Learn how to steam smooth and silky eggs with this step-by-step easy Chinese Steamed Egg Recipe.
I’ve always loved steamed eggs since I was little. Plain steamed eggs, eggs steamed with meat or with savory or spicy toppings – I enjoyed them all. What I love most about them is the melt-in-your-mouth silken texture. A meal in a Japanese restaurant is not complete without a bowl of chawanmushi. The soft and delicate eggs always warms my tummy and my heart.
Chinese steamed eggs is an easy and comforting dish that can be rustled up fairly quickly and easily. It is a very versatile dish that you can easily customize. Make it fancy or simple, an appetizer or a main dish simply by adding different ingredients or garnishing.
A silky smooth Chinese steamed egg requires minimal chewing as it has the texture of silken tofu. Done right, you can just slurp it down if it has no other accompanying ingredients. My kids love this dish so much they can eat an entire bowl of it by themselves.
There are only 2 main ingredients in this steamed egg. Eggs and water/stock. The stock can be homemade or store bought. Remember to season with some salt if you’re using homemade stock.
Although simple, there are certain tips to remember if you want to make Chinese steamed eggs with that velvety smooth texture. The main pointers are:
1. water to egg ratio
2. steaming time
3. heat control
4. covering the egg mixture when steaming
Alright, are we ready to steam our eggs now? Let’s get started!
Homemade chicken stock / Store bought low sodium chicken stock
Fine Mesh Strainer
Salt to taste
Garnishing: Chopped spring onions or fried shallots or sesame oil
1. Crack the eggs into a big bowl and whisk with an egg beater or fork. Don’t worry if you see bubbles forming as you will strain the egg mixture soon.
2. For every egg, add 3 half egg-shells of room temperature boiled water/stock. It helps if the eggs are cracked into more or less half in size. Too little water will result in a stiffer egg texture while too much water will make it difficult for the eggs to set. The size of the eggs does not matter assuming that you’re using eggs of about the same size. (For even softer steamed eggs, you may use up to 1/2 cup of water per egg but do note that it will take slightly longer to set).
3. Strain the eggs through a fine mesh sieve. If there are bubbles in the egg mixture, scoop it up with a spoon after you’re done straining the eggs.
4. Place your bowl on a steamer and seal it with cling wrap or aluminium foil. Personally I prefer using cling wrap as it is transparent so I can see the eggs easily. This is to prevent any water droplets drip onto the eggs mixture during the steaming process or it will create a honeycomb effect on the eggs.
If you don’t have a steamer, prepare a makeshift one by setting up a metal rack over a pot of water. Make sure that the metal rack is higher than the water level so that your steaming bowl does not come into contact with the boiling water. When the water boils, put in your steaming bowl and lower the heat to medium low. Close the lid.
5. Steam the eggs for around 15 minutes on medium low heat. Make sure that your bowl/plate is higher than the water level. Note that the steaming time will vary according to whether you’re using a deep or shallow dish (eg. a deep bowl will require a longer steaming time) and also the the type of dishware used (eggs will cook faster in a metal bowl compared to ceramic).
To check whether the eggs are properly cooked, open up the cover slowly and shake the bowl/dish gently. It should be jiggly yet firm. If you tilt the bowl/dish a little, nothing should seep out of the eggs if it is fully set. If you see any runny eggs seeping out, that means they are undercooked.
And that’s it! The eggs are ready now. Simple and unpretentious. Sprinkle with your favorite garnish and serve immediately.
Once you have mastered these steps, it will be eggstremely easy to cook steamed eggs. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and garnishes/toppings to add into them. I poured sizzling shallot oil over the eggs and drizzled with a little soy sauce. The oil helped the sauce to glide over the eggs smoothly and gave the eggs a pretty, marbled look.
If you’re looking for a light and tasty dish, have a go at this easy Chinese Steamed Egg recipe! I hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂
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- 4 eggs
- 12 half egg-shells of cooled boiled water/low sodium stock (or 6 half-shells of water and 6 half shells of stock)
- Salt to taste if not using stock/seasoning
- Whisk eggs in a bowl. Strain them through a sieve into a steaming bowl (mine was about 3-inch deep bowl) to get rid of bubbles.
- Pour in water/stock to beaten eggs and stir till well combined. Remove any bubbles with a spoon. Seal with a cling wrap/foil.
- Get your wok ready by filling it with about ⅓ full with water. Cover and bring water to a rapid boil.
- Place the eggs on the steamer and put it on top of the wok. Reduce heat to medium-low and steam for about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and remove your bowl from the steamer. To check whether the eggs are set, give the bowl/dish a gentle shake. It should be jiggly yet firm.
- To serve, drizzle with sizzling hot shallot oil and a few drops of soy sauce.
2. To make shallot oil, cut up some shallots finely and fry them till golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. The hot oil is now infused with the aroma of the fried shallots. Drizzle some of the hot shallot oil on the steamed eggs and sprinkle some crispy fried shallots on top. Once cooled, store remaining fried shallots in an air-tight container to retain its crisp texture.
Thanks Steve! Have you tried this recipe yet?
Heather Montgomery says
This sounds so delicious!!! I love eggs any way I can get them and I’m always adding an egg to ramen and soups.
If you wanted to add ingredients to the eggs themselves before steaming, would this mess up the integrity of the steam? Something small like green onion or peppers? Or could you season the eggs with soy sauce/salt & pepper before steaming?
