4 Servings
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Chawanmushi is a classic Japanese steamed egg custard served in a tea cup. Using this method of steaming, this recipe substituted the egg with kabocha and tofu to achieve a soft, smooth texture with rich umami.


  • 200 g kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)
  • 100 g momen tofu
  • 32 g edamame (see Chef's Tips)


  • 250 ml mushroom
  • Dashi (buy from supermarkets)
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsps kuzu (see Chef's Tips)

Remove excess water from momen tofu by wrapping it with paper towels on a shallow bowl. Weigh it down evenly with a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 mins. Remove from fridge and mash tofu.


Peel and seed kabocha and cut into chunky pieces. Steam kabocha for about 25 mins or until tender. Set aside to cool and then mash.


Boil a pot of water. Add edamame and boil for about 5 mins. Drain and cool under cold running water or immerse in cold water. When cooled, shell edamame by gently squeeze the pods with your fingers. Set aside.


Divide edamame, tofu and kabocha equally among 4 individual chawanmushi cups. Cover with aluminum foil and steam for about 5 mins.


Prepare chawanmushi sauce. Combine mushroom dashi, salt, soy sauce and sake in a saucepan. Bring it to the boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Mix kuzu with water to form a paste. Whisk into the sauce to thicken.


Spoon sauce into the chawanmushi cups and serve.

Chef’s Tips: Substitute kuzu with katakuriko or corn starch. Other than edamame, you can also add other ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, gingko nuts, etc.

Recipe & Photo:Chef Danny Chu/Living Shojin Ryori, published by Marshall Cavendish

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