Chawan-mushi Savory Egg Custard (Chawanmushi)

Classic Japanese steamed eggs. Enjoy the simple taste and smooth, elastic texture.

Chawan-mushi Savory Egg Custard (Chawanmushi)
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Eiko Oba






Calorie count is per serving

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 eggs

    You should have 100 ml of beaten eggs.

  • [Dashi]

    • 1-2 piece(s) konbu kelp (5 cmx5 cm)
    • 700 ml water
    • 8 g bonito flakes
  • [A]

    • 300 ml dashi
    • 1/5 tsp salt
    • Soy sauce, to taste



Make the [dashi]: Soak 1 or 2 piece(s) of konbu kelp (5 cm x 5 cm) in 700 ml of water in a pot for 1–2 hours. Heat over low heat and remove the konbu kelp just before it comes to a simmer. Add 8 g of bonito flakes and raise the heat to medium. After simmering for 2 min, strain and reserve the liquid.



In a bowl, combine the ingredients listed under [A] and mix well.


Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, add the seasoned dashi broth, then mix well. Pass it through a fine mesh strainer in order to achieve a silky, smooth texture.


Transfer the egg-dashi mixture to a measuring cup and pour into two separate heat-resistant bowls evenly. It is easier to separate the mixture by using a measuring cup. Remove the foam formed on the surface using a spoon if there is any.


It is best to use heat-resistant ceramic bowls with simple shapes. Dishes that are not heat-resistant, like most glass bowls or lacquerware, should not be used for this recipe.


Heat 800 ml of water in a frying pan. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and place the bowls filled with the egg-dashi mixture in the frying pan, leaving space between them.


Place a pair of cooking chopsticks between the pot and the lid to allow the egg-dashi mixture to steam, and cook for about 2 min over medium heat. By leaving a gap between the pot and lid, steam can escape and help to lower the temperature inside, preventing the custard from forming bubbles on its surface. After steaming for 2 min over medium heat, reduce heat to low, and steam for another 12–15 min.


Insert a bamboo skewer into the center of the custard to check the doneness. If no liquid comes out, it is fully cooked. If any liquid does come out, steam for another 1–2 min.


When removing the bowls from the pan, first remove the lid to let all of the steam out, then slide a turner under the bottom of one bowl while holding the top of the bowl with a potholder. Take care not to burn yourself.