Chawanmushi is a signature dish for chef Hugh Whitehouse. It makes use of wonderful fresh Tasmanian seafood found in the waters where he is based in the Freycinet Peninsula. Hugh created this dish inspired by Japanese cuisine. "This dish does a great job of balancing bold flavours with delicate ingredients, so it’s a prime candidate for a chardonnay match. Aussie winemakers are on fire with this variety at the moment. The 'ABC’ Club (anything but chardonnay) has been banished and people are flying their flags proudly. This elegant Mornington Peninsula version has wonderful balance and poise, making it an ideal partner. There is delicate citrus in there, some biscuity complexity and well-judged acidity, which helps the citrus tang to persist beautifully." - Dan Coward






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 3 g bonito flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 3 eggs
  • 18 Tasmanian scallops
  • 40 g butter
  • 300 g shaved squid
  • 6 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 24 oysters, freshly shucked
  • 180 ml shellfish consommé or fish stock
  • 30 g samphire (sea asparagus)
  • 6 pieces fresh sea lettuce, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp toasted buckwheat (soba cha), for garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink Eldridge Estate Chardonnay 2010, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

To make the miso custard, bring the chicken stock and bonito flakes to a simmer. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the miso paste and whisk until dissolved. Take off the heat and leave to cool. This will allow the flavour to infuse.

Whisk the eggs in a large stainless steel bowl and whisk in the cooled miso stock. Strain through a fine sieve.

Place 60 ml of the custard into a small serving bowl, cover with cling wrap and steam for 6-9 minutes (depending on your steamer and size of bowl). The custard is ready when the custard has cooked through and has just set.

Season the scallops and sear in a hot pan. Melt the butter, and lightly sauté the squid and shitake mushrooms over a low heat.

Lightly poach the oysters in the shellfish consommé.

Blanch your samphire in a pot of hot water.

To plate, remove the cling wrap from the warm custard. Place the seafood and ingredients on top. Garnish with a little sea lettuce and soba cha. Pour a small amount of the shellfish consommé on top when you are ready to serve.

Serve with a garden salad. Enjoy!