I’ll have to make this next time I’m around a steamer haha
You can certainly season the eggs with soy sauce and salt and pepper before steaming. Otherwise, it will be plain tasting. Do you mean bell peppers? Yes, you can add them too. For the green onions, sprinkle them on top of the eggs after they’re steamed.
Oh my, this sounds delicious! I’ve never thought of steaming eggs in this manner, but after reading over your article and recipe I’m sure to try this out very soon! I’m glad you also included the recipe not just for the steamed eggs, but also for the image shown. When I saw the picture with the shallots on top I immediately got hungry! 🙂
There is nothing that I like more than enjoying an amazing soup dish for lunch or dinner. Its the simple things that keeps life interesting. That being said, can you use any type of oil to pour over the eggs? I am a big fan of canola oil because of its health benefits, however I don’t want to mess up the flavor of the dish.
I used fried shallot oil to pour over the eggs. To make fried shallot oil, you can fry the shallots in canola oil or other oils like corn oil, peanut oil and soybean oil. Don’t worry, you won’t mess up the flavor of the dish. You can also use fried garlic oil if preferred.
If you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to help you. Thanks for visiting!
Speaking of eggs, I was eating boiled eggs when I red this post. I assume eggs is a must for you where it is a daily consumption.
Further, I am guessing that every time you go to a Japanese restaurant, chawanmushi is compulsory for you.
Looks to me they’re nutritious by the way. Not to mention it’s easy and it seems likely that it tastes great.
It will be easy once you are familiar with using your steamer and mastered the cooking time needed for silky smooth eggs. And no, I do not consume eggs daily.
Wow, I’ve never seen steaming eggs to make a soup before, it’s literally word for word and simple: steam the eggs. I’ve had eggs fried (breakfeast eggs), and boiled for hard-boiled eggs but never steamed. It seems like a really simple way to make soup, and get your protein supply for the day. Nice!
This post is about how to steam eggs and not about steaming it for a soup.
What a beautiful site you have, I love it!
The recipes look very appetizing as well:)
I usually don’t eat eggs, but this cuisine looks to me irresistible!
I am sure my children will savor this fabulous dish, also, it seems to be very easy and quick to cook.
Without a doubt, I will try it this weekend!
Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe.
Thanks Daniella. I hope you’ll enjoy the steamed eggs! :
I really can’t wait to try this out! I love it when it’s simple, yet tasty and, judging by your pictures, those eggs are definitely tasty 🙂
What are those little brown things? Are they bits of onion? Also, what other toppings would you recommend?
Thank you in advance!
Yes, the brown bits are small onions – fried shallots. You can also garnish with chopped spring onions or parsley. If you like savory toppings, you can fry some marinated minced meat and pour them over the steamed eggs. Add in a red chilli (seeded and chopped) to the minced meat if you like some spice. Do let me know how the eggs turn out! 🙂
Thanks again, Yvonne! I will definitely let you know!
After reading that I’m hungry! This looks like a great dish to make! I love how you laid out your instructions so that they’re super easy to follow with pictures at each stage (makes it foolproof for someone like me who doesn’t cook :)). I also really love the summarized instructions at the bottom. It looks very professional!
I’m glad you like the post. I hope you’ll try out this recipe! 🙂
I never would have thought of steaming an egg before, but after seeing your recipe I feel the need to give this recipe a try! I would imagine it tasting close to a poached egg but there’s only one way to find out!
Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe with us, I will have to try making this for a snack sometime this week.
Mmm.. yummy poached eggs! Steamed eggs are different as the whites and yolk are all combined. Do try out this recipe! 🙂
The picture of the Chinese Steamed Eggs look delicious! I like eggs but I’ve never made or had steamed eggs. I’ve never even thought of steaming them. I usually eat them scrambled, fried or poached. But this dish looks great because it’s easy and easy to remember. It’s something I can make quickly that all my kids will eat. And it’s perfect for my son who has IBD because he can’t eat fried foods. So it’s a way he can eat something of substance and not worry about it harming his stomach. I do have a question. Where can I get a steamer? I’ve never seen a steamer before. Thanks.
I bought my steamer from a departmental store years ago. You can also find steamers here: http://amzn.to/1RpDywo. Alternatively, for a makeshift steamer, set a metal rack over a pot of boiling water. Ensure that the metal rack is higher than the water level so that your steaming bowl does not touch the hot water. Then place your steaming bowl/dish on top of the metal rack. Cover the bowl with cling wrap/foil before steaming.
Jim Coffey says
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Thanks so much for your encouragement and kind words. I will always try to improve. I hope my posts will be able to help someone, somewhere. Nice to meet you too. 🙂
Reading at your recipe and the images just make me drool. I will share this to my wife and I’ll see if I can have a taste of this delicious dish. My wife likes to experiment with recipes and ideas. That much egg might not be recommended for me as I have high cholesterol. 🙁 Great post & thanks for sharing.
Sorry to hear that you have high cholesterol. Thanks for sharing this recipe with your wife. I hope she’ll like it. Maybe you can try a little of it too 🙂
It looks so delicious, maybe I’ll have a small bit still. Thanks again.
Oh my, I love this, I love this and I cant wait to go home and try this recipe, My best friend is a food groupie and I will show her this recipe. I love eggs and I make my eggs in different way but always spicy and hot.
I know the Chinese people are like the nos 2 in the world for good food so this looks good and it’s so simple. Thank you and please show me more recipes.
Hi Kelly, I love eggs too! If you like spicy food, you can also add some spicy toppings on the steamed eggs. Fry them separately and pour it on your eggs. Do let me know how the steamed eggs turn out for you. I would love to know! 🙂