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Chinese Steamed Egg

Chinese Steamed Egg is pure comfort food. Warm, silky, and smooth. Also known as Egg Custard, this easy dish is full of flavor but still so light. All you need is eggs, water, and salt. Mix everything together and steam. Finish with optional toppings like soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and green onions. It makes for a great breakfast or simple dinner (pair with a bowl of hot rice). Eat with a spoon and enjoy ^_^

Two servings of Chinese Steamed Egg, ready to eat.
Chinese Steamed Egg, ready to eat!

Why This Recipe Works

This dish is real comfort food. Chinese Steamed Egg is one of my go-to dishes when I’m feeling tried or need a break from…everything! Best part is that it comforts but won’t weigh you down. It’s super smooth with a silky light texture. If you’ve had Chinese Steamed Egg before, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

All you need are three main ingredients to make the steamed egg custard: eggs, water, and salt. All pantry staples!

Beat everything together and steam until the eggs are *just* set. Then top with a selection of toppings: soy sauce, sesame oil, and chopped green onions. Use the ones you have in your pantry.

I like to top with all three of those ingredients (it’s a great combination of flavors), or just one or two. Try using the soy sauce at the very least ^_^

Sometimes I even add roasted sesame seeds! Get as fancy or keep it as simple as you like.

Two servings of Chinese Steamed Egg, ready to eat.
Make sure to eat it hot ^_^

Egg Custards in Hawaii

Chinese steamed egg is similar to Japanese chawanmushi (aka Japanese steamed egg) but the Chinese version is a bit more simple with fewer ingredients.

You’ll find Japanese chawanmushi at many restaurants across Hawaii, but interestingly enough Chinese steamed egg is mostly a make-at-home type of dish. You won’t often find it on the menu of Chinese restaurants, but it’s a common dish to prepare at home.

We mostly make steamed egg custard for breakfast or snack. On really busy days, we also have it for dinner, simply paired with a bowl of rice and vegetables.

P.S. We always call this dish “Chinese Steamed Egg,” but you’ll also see it called “Chinese Egg Custard” or just “Egg Custard.” The name custard is appropriate because it is sooooo smooth and custard-like!

Ingredients for Chinese Steamed Egg laid out on a countertop (eggs, water, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and green onions).
Ingredients for Chinese Steamed Egg.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to get cooking:

  • Eggs
  • Water (equal to double the volume of the eggs, aim for a 1:2 ratio of eggs to water)
  • Salt

Toppings (optional)

Beating the eggs in a bowl.
Beat the eggs well.

Step by Step Directions

Now let’s start cooking! Making steamed eggs is surprisingly easy as you’ll see ^_^

Beat, beat, beat.
Crack both eggs into a bowl and beat. Add the water and beat again until it is evenly mixed. Add the salt and beat once more.

Tip: Make sure the eggs, water, and salt are super well mixed before proceeding to the next step.

Strain.
Strain the egg mixture into 2 small bowls (or 1 medium bowl).

Note: You can skip the straining step if in a rush (see FAQs and Tips section below), but it is this straining step that makes the egg especially smooth and silky.

Note: Use the back of a small spoon to remove bubbles from the surface of the egg mixture. This isn’t a necessary step, but if you want the perfectly smooth look with no air bubbles, then it’s worth taking the extra minute to do.

Prepare steamer.
Prepare your steamer set up and add the bowls (filled with the egg mixture) once the water starts to boil.

Steam.
Steam on low heat for 10 minutes and remove the bowls from the steamer. The steamed eggs should be nice and jiggly (steam for a minute longer if it looks too “wet”).

Add toppings.
Top with a light drizzle of soy sauce and sesame oil, and a sprinkle of green onions.

Eat and enjoy.
Eat warm and enjoy!

Adding the egg mixture in a bowl to the steamer pot.
Bring the water to a boil, add the eggs, and then steam on low heat.

FAQs and Tips

Measuring the water.

