All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Chuka chawan mushi / Chinese savory custard

For custard
2 eggs
100 cc chicken stock
1 tbsp sake

For goodies
1 tbsp sakura ebi dried shrimp
1/4 takenoko no mizuni boiled bamboo shoot
Tiny handful shelled fava beans (2-4 pods)
Tiny handful mushroom (1 shiitake mushroom and 3cm eringi king oyster mushroom in photo)

For sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
Pepper, to taste

Several stalks cilantro


Lightly beat eggs, add chicken stock and sake, and mix well for custard.

Mix all ingredients for sauce and set aside.


Prepare goodies.

Blanch fava beans (boil for 1-2 minutes and drain). When cool enough, and remove outer skin (see photo below).

Dice mushroom, and thinly slice bamboo shoots.


Put goodies in bowls.


Gently pour custard mix by straining through a tea strainer for a smooth texture.


Place bowls in a steamer (already emitting steam).

Cover, and steam on medium-low to low heat until done, or for 15-20 minutes.
Custard is done if clear liquid comes out when sticking a toothpick inside.


Remove from steamer, pour sauce on top, and garnish with cilantro leaves.
Serve hot.

  • When beating eggs, try to divide egg whites instead of whisking or whipping..
  • If a steamer is not available, any pot that is large and tall enough to contain custard bowls works. Put 2-3cm water, place a flat plate or paper towel (folded to fit in pot), place custard bowls on plate or paper towel and steam. 
  • A bamboo steamer does not allow water to drip from lid while steaming. When using a metal steamer or pot, water dripping on custard can be prevented by wrapping steamer/pot lid with a cloth or placing a makisu bamboo sushi rolling mat on top of custard bowls.
  • Goodies are of your choice. If meat (usually chicken) is added, chop it into small pieces and drizzle some soy sauce and sake before placing in custard bowls. Otherwise it may taste bland.
  • Thinly sliced green onions, chives, or shiso perilla leaves can substitute for cilantro. Something with a distinctive or pungent green is a nice refreshing contrast to the strong sauce.

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