So one of the best things I ate on my birthday was Yusho’s lobster chawanmushi. It was delicious!! When it showed up on their menu a while back, I had never tried chawanmushi before, but I didn’t hesitate to try it, and today I was kind of thinking about why. There are a number of dishes – honestly, mostly Japanese ones – that I first heard about because of a video game. When we were in Tokyo I was determined to try takoyaki because Persona 3’s Maiko drags you to the takoyaki stand. I wanted to (but failed) to try dango because Sanosuke Harada takes Chizuru out for some in Hakuouki. And in Devil Summoner 2, Jungo has a habit of making chawanmushi for people for almost any occasion. I realize this is pretty ridiculous, but so far it hasn’t steered me wrong.

Chawanmushi has a texture that’s kind of unlike anything else – the ratio of dashi stock to egg is pretty high, so it’s not a solid texture like flan, but it’s also not like a soup… it’s just a really light, amazingly delicate custard. It’s not easy to find restaurants that make chawanmushi here in the states, but there are plenty of recipes online if you’re curious enough to try it!