“Chawan” means tea cup or rice bowl and “mushi” means steamed in Japanese, and it is indeed steamed food in a cup. Chawanmushi is an egg custard dish found in Japan, and unlike many other custards, it is usually eaten as a dish in a meal, as it contains savoury rather than sweet ingredients.
The custard consists of an egg mixture flavoured with soya sauce, dashi, and mirin, with numerous ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko, yuri-ne (lily root), ginkgo and boiled shrimp placed into a tea-cup-like container. The recipe for the dish is similar to that of Chinese steamed eggs, but the toppings often differ. Since egg custard can't be picked up by chopsticks, it's one of the few Japanese dishes that is eaten with a spoon.
There is really nothing like a silky custard with a slightly sweet and savory broth topped with delicacies to soothe the hungry stomach while you wait for the main meal to be served. I hope you give this recipe a try because it is easy and practical to make at home.