Chinese Steamed Egg

By: MeganPosted: 29/05/2023 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 12 minutes
Total 22 minutes
Soft, silky, savory Chinese steamed egg is a delicious way to start your morning. This Chinese steamed eggs recipe encapsulates a luxuriously smooth texture with a warm, comforting flavor.
Chinese Steamed Egg

Soft, silky, savory Chinese steamed egg is a delicious way to start your morning. This Chinese steamed eggs recipe encapsulates a luxuriously smooth texture with warm, comforting flavors.

A bowl of chinese steamed eggs topped with sesame oil, soy sauce, and green onions.

Chinese steamed egg is the quintessential comfort food. It is made with eggs, salt, and chicken broth and then topped with soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions. That’s it! Pantry staple ingredients, easy-to-follow steps, and the most delicious and satisfying outcome are all you can ask for in an easy steamed egg recipe.

I will show you a foolproof way how to make the best Chinese steamed egg. The final steamed egg custard will depend on your water-to-egg ratio, the temperature of the liquid added to the eggs, and the time spent steaming. Not to worry, I extensively cover all of these aspects in the tips and tricks section!

This Chinese egg dish is one of my favorite dishes for breakfast because it is so simple yet feels so indulgent and delicious. If you loved this Chinese steamed egg recipe and are looking for more egg inspiration, check out our gyeran mari (Korean egg roll), Mayak eggs, and Japanese egg sandwich (tamago sando)!

Lifting a spoonful of egg from a bowl of chinese steamed eggs.

What are Chinese Steamed Eggs?

Chinese steamed eggs (蒸蛋羹), also known as water egg or egg custard, is a traditional Chinese egg dish known all over China. The egg dish is made with beaten eggs that are mixed with warm water or broth and then steamed. Chinese steamed eggs have a soft custard texture like gelatin that gently melts in your mouth.

Up close with a spoon of steamed eggs.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Silky, smooth, and savory. This Chinese steamed eggs recipe will give you the most perfect velvety soft texture and the most comfortingly delicious savory flavor.
  • Easy recipe with simple ingredients. Although it seems challenging, this Chinese steamed egg recipe is easy to accomplish with only 6 different ingredients!
  • Customizable. You can easily customize your Chinese egg dish by swapping out the liquid base, adding in protein or vegetables, and/or garnishing it with some spice! The options are endless.

Kitchen Equipment

Here is a list of all the kitchen tools you will need to create the best Chinese steamed egg recipe!

  • Kitchen Scale: all eggs are not equal in weight and volume. I recommend using a kitchen scale to measure the weight of the eggs so that you can adjust the liquid accordingly.
  • Thermometer (optional): for the most precise and foolproof method, I recommend using a thermometer to measure the temperature of the liquid before adding it to your eggs.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: you will need a fine mesh strainer to strain your egg mixture to guarantee the perfect texture.
  • Steamer: you can either use a stainless steel steamer, a bamboo steamer over a pot, or a wok with a wire rack and a lid.
  • Plate lifter or oven mitts: you can either use this plate lifter or oven mitts to remove your hot steamed egg from the steamer.

Ingredients

You can find the ingredients for this Chinese steamed egg recipe at your local grocery store. No hard-to-find ingredients needed!

Chinese Steamed Eggs

  • Large Eggs: since this Chinese steamed egg recipe only has a handful of ingredients, make sure to use fresh large eggs for the best flavor.
  • Salt: a touch of salt brings out the rich flavors of the eggs.
  • Chicken Broth: for the liquid base, I like using chicken broth for the added comforting flavor it brings. I like to use unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth to prevent it from being overly salty.

Garnish

  • Light Soy Sauce: eggs and light soy sauce are my absolute favorite combination. It adds a hint of salty umami flavor that brings out the flavors of the steamed egg custard.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: a drizzle of toasted sesame oil adds additional umami flavors to the Chinese egg dish.
  • Green Onions: adds additional aromatics to the eggs.
All the ingredients to make Chinese steamed eggs organized and labeled.

Substitutions and Additions

This is your Chinese steamed egg recipe, you can customize it however you please by swapping out the liquid base to add more protein and vegetables! I’ve listed some suggestions for substitutions and additions below.

Substitutions

  • Water: instead of chicken broth, you can substitute it with water.
  • Chicken Bouillon: if you wanted the flavor of chicken broth but only had chicken bouillon, you can substitute it with water and 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon.
  • Vegetable broth: if you don’t want a different flavor profile, you can use vegetable broth instead.
  • Regular soy sauce: I like using light soy sauce so that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the eggs, however, you can use any soy sauce that is available to you.

Additions

  • Protein: you can add a variety of different proteins to your steamed eggs recipe such as fresh shrimp, dried shrimp, crab meat, clams, ground pork, etc.
  • Vegetables: if you wanted to add vegetables, you could also add mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, carrots, diced onions, etc.
  • Spice: if you wanted to garnish your Chinese egg dish with a touch of spice, go ahead and add some chili oil or sriracha!

How to Make Chinese Steamed Egg

Here are the steps on how to make this Chinese steamed eggs recipe. I recommend reading through the instructions and tips and tricks before you begin.

