Chawanmushi (Savory Steamed Egg Custard)

April 27, 2021

by Sammi Lowe
Chawanmushi (Savory Steamed Egg Custard)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Author: Tadashi Oguchi, Recovery Café

Skill Level: Medium

Keyword: Egg, Custard

Cuisine: Asian


  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 pieces of skinless, boneless chicken thigh cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 mini bella or white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas


  • Bowl
  • Whisk, fork or chopstick
  • 6 small cups
  • Flat-bottomed pot and lid big enough to hold the small cups
  • Foil

Chawanmushi is a classic Japanese appetizer served in a cup. This savory, silky steamed egg custard may look difficult, but it’s a simple yet versatile recipe that will delight any guest.  It’s traditionally served hot, but chawanmushi can also be served cold the following day.

How to Make Chawanmushi

  1. In a medium bowl, crack the eggs, add the soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Whisk/mix gently to avoid air bubbles. Add the vegetable broth into the mixture and gently stir until uniform.
  2. Distribute the chicken, mushrooms and frozen peas equally between the 6 cups.
  3. Pour the egg mixture equally into the cups. Cover each cup tightly with foil.
  4. Fill your pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil with the lid on. Gently place the cups into the pot and close the lid to steam.
  5. Steam on high for two minutes. While steaming, avoid opening the lid. You should see active, rumbling bubbles during this time.
  6. Turn down the heat to low and steam for 12 minutes. You should see small, periodic bubbles during this time.
  7. Turn off heat and let it sit for five minutes.
  8. Carefully take out the cups as they will be very hot.
  9. Garnish the chawanmushi with cooked peas and serve it warm with a spoon.