Chawan Mushi is a delicate custard made from eggs, ginkgo seeds, shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko, lily root, and shrimp. At first glance many new initiates assume it's bowl of soup! But no! It's so much better.
Because of the delicate nature of this dish, each one is painstakingly made to order. Many chefs have tried to streamline, or pre-make this delicacy, and it always falls flat. Chawan Mushi demands to be fresh.
After a few minutes in steam bath, and a short rest, we slowly take the lid off the traditional hand-made ceramic bowl, letting the steam and aroma do their magic. It's savory, delicate, and an essential staff favourite.
Our in-house recipe is a family secret, so you'll have to come for a visit to try it. If you're feeling adventurous and can't make it to Ginko, SAVEUR Magazine offers a classic Chawan Mushi Recipe you can try at home.
It is eaten with a spoon and requires no special table presentation. Often the bowls are hot to the touch, so we do recommend a saucer or folded napkin. In hotter months Chawan Mushi can be served chilled, but even then, the more recently it's been steamed the better.
At Ginko we believe the delicate umami flavors of this dish are ephemeral, satisfying to the soul, and richly connect us to those feelings that only great food, inspired poetry, and music can access.