Chawan-mushi (steamed egg hotchpotch) (茶碗蒸し)

Chawan-mushi is one of the Japanese cuisines.

When you cook Chawan-mushi, you put all ingredients such as mitsuba (Japanese honewort), dried shiitake (mushroom), ginkgo nuts, lily bulbs, slices of kamaboko (boiled fish paste) (mainly ita-kamaboko (fish paste on a wooden board)), some pieces of chicken and fish meat, shrimp, conger eel, and shell into a cylindrical bowl, pour beaten egg mixed with bland soup, and steam it in a steam cooker. Slide the lid of the steam cooker a little and tuck a dry fukin (dish towel) between the cooker and the lid.

When it is steamed for too long, it gets bubbles in it as egg becomes too hard. When raw maitake mushroom (fan-shaped mushroom with multiple layers) is used as an ingredient, it prevents egg from setting by the effect of protease (proteolytic enzyme), so put it after it is boiled.

Chawan-mushi is served cooled with chilled dashi broth soup over it in summer and it is served hot in winter.

There are two variations of Chawan-mushi: Odamaki-mushi, a traditional egg custard dish on a base of udon noodles (Japanese wheat noodle) mixed with ingredients of Chawan-mushi, and Kuyamushi (steamed egg custard with tofu (bean curd) in it) on which kuzu paste sauce (a sweet sauce whose main ingredient is arrowroot starch seasoned with soy sauce and sugar) is poured after it is steamed.

Bits of knowledge

This cuisine is the specialty of Ninzaburo FURUHATA, a character of popular TV drama.

There is a 'Song of Chawan-mushi' in Kagoshima dialect.

Chawan-mushi in Aomori Prefecture or a part of Hokkaido has chestnuts stewed in syrup in it.

[Original Japanese]