chawan mushi

I tried something new today. Ever since I saw my chef-crush Paul Qui make it on Top Chef I have wanted to try making chawan mushi. This weekend I finally had time for some kitchen play, so I gave it a shot.

First I had to make the dashi. This is the amazingly savory stock that goes into miso soup and lots of other Japanese food. It’s made with water, dried seaweed, and dried tuna.

First you simmer the seaweed (kombu) in some water:

Then you remove the seaweed and put in the dried bonito flakes:

After a few minutes of simmering the fish sinks to the bottom — like bizarro reverse dumplings. Then it’s time to strain it through cheesecloth, and that’s it. Dashi.

To make the chawan mushi (recipe here), the dashi gets beaten in with eggs, rice wine, soy sauce, scallions, ginger, sugar, and salt.

This mixture gets poured over cooked shrimp (recipe calls for crab but sadly, that ain’t happening here) in custard cups, then steamed.

It’s supposed to steam for 8-10 minutes but it took me nearly half an hour; I assume I had the heat too low. The finished product:



9 responses to “chawan mushi

  1. My Jack has made this a couple of times. It is soooo good. We blogged about it here:
    Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle.

  2. I was totally rooting for Paul. If that mean Sarah chick won, I was going to lose it. I was really rooting for Beverly, but I think she was a victim of the mean girls.

    Thanks for another great looking recipe!

  3. Oh yum! I love the recipes you share with us. Thanks G&L.

  4. Oh yum yum yum! I wish there were vegetarian bonito flakes…

    • You can make dashi with mushrooms instead of fish, and some people even make it with just the kombu. I’ve never done it but I’ve heard it works pretty well.

  5. I love that you’re trying new things–and sharing, of course! This sounds delish, and if I were as brave as you, I would try it myself!

  6. boy oh boy … i heart japanese food 🙂
    I have never made dashi before, I normally buy the premade (or powdered) stuff. But it seems pretty easy….

    Thinking of you and your husband (in response to your prev post) as you negotiate the possibility of IVF. xx

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