If you ever tried Chinese steamed egg sometimes called as egg custard, it will amaze you by the super smooth and fresh taste.
Perfect Chinese steamed egg. Soft, smooth and tender steamed egg (蒸鸡蛋) is a comforting food for lots of Chinese children and a time-saving dish for house cooks. We love to make steam a small bowl of egg and serve it as a side dish or make a large bowl and share with the whole family.
Only with super common ingredients, those steamed egg is a must for daily cooking especially if you get old or younger eater in the family. Why? Because steamed egg is easier to absorb and do not need too much chew. I love steamed egg so much recently because I get my wisdom tooth removed.
However to make a perfect Chinese steamed egg at home is not that easy and there are some tips you need to pay attention. This version is a basic Chinese steamed egg recipe. And it can be transformed into many other versions. For example, you can add fried minced pork sauce over it or add some seafood like clam, shrimp etc. It can also steamed with vegetables and mushrooms.
What’s successful steamed egg
Although we may use different method to make steamed egg, the success standard is the same. Successful steamed egg should be smooth both on surface and inside with a very soft and silky texture. No layer difference.
Reasons cause failure?
- egg liquid firms but with lots of bubbles and a honeycomb texture — fire is too strong. Large bubbles are caused by the strong movement of the liquid. So further slow down your fire.
- egg liquid does not firms at all — too much water added or lack of steaming time
- egg liquid firms and get up and downs on surface — vapour drops in and spoil the surface
- everything looks perfect judging from the appearance but there are very small bubbles inside — fine bubbles usually are bought by the water or stock you using. If raw water used, it may contains some fine bubbles and leave the bubble in the egg liquid. Next time, use boiled water (set aside and cool down) or stock.
Tips before starting
Conclusion firstly if you do not want to know the reasons behind. Use 1 cup warm boiled water for 2 eggs, with a small pinch of salt. Remove the bubbles and steam for 8-10 minutes over slow fire. Then stand for 5 minutes.
- Eggs liquid should be well whisked gently to get a uniform texture.
- Warm or cold boiled water is the key point to get smooth texture. Sometimes you find that your egg custard is almost perfect, but there are very small bubbles inside. Boil your water firstly and then let it cool down. Raw water contains lots of impurities and can cause small bubbles. Small bubbles is different from Honeycomb texture which is caused by over strong fire.
- If you using water only, adding salt is a key point to speed up the firming process as it can work as electrolyte. Short time firming process help to creates a tender texture.
- The steaming bowls or pan must be covered so there will be no vapour drops and spoil the surface.
- Boil the water firstly before set up the steamer so we can calculate the time actually (I usually steam with cold water after I know the rule of my fire and pot). Then slow down the fire to middle or slow fire to steam the egg liquid. The yolk and white mixture becomes together around 165 degree F (73 degree C). If the temperature is too high, the out section loses water quickly and forms honeycomb texture. In order to keep a relatively low temperature, you can leave a small opening and do not cover the lid completely.
- How much water should be added? This is is really quite confusing. In generally, you can succeed with ration from 1:1 to 1:2. Wow, good news right.Less water amount creates a firmer custard and 1:2 can bring us very fancy and silky texture just like that shown in the video. I will recommend you using ratio from 1: 1.5 to 1:2. For me, as long as the egg liquid can firm well, tender texture version is more delicious for me.
- How much time should I steam? There is lots of factors may influence the steaming time for a perfect steamed egg custard. Basically it depends on the volume of the egg custard especially the hight. If you use a shallow deep pan, then 6-8 minutes is enough. If your steamer is taller and the egg custard is thicker, 10 minute can be a better option.
- When the steaming time is up, turn off the fire and let the steamed egg stand for 5 minutes before transferring out.
- 2 middle size eggs , 2 or 3 eggs both works depending the wanted texture
- 1 cup of water , recommend using warmed boiled water , or milk or stock
- 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. light soy sauce
- Chopped scallion , optional
Gently whisk eggs with pinch of salt and water.
Strain the egg liquid and transfer to the container. Remove any bubbles on surface.
Set up the steamer, bring the water to a boiling and slow down the fire to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes depending on your container. For the time, please see note 1.
Remove from the fire and wait for 5 minutes to cool down a little bit.
Transfer the containers out. Drizzle some sesame oil and light soy sauce and garnish chopped spring onion on top.
Note 1: the steamed time of the egg custard should be adjusted according to your container-the height of the custard. For example if you are using a wide deep plate, then only 7 to 8 minutes are needed.
Note 2: You can add replace some water with milk to make milk steamed egg if you like.
Recipe is firstly published in 2014 and updated in 2019. I would love to see you on Ins, where I share lots of interesting shoots and videos. Happy cooking.