Steamed Egg (蝦仁蒸蛋)

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I fell in love with silky smooth steamed eggs the first time I ate it at a Japanese restaurant. It was always served in a medium size Japanese tea cup and the Chinese translations for the dish was (literally) “Tea Bowl Steamed (茶碗蒸).” Along with the fragrant citrus-y soup served in an actual tea pot with teeny cups (土瓶蒸), these were my favorite Japanese dishes.

Until I discovered sushi. But that’s a whole different story.

When I was little I would beg my mom to make steamed eggs for me. Albeit delicious, my mom’s version was full of pot-holes like the moon’s surface instead of the silky smooth texture from the restaurants. Over the years, I learned two secrets to making silky smooth steamed egg.

My grandmother taught me the first secret, which is to cover each bowl tightly with plastic wrap prior to steaming. I later learned the same can be achieved by leaving the lid slightly ajar when steaming. Propping the lid open with a chopstick is a perfect method.

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The second secret is the perfect ratio of egg to liquid – 1 part egg to 3 parts liquid (1 egg: 3 liquid). So for an average large egg with a volume of 50ml, 150ml of liquids must be added. The liquid volume includes soy sauce, rice wine, chicken stock, milk, or any other liquid.

I have trouble estimating the amount of egg when I’m only using 1 or 2 eggs. So K taught me a perfect trick for this – crack open just the top of the egg shell then use the egg shell as a measuring cup after pouring out the egg. Voila!

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Steamed Egg (蝦仁蒸蛋)

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Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of Salt

Liquids:

  • 1 teaspoon Rice Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chicken Stock (Optional)
  • Water

Additives:
Anything can pretty much be added. But may sink to the bottom if they’re heavy.

  • 6 Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 Mushroom, sliced
  • Scallion

Directions


1. Boil water.
2. Beat eggs and measure the amount.
3. Mix salt, rice wine, milk, and chicken stock together. Then add enough water to fill up to 3 times the amount of egg.
4. Place 1 shrimp and a mushroom slice at the bottom of the bowl then add enough egg mixture to fill up to 80% of the bowl.
5. Steam for 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Remember to leave the lid ajar or cover the bowls with plastic wrap.
6. Add remaining shrimp and mushroom on top and pour remaining egg mixture over them. Cover bowls or leave lid ajar.
7. Steam for 8 minutes on medium-low heat.
8. Remove from pot and top with sliced scallions.

Note: This recipe can be easily customized with different liquids or additives, such as shredded chicken or scallops. Make sure proteins are cooked before adding them. An easy shrimp stock can be made with the peeled shrimp shell, head and quickly plunging the shrimp into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Cool the stock before using or it will cook the eggs!

Note 2: I like to add milk into my steamed egg, which gives it a pretty light-milky-yellow color and it tastes great. Eggs and milk are a match made in heaven.