When I got my wisdom teeth removed, even scrambled eggs made my mouth sad. To still get egg-cellent nutrition, I ate a lot of Chinese steamed eggs (鸡蛋羹 ji dan geng), which are super easy to swallow.
You make Chinese steamed eggs by steaming eggs and water to form a savory custard. Chinese steamed eggs have a similar texture to sweet egg custards, such as flan and creme brûlée, and make a great homey side dish or comforting snack.
Chinese Steamed Eggs
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of warm water
- ½ tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water. Cover the pot with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- In a medium bowl, crack in the eggs. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, and vigorously whisk.
- Slowly pour in the warm water while whisking. Make sure that the water is not hot or else you will cook the eggs.
- When the water is boiling, put a steamer basket on top of the pot. Put the medium bowl in the steamer basket, and cover with a lid.
- Steam for 20 minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Carefully remove the steamer basket. Let cool and then serve.
- Eggs: Required for Chinese steamed eggs. You can use 2 eggs or 3 eggs depending on the size of your bowl. Using more than 3 eggs will take longer to cook. You can also cook 1 egg + 1/3 cup of water in a small ramekin.
- Warm water: Makes the eggs tender and custardy. Use 1/3 cup of water for each egg. Cold water will not incorporate as well into the eggs. Hot water will curdle and cook the eggs.
- Soy sauce: Adds saltiness and flavor. Can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Sesame oil: Optional. Adds flavor.
Rice Cooker Cooking Instructions
You can make Chinese steamed eggs on top of a rice cooker while cooking rice. However, the steamer basket will need to be the right size for the rice cooker so that the rice will cook.
Measure the appropriate amount of rice and water in the rice cooker bowl. Put a steamer basket on top of the rice cooker. Put the medium bowl in the steamer basket. Cover the steamer basket with the rice cooker lid. Cook the rice normally. The steamed eggs will be done when the rice is done.
Start by boiling water. Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water. Put the pot on the stove top over high heat. Cover the pot with a lid so that the water boils faster.
You will need a steamer basket that fits on top of the large pot. Get 1/3 cup of warm water for each egg. For two eggs, I measured 2/3 cup of cold water from the sink, and I microwaved the water for 30 seconds.
Crack the eggs into the bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. I do not measure the quantities. See the picture for a visual estimate.
If you're very picky about smoothness, you can filter the mixture through a sieve. I do not do this because sieves are hard to wash.
When the water is boiling, put the steamer basket on top of the pot, and gently put the medium bowl into the steamer basket.
Cover the steamer basket with a lid. The stove is still on high heat. I steamed my eggs for 20 minutes. My steamer basket does not fit my pot exactly. If your steamer basket makes more sense than mine, your cook time may be shorter.
If the eggs are done, turn off the stove. Else, put the lid back and continue cooking. You should not check on the eggs that often because removing the lid releases steam and makes the eggs take longer to cook.
To serve, remove the steamer basket containing the medium bowl. The handles of the steamer basket will be much less hot than the medium bowl itself.
Because Chinese steamed eggs contain a lot of water, they stay very hot. Be careful when eating. I usually just eat the whole bowl by myself. Otherwise, this can serve around 4 people as a side dish.