Japanese Food: Chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) and Temarizushi (手まり寿司)

If you haven’t realized it by now, I REALLY, really, really like Japanese food. Unfortunately my cooking sucks :( . But I sometimes get lucky enough to have student or a friend offer to make a pretty cool Japanese dish. Like that time when one of my students made takoyaki which were incredibly good! Or sometimes it’s not even a dish, like when another student made kumquat marmalade for another teacher and I. That marmalade was incredible!

This time, I got really lucky again because I got to try chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) for the very first time. I also had a different style of sushi called temaruzushi (手まり寿司).

Ahh…Japanese Food.

Temari in Japanese means handball. Traditionally there were these colorful handballs that were given to children. Temarizushi consists of similar ingredients to regular sushi, but differers in it’s shape. Temarizushi is can almost be literally translated to mean “ball sushi.” as you can see how the rice is shaped into a ball. From what I understand temarizushi is pretty easy to make, so I’ll have to give it try sometime. I forget what the yellow-colored (egg-wrapped) sushi is called but it’s good too.

Can you guess which ones are temarizushi? If you said the two on the right, HOORAY! The one on the far left is anagozushi (あなごずし or 穴子寿司), the other two? Umm, I honestly don’t know. But if you do, that’s what the comments section is for :) that’s why I love having great readers, when I don’t know something, they help me.

Chawan mushi according to my handy little dictionary means “savory egg custard.” How can I explain savory egg custard? Umm, well it’s like the consistency of pudding but instead of being sweet, it’s…yep, you guessed it,…SAVORY! Inside of the egg custard, you can put all kinds of things inside, but this chawanmushi had mainly shrimp (ebi or えび) and mushrooms (kinoko, きのこ or 茸). I’ve also heard some people add kamaboko (蒲鉾 or かまぼこ), the processed fish paste cakes, and gingko seeds (gingko trees are called イチョウ in Japanese). I’m curious to know what a gingko seed actually tastes like. Isn’t gingko the plant that’s supposed to help with improved memory function?

The dark-colored pieces are kinoko (茸) or mushrooms.

How were they?

Well I know egg pudding with shrimp in it doesn’t really sound appealing, but in reality, it was quite good. Both chawanmushi and temarizushi were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!! I think I liked theme because I was cool eating the different types of fish that were used to make the temarizushi. For some reason, I don’t eat very much sushi that uses the white fish. I can eat it, but for some reason, it’s not easy for me. There’s just something about it. Anyhow, if you have a chance to try either of these, let me know what you think.

Let’s Eat!

Itadakimasu! いただきます!

Donald Ash

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  • I have had those. They are really yummy. I am just a wee bit picky about my sushi, but what I like.. I love! I had sushi with egg on it for the first time at a place in Toronto called Oishii Maki the other day! I really enjoyed it. ++;; We also had dragon rolls, volcano rolls and yam tempura rolls (a personal favorite) and avacado rolls and.. well there were like 6 of us so there was a lot of sushi!

    The egg custard.. sounds interesting! I’ve learned that sometimes stuff, especially in Eastern dishes, that doesn’t look and/or smell all that great sometimes tastes amazing. I still refuse to try natto. Not happening.

    • Donald Ash

      Between you and Amanda, I don’t know who’s worse! LOL! She’s the queen of getting me to blush and you’re the queen of making me hungry :) . That sounds super delicious, though. No natto, huh? I said the same thing, but I tried it and now I kind of a fan (not of natto ice cream, though). Maybe it’s time for some Donaldo Natto Hypnosis therapy.

  • -laughs- NO no no! Please no natto! One of the reasons I requested the Kansai area is the food!

    *tosses down a smoke bomb and escapes!*

  • Ms. Hoshino

    I hate ginkgo nuts! Ha ha. However I don’t mind durian fruit smell or taste. It is strange I know. :p

    • Donald Ash

      I’ve never tried the ginkgo nuts, actually, but I want to. Durian! That was pretty hard for me. The smell was…umm…interesting :)

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