Tuesday 22 March 2011

Ginseng Chawanmushi

Chawanmushi(茶碗蒸し) or Steamed Egg Custard is an egg custard dish found in Japan that is usually eaten as an appetizer. It usually consists of an egg mixture flavored with soy sauce, dashi and etc together with ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, boiled shrimp, gingko nut and placed into a tea-cup-like container.

But for this version of mine, I combined both the Chinese and Japanese way of making this egg custard by adding minced pork at the base and use Chinese herb such as Fresh Ginseng for that extra boost of health value. The fresh Ginseng that I bought was import from China which you could find at local supermarket but the quality was not as good as the one from Korea which has a stronger Ginseng fragrant and taste.

Ginseng has been rated as the top of the "3 Treasures" in northeast china. And it was mentioned in many Chinese medical books as the superlative medicine which is effective to all kinds of illness. Fresh ginseng is also the best medicine for facial treatment as it can soften and refresh skin.

Example: cut 10g of fresh ginseng slices. boil it with 500ml of water for about 30 minutes, immerse towel in the water ginseng water then cover it on the face for 15 minutes. Fresh ginseng can also use for stir-fry dishes, boil soup or make ginseng tea/milk.

Here is how I prepared the Ginseng Chawanmushi with ingredients and steps shown below.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Small Fresh Ginseng, cut into 2 - 3 sections
100g of Minced Meat
2 Medium Egg
210ml of Drinking Water
1/2 Teaspoon Chicken Powder Stock
Dash of Sesame Oil

1/4 Bunch of Shimeiji Mushroom
4 Gingko Nuts
Some Wolfberries
Extra Ginseng Slices

1. Marinate minced pork with 1/2 teaspoon each of of light soy sauce, sesame oil, cornflour together with pinch of pepper for a few minutes while preparing the ginseng and egg custard.

2. Rinse the fresh ginseng, cut 1/4 off from the body with root attached. As for the remaining 3/4 part of the ginseng, cut it into thin slices and set aside.

3. Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl using a pair of chopsticks (carefully not to over beat it).

4. Add in 210ml of water, chicken powder and sesame oil and give it a quick stir till combine before straining it over a fine sieve to get ride of the egg clusters.

5. Mix in some ginseng slices(reserved a few slices for garnishing) into the minced pork and give it a quick stir before dividing the minced meat into two steaming cups/bowls (preferably with cover).

6. Next gently pour in the prepared egg mixture, covered and place the cups on steaming rack and steam it over medium low heat for about 10 minutes.

7. Lower the heat and carefully lift up the cup cover, arrange some shimeiji mushrooms, gingko nuts and ginseng slices on top. Covered and continue to steam for another 5 - 7 minutes till the egg custard is cooked through when test with a toothpick.

8. When done, garnish with some wolfberries and coriander leaves, serve warm.

If you could not find fresh ginseng in your area, replace it with dried ginseng slices that is soaked in warm water till soften. And you could the ginseng water to make the egg custard for better taste and fragrant too.


  1. this look so great and yummy! (:

  2. the chawanmushi looks so smooth! fabulous!

  3. I like that your chawanmushi is loaded with ingredients. That's the advantage of home-cooked food.

  4. This egg custard look so smooth and good.

  5. Thanks for all the kind comments friends :)

  6. Alvamar200521/7/11 5:10 pm

    Hi, you get the fresh ginseng from which supermarket?
    If want to get those fresh ginseng from Korea one, where to get it?

  7. hi where to buy chicken powder?


    1. Hi Mindy,

      You can get chicken powder from any supermarket. It's together in the seasoning section. HTH


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