Chawanmushi (Savory Steamed Egg Custard) Recipe

Chawanmushi (Savory Steamed Egg Custard)

Serves 4

Chawanmushi, translated literally as “tea cup steamed,” is a savory Japanese custard traditionally made with dashi and filled with such things as chicken, mushrooms, edamame and fish cake. We’ve kept this version simple and easy for a light breakfast or appetizer that can be eaten hot or cold.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth or dashi (broth made from fish and seaweed)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced on a bias


  1. Select 4 small, heatproof serving vessels (such as ramekins or porcelain teacups), making sure they fit in your steamer basket with lid on. Fill bottom of steamer with water and bring to a low simmer.
  2. In a medium bowl, break up eggs with a fork. Stir in broth and soy sauce until smooth, but not frothy. Use a gentle, back-and-forth cutting motion to avoid creating too many air bubbles.
  3. Divide mixture into the 4 serving cups. Cover each cup tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  4. Arrange cups in steamer basket. Steam over low to medium heat until custard is set. To test for doneness, poke with a skewer. If a clear liquid appears, it’s ready. Cooking time should be around 15 minutes, but will vary depending on size and thickness of cups. (See Cook’s Tips)
  5. Carefully remove hot cups from steamer. Remove wrap and garnish custards with green onions and a drizzle of soy sauce. May be kept refrigerated up to 2 days. Serve cold or reheat by steaming 2 minutes.
  6. Cook's Tips:
  7. Fillings such as mushrooms and diced chicken can be placed in cups before pouring in custard base. Toppings such as ikura (salmon roe) and chopped herbs can be used for garnish just before serving.
  8. For extra smooth results, pour mixture through a strainer, pop air bubbles with a skewer, and keep heat low. The key to a silky custard is gentle steaming. If the water comes to a full boil, the mixture may overcook and separate.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 50 undefined
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 95 mg
Sodium: 150 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 0 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 5 g
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