Chinese Steamed Egg Custard is a homey, simple side dish with a silky, super smooth texture that is achieved by steaming a mixture of beaten eggs, water and chicken stock.
What is steamed egg custard?
Chinese egg custard is a classic homestyle dish made with eggs, chicken stock, and a blend of seasonings which is gently steamed to achieve its smooth custard-like texture.
It's texture is similar to a flan or crème caramel, only that it is savory in flavour.
Steamed egg custard is similar to Chinese pork patty, as both dishes are steamed and enjoyed with rice.
Why you'll love this recipe
Minimal ingredients: it consists of only eggs, broth (or water), and some seasonings making it a delicious, flavorful yet frugal meal.
Simple to make: this recipe uses a gentle steaming method to cook the eggs and give it its perfectly set, silky texture.
Comforting: the soft, silky texture of the eggs makes this a delicious and belly-warming dish, especially served with steamed rice.
The ratio of liquid to eggs is pretty close to 2:1. You can increase the amount of liquid by a little bit for a softer set, or reduce for a firmer egg custard.
Weighing out the eggs ensures more consistency in the final steamed dish.
How to make Chinese steamed egg
In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, weigh and whisk 2 large eggs with some salt, and white pepper.
Add in about double the amount of liquid, so if you have 2 eggs totaling 100g in weight, add 180ml of warm chicken broth/water and lightly beat until incorporated.
Pour the egg mixture into a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a shallow heat-proof dish.
Use a spoon to remove any bubbles on the surface of the liquid.
Carefully transfer the dish onto a steamer or steaming rack fitted inside a pot of hot boiling water.
Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and steam for 15-18 minutes, or until the top of the surface has set and mixture is the slightest bit jiggly.
Remove from heat and garnish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and/or green onions/scallions.
For more savory umami flavor, add:
- chicken bouillon powder
- dashi broth
- slices of ginger
- garlic powder
- minced pork
You can choose a low-sodium chicken broth or use water if you're watching your sodium intake.
If you're vegetarian, simply omit the chicken broth and use water instead.
How to serve steamed egg custard
How to store
It's best to enjoy Chinese steamed immediately.
Store any leftover steamed egg in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Do not freeze the steamed egg -- it will not hold up and the texture will disintegrate.
How to reheat
I don't recommend microwaving the steamed egg custard to reheat.
The best way is to gently re-steam the egg custard to retain its soft, silky texture.
Gentle steaming heat is key to obtaining a smooth, silken, custard-like texture.
If the heat is too high, the proteins in the egg will coagulate, resulting in a curdled egg mixture.
After the water comes to a boil, place the dish in and immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
The steaming water should not touch the plate.
Depending on the dish you use, as well as how strong your heat source is, the steaming time may vary.
Using a metal dish will conduct heat too quickly, so it's better to use a glass or ceramic dish so that the eggs can heat up and cook more evenly.
The ratio for this steamed egg custard is approximately 1:2 (1 part egg to 2 parts liquid).
For a softer egg custard, use more water, for a stiffer egg custard, reduce the amount of liquid by 1-2%.
As eggs range in size, weighing out the eggs will give you a better idea of how much liquid to use.
Other delicious Chinese recipes you may like
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Chinese Steamed Egg Custard
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- 180 ml warm chicken broth or warm water about body temperature (36°C)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or to your taste
- 1 tablespoon green onions
- In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, weigh and whisk 2 large eggs with some salt, and white pepper.
- Add in about double the amount of liquid, so if you have 2 eggs totaling 100g in weight, add 180ml of warm chicken broth/water and lightly beat until incorporated.
- Pour the egg mixture into a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a shallow heat-proof dish.
- Use a spoon to remove any bubbles on the surface of the liquid.
- Carefully transfer the dish onto a steamer or steaming rack fitted inside a pot of hot boiling water.
- Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and steam for 15-18 minutes, or until the top of the surface has set and mixture is the slightest bit jiggly.
- Remove from heat and garnish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and green onions/scallions.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.