Serious Eats: Recipes

Bluestem's Chawanmushi with Hon Shimeji, Scallion, and Dashi

[Photograph: Bonjwing Lee]

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Bluestem: The Cookbook to give away this week.

We weren't exactly expecting to find an ethereal recipe for Japanese egg custard in a book from a Kansas City restaurant but that's what happened when we tested out this Chawanmushi with Hon Shimeji, Scallion, and Dashi from Bluestem by chefs Colby Garrelts and Megan Garrelts.

Regardless of provenance, this recipe produced one of the best chawanmushis we've had in or out of a Japanese restaurant. The custard itself is meltingly soft, reminiscent of a silken tofu but deeply flavored with dashi. Topped with mushrooms (hon shimeji are called for in the recipe but shiitakes work quite nicely) and finished with a few spoonfuls of concentrated dashi flavored with soy, mirin, and rice wine vinegar, it's a bowl that you never want to get to the bottom of.

Why you should make this: This is the egg custard that puts all others to shame, seriously, it's that good.

Next time we might think about: Honestly, we wouldn't change a thing but we're planning on working chawanmushi into our rotation much more frequently.

Adapted from Bluestem by Colby Garrelts and Megan Garrelts. Copyright © 2011. Published by Andrews McMeel. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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