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Pumpkin Chawanmushi

Filed Under: Japanese Recipes Recipes

Pumpkin Chawanmushi
Pumpkin Chawanmushi

I haven’t been posting or blog visiting for a while because I just had wisdom tooth surgery last Friday (still ouch!). So amidst recuperating at home, sleeping at 10pm every night, catching up on some work, and playing fable2 on xbox360, I didn’t have a lot of online time left. And sadly, one of my beloved hamsters Nikole passed away suddenly yesterday, which couldn’t come at a worse time (not that anytime is a good time) T_T


No matter how busy life becomes, Halloween comes but once a year, so how can one miss cooking with pumpkin at this time of the year? Glad I still managed to sneak in some pumpkin into the cooking and make these adorable, (post-surgery-chew-friendly) pumpkin chawanmushi. The addition of pumpkin sweetens up this popular Japanese appetizer.

For those who aren’t familiar, Chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) is egg custard that’s steamed in a tea cup and usually consists of an egg mixture flavored with soy sauce, sake and dashi. It is a traditional Japanese dish, commonly eaten as an appetizer. It can be eaten either hot and cool with a small spoon. I love to order this when I go to Japanese restaurants, but I realised that making it at home isn’t difficult at all and you can make all kinds of variations like this pumpkin variation by tweaking the basic recipe.

(makes 3-4 cups)

A) For the egg custard mixture::
– 3 eggs (4 if the eggs are small)
– 1 2/3 cups (about 250ml) kombu and bonito stock
– 1 tsp sugar
– 2 tsp sake or white cooking wine
– 3/4 to 1 tbsp light soy sauce

B) Filling::
– Kamaboko fish cake slices
– 4 large Prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
– feel free to add other ingredients (such as mushrooms, chicken, Imitation sharks fin, gingko nuts etc)

– 80g (raw) pumpkin flesh (skin and seeds removed)

1. Blend the pumpkin until smooth using a blender.
2. Break the eggs into the bowl. Gently stir the eggs with a pair of chopsticks using a cutting action.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients from A to the eggs mixture, as well as 50g of blended pumpkin. Blend the mixture till fine. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
4. Place fish cakes, chopped prawns and other ingredients at the bottom of each cup and pour the egg mixture over (do not fill to the brim, leave some gap on top).
5. Cover the cups with lids, transparent food wrap or aluminum foil (do not leave an opening).
6. Steam the cups over high heat for about 10 mins. To test if the chawanmushi is cooked, insert a bamboo stick into the mixture: if a little clear liquid comes out, it is cooked.
7. Steam the remaining blended pumpkin and 1 large prawn (half) for 5 minutes. Garnish on top of chawanmushi. You can also add some ebikko (egg roe) to garnish if you wish.

Pumpkin Chawanmushi

Cooking Notes:

– Straining the mixture through a fine sieve prevents bubbles from forming on the surface of the custard.
– You can cheat by buying instant powdered kombu and bonito stock (I did!), or you can also make it from scratch.
– Use a ceramic material for steaming the egg custard. Plastic material will melt during steaming. I bought my tea cups at Daiso.
– When steaming the cups, make sure they are sealed, other wise the evaporating droplets will land on the custard during steaming and cause unsightly bubbles.

Related Recipe
Basic Chawanmushi

47 comments on “Pumpkin Chawanmushi”

  1. Sorry to hear about your hamster…
    you take care too.

  2. Your pumpkin chawanmushi looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it out.

    (I’m very sorry to hear about your Nikole :-/ )

  3. Nikole is soooo cute! She will be missed. :cry:

    I hope you are feeling better. Wisdom tooth surgery is the worst! Am glad I am finished with it already!

    Thank you for the wonderful write-up about me :) Thank you for your beautiful and exquisite entry! I have never seen such a lovely cup of chawanmushi before. Am sure it is sweet and flavorful.

  4. Sorry to hear about Nikole. I really like that pic ture you took of her pushing the cart. *Hugz*

    Ouch.. wisdom tooth surgery, I hope I don’t need to go through that at this age. :o

    I saw so many pumpkins this afternoon and thought of buying some. :D But your idea of pumpkin chawanmushi is so unique. :-)

  5. What a coincidence! I just had removed my wisdom tooth last Tuesday. Luckily no surgery required. Taking anti-biotic and ponstan for 5 days. Having ulcers and swollen gum. Unlike you, I still need to cook and work. :( Glad to know that u had put ur blender to good use!

  6. So sorry about your sweet pet.

    The prawns and the custard look delectable.

  7. Aww, I’m sorry to hear about your hamster. I know how much you love them so.

    Sorry to hear the wisdom teeth are still bothering you.

    But my verification word is sunny. Which means sunny days will surely come again. I know I’d be over the moon happy if I could have a piece of that pumpkin chawanmushi. Sunny!

  8. Hey there, I just happened upon your site. Very nice!

    I absolutely LOVE chawanmushi. I have never seen kabocha chawanmushi here in Kyoto, where I live. I do love kabocha too!


    :idea: :| :idea: 8O :evil:

  9. Sorry to hear about your hamster and wishing you recovery from your surgery.

    The pumpkin chawanmushi looks beautiful!

  10. Sorry to hear about your hamster.

    Neat addition of blended pumpkin to sweeten it up.

    I wonder how chawanmushi would taste with jasmine tea?

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