You want a 1:2 ratio of eggs to water. Because it’s a hassle to measure the volume of the eggs (this is supposed to be a simple dish), I usually eyeball how much water is needed. This dish will still taste great even if you use slightly too little or too much water.

If you want to be exact (without having extra dishes to clean), beat the eggs directly in a liquid measuring cup. That way you can see the exact volume measurement, and add the correct amount of water.

How does more/less water change the dish?

Less water makes for a firmer custard. More water makes for a lighter custard.

You would think that lighter is better…and that is true, but only up to a point! If you add too much water, there won’t be enough egg to help bind and set the custard. So try get as close you can to a 1:2 ratio of eggs to water.

When exactly to add the bowls to the steamer?

Make sure to add the bowl(s) to the steamer AFTER the water has come to a boil.

How important is the straining step?

Straining makes a big difference and will result in a much more smooth and silky dish. But if you are in a rush, you can just skip the straining step. It will be less smooth, but still tasty!

Easy steamer set up.

To make an easy steamer set up, get a steamer trivet/rack and place it in a big pot. Add enough water so that it reaches to just under the trivet (leave about ¼ inch gap between the water and the trivet). Put the lid on the pot, bring it to a boil, and then add the bowls filled with the egg mixture.

Variations and additions

There are many variations and additions you can do with this recipe! Here’s a few I like:
– Place a single raw peeled shrimp (or small piece of raw chicken) in the bottom of the bowl before pouring the egg mixture on top. Good way to get a little meat into the dish.
– Sprinkle chopped chives on top of the egg mixture right before steaming.
– Replace the water with chicken broth.

Two servings of Chinese Steamed Egg, ready to eat.
Chinese Steamed Egg, ready to eat!

Chinese Steamed Egg Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

Chinese Steamed Egg

Chinese Steamed Egg

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Chinese Steamed Egg (also known as Egg Custard) is pure comfort food. Warm, silky, and smooth. Full of flavor but still so light. All you need is eggs, water, and salt. Mix everything together and steam. Finish with optional toppings like soy sauce, sesame, oil, and green onions. It makes for a wonderful breakfast or simple dinner (pair with a bowl of hot rice). Eat with a spoon. So easy, so onolicious ^_^

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ to ⅔ cups warm water (equal to double the volume of the eggs)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Toppings (optional)

Instructions

  1. Crack both eggs into a bowl and beat. Add the water and beat again until it is evenly mixed. Add the salt and beat once more. Make sure it is well mixed.
  2. Strain the egg mixture into 2 small bowls (or 1 medium bowl).
  3. Prepare your steamer set up and add the bowls (filled with the egg mixture) once the water starts to boil.
  4. Steam on low heat for 10 minutes and remove the bowls from the steamer. The steamed eggs should be nice and jiggly (steam for a minute longer if it looks too "wet").
  5. Top with a light drizzle of soy sauce and sesame oil, and a sprinkle of green onions.
  6. Eat warm and enjoy!

Notes

  • Because it's a hassle to measure the volume of the eggs (this is supposed to be a simple dish), I usually eyeball how much water is needed. This dish will still taste great even if you use slightly too little or too much water. If you want to be exact (without having extra dishes to clean), beat the eggs directly in a liquid measuring cup. That way you can see the exact volume measurement, and add the correct amount of water.
  • Make sure to add the bowl(s) to the steamer AFTER the water has come to a boil.
  • Straining makes a big difference and will result in a much more smooth and silky dish. But if you are in a rush, you can just skip the straining step. It will be less smooth, but still tasty!
  • To make an easy steamer set up, get a steamer trivet/rack and place it in a big pot. Add enough water so that it reaches to just under the trivet (leave about ¼ inch gap between the water and the trivet). Put the lid on the pot, bring it to a boil, and then add the bowls filled with the egg mixture.

Eve

Thursday 25th of November 2021

Steamed egg is so good! I sometimes make it with milk and sugar for an easy comfort food dessert.

Kathy

Thursday 25th of November 2021

So neat, love that idea with milk and sugar! :)

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