Carrot Chawan-mushi Savory Custard

Carrot chawan-mushi savory custard is the ultimate steamed Japanese dish. While cooking, it is very important to keep the heat low for a nice, smooth finish.

Carrot Chawan-mushi Savory Custard
Photographed by Akio Takeuchi

Recipe by
Akiko Watanabe







Calorie count is per serving
Excludes time spent de-gritting the asari clams

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 40 g carrots
  • 6 asari clams (60 g)
  • 1 egg
  • [A]

    • 130 ml dashi
    • Salt, a pinch
    • 1/4 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
  • 4 mitsuba trefoil (cut into pieces 2-cm long)

    Leafy vegetable originating in Japan. Has green leaves and a long, white stem with a refreshing smell. The stem can sometimes be eaten, depending on the variety.

  • Salt



Peel and grate the carrot. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then microwave at 600 W for 1 min, until tender. Place the clams in water that is roughly as salty as seawater (roughly 1 tsp of salt per 200 ml of water) for about 30 min to de-grit, then wash, rubbing the shells together.


In a bowl, beat the egg with cooking chopsticks, using a "cutting" motion through the white. Combine the ingredients for [A] and add to the egg a small amount at a time, then strain the egg mixture through a fine-meshed strainer. Add the microwaved carrot to the strained egg mixture.


Place the clams and mitsuba trefoil into heat-resistant cups, then briefly stir the egg mixture and pour into the cups.


Pour enough water into a pot to make a layer about 1 to 2 cm deep, then bring to a boil and place the filled cups inside. Cover with a lid wrapped in a clean tea towel and bring to a simmer for 1 min over medium heat, then offset the lid (allowing some steam to escape), reduce heat to low, and steam for 15 min.


Wrapping the lid in a tea towel prevents droplets of water from dripping onto the chawan-mushi savory custard.