Monday, August 12, 2013

Recipe: Japanese Chawanmushi with Prawn, Scallop & Crabsticks

Whenever we visit a Japanese restaurant with the kids, a must-order is the chawanmushi. Chawanmushi, also known as steamed egg custard usually consists of egg mixture flavoured with soy sauce, dashi and mirin and other ingredients such as gingko nuts, chicken, shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko and (Japanese fish cake). Chawanmushi is usually made in a tea-cup like container, in KL you can get these in Daiso for RM5 each in many different patterns.

Once you know the basics of making a chawanmushi, you can basically add any type of ingredient that you like into it. Thanks Nami for sharing her chawanmushi recipe.

For ease of preparation, I made dashi using sachets. We usually don't eat the chicken in chawanmushi, so I omitted that and in it's place, I used king prawn, scallop and crabsticks. The prawn and scallops are marinated in some sake to get rid of any fish smells. To make your chawanmushi colorful and attractive, you can use some fresh green herbs and cut-out carrot shapes (for kids you can try something cute such as these rabbits) - the cute rabbits certainly got my kids smiling!

These chawanmushi are so silky smooth, plus they're loaded with all our favorite ingredients. Such a delicious way to enjoy the humble egg. :)

Baby D impressed me when he scooped up some chawanmushi and said "Mummy, take photo of this - looks so smooth". LOL! I trained them well. :P

Thumbs Up for mummy's chawanmushi!

Chawanmushi with Prawn, Scallop & Crabsticks
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapting methods from Just One Cookbook
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 2

1 dried shitake or Chinese mushroom
3 tbsp hot water
½ cup dashi stock
4 thin slices carrot, sliced round
1 large egg
1 fresh Hokkaido scallop, sliced into half
2 prawns, deveined with tails intact
1/4 tsp sake
1 crabstick, quartered
2 fresh gingko nuts
2 sprigs English parsley, to garnish

½ tsp. mirin
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. soy sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine dried mushrooms and the hot water (3 tbsp). Let it soak for at least 15 minutes. When mushroom is rehydrated, slice thinly (you should get 8-10 slices depending on how big your mushroom is). Reserve the water for Step 2.

2. Put the water from Step 1 into a 1/2-cup measuring cup, and then top up with dashi stock until you have ½ cup of liquid.

3. Marinate prawns and seafood with the sake, to remove some of the "fishy" smell. Using a cookie cutter, cut carrot into desired shape, I made a rabbit shape for my kids.

4. Place eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork. Add seasonings and dashi mixture from Step 2
and mix well. Then strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Do this gently as you want to avoid creating bubbles.

5. In a large pot or wok, place enough water to cover 1/2 of the chawanmushi cup. Bring to the boil over high heat with cover on and once boiling, reduce to low heat.

6. Divide all the ingredients into 2 cups. Start off with the scallop at the bottom, followed by the crabsticks, gingko nuts, and shitake mushrooms. (The colorful ingredients such as prawn, carrot and parsley should be placed on top. Do this after you have poured in the egg mixture)

7. Gently pour the egg mixture into the cups without creating bubbles. Then arrange the colorful ingredients on top, making sure some of them "peek out" for a more attractive chawanmushi. Put the lid on (or
cover with aluminum foil tightly if you don’t have chawanmushi cup).

8. Place the cups into the hot water gently (note: it should NOT be “boiling”, only very gentle simmer) and cover the pot’s lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Insert a skewer in the center of the cup to check if the egg is done. Serve immediately.

Happy boy with his chawanmushi!

*I am submitting this to the Little Thumbs Up "Egg" event organized by Bake for Happy Kidsmy little favourite DIY and hosted by me (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.

If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! Thanks ;)

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 14 August 2013.


  1. two thumbs enthusiastically up for one of the nicest chawanmushis i've seen! :D

  2. Yalor...pretty chawanmushi! I saw bunny carrots too ;-)

  3. I always wanted to try home-made chawanmushi and this recipe comes so perfectly in place! Thank you for sharing! (Will consider the bunny carrots too!) :)

  4. This chawanmushi looks so pretty! And with prawns and scallop somemore! I want! :D

  5. I always wanted to try home-made chawanmushi and this recipe comes so perfectly in place!

  6. Yen, I guess that all the best ingredients can be found in these tiny tea cups! Look at your boy's expression has told us that your chawanmushi is very yummy! Very, very smooth!

  7. I love the way you cut the carrot into rabbit shape. This Japanese steam egg looks so yummy!

  8. This is one of my absolute favourites and a must-roder when I go to jap restaurant too! I love steamed egg in all its forms- chinese or jap. This looks gorgeous! And that photo of the thums-up-awww so adorable!

  9. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 12, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Yummy chawanmushi. A must for us too if we dined at any Japanese restaurant :) Thanks for the recipe. Love it :)

  10. mmmm...that looks so smooth and flavorful, love this a lot!

  11. I'm gonna try to make this soon! :)

  12. Clever little darling fingers helping mummy, how cute.

  13. Hi Yen,

    Baby D is always looking so gorgeous in every shot... He is not just a cake model but a chawanmushi model too :D


  14. Your chawanmushi looks so smooth and delicious!

  15. Yen, your chawanmushi is perfect! Imagine having this at home, I gotta go to Daiso and buy the nice cups :)

  16. Mmmm I love chawanmushi! Need to buy the cute chawanmushi cups soon. :D

  17. Hi Baby Sumo, your chawanmushi look delicious. The texture is so silky smooth. :))

    Have a nice week ahead.

  18. Hi Yen, I also cooked the chawanmushi two days before your post, Chawanmushi is really a must order for every kids!

  19. I love chawanmushi, a must order for me whenever dine in at Japanese restaurant!

  20. Hi,
    Am wondering how you kept the carrots, prawns and mushrooms afloat or semi-floating? I tried and they kept sinking...any tips to share? ;-)

    1. Hi there, I stacked the not so attractive ingredients underneath first, then the nicer ones on top. It does take a few tries and be gentle when u move it to the wok. Hope it helps!

  21. Hi,
    I'll give it a try next time...thanks :-)


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