Maggie Beer puts her spin on a Japan Chawanmushi - a savoury egg custard.


  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 cups dashi stock* (see recipe below)

  • A little peeled and shaved ginger per cup

  • 3 umeboshi, skin off, stone out and minced (umeboshi are pickled plums)

  • 1 tsp vino cotto

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil 

  • 6 drops sesame oil

  • Fresh chives snipped

  • Dashi stock

  • 10 grams kombu                                 

  • 2 dried shitake mushrooms

  • 800ml water                                  

  • 20 grams bonito flakes


  • 1.

    Break eggs into a bowl and whisk them together with chopsticks to combine without aerating, make sure all the egg white is properly amalgamated and there is no froth.

  • 2.

    Prepare boiling water for the bamboo steamer to go on top; this does 6-7 moulds depending on the size of the moulds.      

  • 3.

    Add dashi stock (see method below) to the beaten eggs.

  • 4.

    Place ginger into bottom of cups, pour on egg mixture and place in the steamer over boiling water with the lid on for 10 mins.

  • 5.

    Check that the custard is set. Take off, allow to cool a little.

  • 6.

    Take the stone out and the skin the umeboshi and mince. Add sesame oil and vino cotto.

  • 7.

    Place a small amount of the umeboshi sauce on top of each custard and garnish with chopped chives.

  • Dashi stock:

  • 1.

    Add dried shitake, kombu and water to a saucepan and steep for 1 hour.

  • 2.

    Bring water to the boil, take pot off the heat and remove shitake and kombu.

  • 3.

    Sprinkle in the bonito flakes and heat to boiling.

  • 4.

    Turn off heat and rest for 15 mins.

  • 5.

    Pass dashi stock through a fine strainer.

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