Monster Chawanmushi

Chawanmushi is usually made in small bowls for individual servings, but this recipe shows you how to make one big serving full of various ingredients!

Monster Chawanmushi
Photographed by MASAO KUDO

Recipe by
Tokiko Suzuki







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

  • 3 eggs
  • 50 g kamaboko fish cake (white)
  • 2 chicken tenderloins (90 g)
  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 50 g nagaimo yam
  • 9 ginkgo nuts
  • 5 slices fu (thinly sliced)

    *Plum blossom-shaped nama fu, if available.

  • Dashi, as needed
  • [A]

    • 650 ml dashi
    • 1 tbsp sake
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
  • A small amount of mitsuba (cut into large pieces)
  • 1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
  • Salt, to taste



Cut the kamaboko fish cake into 6-7 mm cubes and the chicken tenderloins into 5-6 mm cubes. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms, wipe the caps with a well-wrung cloth, and cut into 5-6 mm cubes. Peel the nagaimo and cut into 5-6 mm cubes, then place the pieces in a mesh strainer and under running water to rinse. Transfer the nagaimo pieces to ice water to further reduce the sliminess, and strain. Place the cubed kamaboko fish cake, chicken tenderloins, shiitake mushrooms, and nagaimo in a metal tray and sprinkle with 1 tsp of usukuchi soy sauce.


Remove the shells from the ginkgo nuts and place them in a small pot with just enough water to cover them. Add a small amount of salt, and heat. When the water comes to a simmer, use a slotted ladle to loosen the thin skins from the ginkgo nuts, then remove from the pot. Rehydrate the fu in dashi.


Following this method will let you remove the thin inner skin without damaging the ginkgo nuts.


Beat the eggs well, then add the ingredients for [A]. Strain the egg mixture through a mesh strainer. Reserve 5 tbsp of the egg mixture, and mix the rest with the cubed ingredients in the metal tray. Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant bowl.


Heat a steamer until it starts to steam, and place the bowl inside. Steam over high heat for 1 min, then reduce the heat to low and steam for 17-18 min, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a bamboo skewer.


Sprinkle the ginkgo nuts and rehydrated fu over the surface of the custard, then pour in the reserved egg mixture. Steam again over high heat until the surface has set, then remove and serve with mitsuba sprinkled over top.


Cooking the custard most of the way through, then topping it with the reserved egg mixture, ginkgo nuts and fu, gives the chawanmushi a colorful touch.