Most Japanese people don’t celebrate Easter as it is one of the few festivals in the Western calendar that is still predominately religious and has no significance outside the Christian religion.
However, if you travel to Japan at this time of year you will see window displays in the shops with chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies and this recipe sticks with the seasonal theme by using eggs and a tasty treat for dinner parties or a spring snack.
Chawanmushi means steamed in a tea cup and unlike the sweet, desert custard we are more familiar with, it is a savoury egg dish, served as a starter in many Japanese restaurants. Recipes vary but underneath the rich, golden egg, seasoned delicately with Japanese condiments, is a delicious combination of savoury ingredients.
Chawanmushi is a classic Japanese dish and is served in small, earthenware soup bowls, often with matching lids but the easiest thing to use is a set of ramekins. You will also need a large bamboo steamer.
You can test if the custard is ready by prodding it gently with a toothpick or the prong of a fork - if the liquid runs clear, it is done. Serve hot or chilled depending on weather for the ultimate in Japanese comfort food.