I’ve got a plan. My plan is to find the best Chawanmushi in Brooklyn. Hopefully, it will be as good as or maybe even better than my memory of the egg custard with mushrooms, aka Porcini Flan, that I devoured at Bouley years ago.
It was decadent, silky and almost too easy to inhale in one truffle-loving moment. I adored it so much that most of my lengthy Yelp review of Bouley was about the magic that I tasted in the French chef’s nod to the ever-incredible Japanese Chawanmushi.
In order to fully appreciate the flan, the amazing French waiter instructed me to uncover the ramekin and lightly wave the lid back and forth to completely enjoy the aromas of the dish. Truffles never smelled so phenomenal.
Chawanmushi is traditionally prepared with soy sauce, dashi, mirin, ginkgo, shiitake mushrooms, other widely-used Asian veggies, and occasionally, boiled shrimp.
No wonder the French seem to love it. To me, it tasted mild but rich, complex and earthy, and had the rare ability to appeal to most of tastebuds. There’s just something about that cream, egg and mushroom combo that never fails to amaze and satisfy me—I love mushroom and runny egg on pizza too.
Surprise, Surprise. I can’t seem to find any Brooklyn French bistros that serve Chawanmushi. But I will visit the few Brooklyn Japanese restos on the following list, that serve traditional Chawanmushi—some with seafood, yum!