cakes are a pretty common addition, and you will also see this made with chicken. If you add chicken, cut it relatively small and you'll need to cook these a bit longer (around 10-15 minutes more). Fish cakes are best split in half and put in the bottom.
You can top these with some herbs like chives or perilla leaves, or some tobiko (flying fish roe) or uni (sea urchin) both for color and flavor, if you like.


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 629mg | Potassium: 1297mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 61263IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 2mg