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Eat This Word: Chawanmushi

Tara Condell

November 28, 2016

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WHAT? Steamed in a teacup. Originating from Nagasaki, this savory egg custard may be Japan’s best-kept secret. Chawanmushi started popping up over 300 years ago during the Edo period in shippoku cuisine, an ancient version of Asian fusion with Japanese, Chinese, and Western influences. Perfecting this appetizer requires finesse, as the base alone is composed of multiple ingredients: beaten eggs to set the custard, kelp-derived dashi, mirin, and soy sauce. Pour this concoction into a teacup or small bowl filled with shrimp, shitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots, steam gently, and soon you’ll find a silky-smooth texture that packs a hefty umami punch. If you find yourself faced with chawanmushi, set those chopsticks down—this Eastern cousin of flan is one of the few Japanese dishes you eat with a spoon.

WHERE? Cool Kids at the Beard House

WHEN? Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HOW? Butternut Squash with Crab, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, and Sesame Chawanmushi