  1. Prepare the steamer. Prepare the steamer by bringing the water in your steamer to a boil.
  2. Whisk the eggs and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs, and salt and whisk until combined. Measure the volume of the eggs it should be about 1/2 a cup.
Whisking together eggs and salt in a glass mixing bowl.
  1. Add chicken broth. Add the warmed 100-110°F (38°C) chicken broth. The water volume should be just about 2x the volume of the eggs, about 1 cup.
Adding chicken stock to a bowl of seasoned eggs while measuring the weight on a scale.
  1. Strain the eggs. Strain the egg mixture into 2 small bowls or 1 medium bowl and skim any bubbles with a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes into it to prevent the condensation from dripping onto the steamed eggs.
  1. Steam. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the egg mixture into the steamer and steam for 8-12 minutes for a small bowl or 12-15 for a medium-sized bowl. The steamed eggs should be pale yellow, smooth, jiggly, and not runny. Remove the steamed eggs and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  1. Serve. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil on top of the steamed eggs, and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!
Lifting a spoonful of egg from a bowl of chinese steamed eggs.

Tips for the Best Chinese Steamed Egg

  • The egg-to-liquid ratio should be about 1:2: the egg-to-liquid ratio should be around 1 to 2. For example, 2 large eggs should measure around 100 ml so you’ll need about 200 ml of water or chicken broth.
  • Use warm liquid. Using a warm liquid (100-110°F (38°C)) to mix with the Chinese steamed egg will gently temper them. It will ensure the texture is silky smooth.
  • Strain the egg mixture. Straining the egg mixture will guarantee the perfect homogenous smooth texture. It eliminates the egg membrane which creates a less silky texture.
  • Cover the steamed egg with plastic wrap and poke holes in it. Using plastic wrap prevents the condensation of the steamer from ruining the top texture of the eggs.
  • The temperature of the steamer water should be gently simmering. For the silkiest Chinese egg custard, you will need to steam the eggs over medium-low heat where the water in the steamer is gently simmering.
  • Cooking time will vary. The cooking time of the Chinese egg pudding will vary depending on the type of bowl you use. I recommend using a bowl that is heatproof like a glass or ceramic bowl.
  • Test if it is done cooking before removing it from the steamer. You will know if the steamed eggs are cooked if you gently tip the bowl slightly to one side, and the eggs only slightly move and jiggle like jello in the center. If it is still runny, steam it until it is set. Keep in mind it will continue to cook and set as you let it cool for 5 minutes.

Storage Instructions

You can store these Chinese steamed eggs by wrapping them with plastic wrap and storing them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheat: simply microwave covered until warm or steam again until warm. Note that the silky texture of the steamed egg custard may not remain as silky and soft when you reheat it.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

How do you know if your steamed eggs are done?

You will know if the steamed eggs are cooked if you gently tip the bowl slightly to one side, and the eggs only slightly move and jiggle like jello in the center. If it is still runny, steam it until it is set.

How much liquid do use for steamed eggs?

The perfect ratio for the silkiest steamed eggs is 1:2 or 2 eggs or 1/2 cup of eggs to 1 cup of liquid. If you prefer more of a dense steamed egg custard you can reduce the liquid ratio to 1.5 liquid to 1 egg.

Is Chinese steamed egg healthy?

Yes, Chinese steamed egg is healthy! There are only a few simple and healthy ingredients in this Chinese steamed egg recipe. You can opt for an even healthier version by using warm water or reducing the amount of salt!

What is the difference between Chinese steamed eggs and Korean steamed eggs?

Although they have similar names, Chinese steamed egg, and Korean steamed egg are quite different. Chinese steamed eggs are cooked indirectly with a steamer whereas Korean steamed egg steams within a clay pot directly over the stove. Thus, the texture of a Chinese steamed egg is smoother, silkier, and softer whereas the texture of a Korean steamed egg is airier, fluffier, and more textural.

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Lifting a spoonful of egg from a bowl of chinese steamed eggs.

Chinese Steamed Egg

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Soft, silky, savory Chinese steamed egg is a delicious way to start your morning. This Chinese steamed eggs recipe encapsulates a luxuriously smooth texture with a warm, comforting flavor.
Servings: 2 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs measured to ~1/2 cup eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ~1 cup chicken broth warmed 100-110°F (38°C) equal to double the volume of the eggs

Garnish

Instructions

  • Prepare the steamer. Prepare the steamer by bringing the water in your steamer to a boil.
  • Whisk the eggs and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs, and salt and whisk until combined. Measure the volume of the eggs it should be around 1/2 a cup.
  • Add chicken broth. Add the warmed 100-110°F (38°C) chicken broth. The water volume should be just about 2x the volume of the eggs, about 1 cup.
  • Strain the eggs. Strain the egg mixture into 2 small bowls or 1 medium bowl and skim any bubbles with a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes into it to prevent the condensation from dripping onto the steamed eggs.
  • Steam. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the egg mixture into the steamer and steam for 8-12 minutes for a small bowl or 12-15 for a medium-sized bowl. The steamed eggs should be pale yellow, smooth, jiggly, and not runny. You will know when it is done if you gently tip the bowl and the outside edges of the steamed egg are set and the center is slightly jiggly. Remove the steamed eggs and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil on top of the steamed eggs, and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The egg-to-liquid ratio should be about 1:2: the egg-to-liquid ratio should be around 1 to 2. For example, 2 large eggs should measure around 100 ml so you’ll need about 200 ml of water or chicken broth.
  • Use warm chicken broth. Using a warm chicken broth (100-110°F (38°C)) to mix with the Chinese steamed egg will gently temper them. It will ensure the texture is silky smooth.
  • Strain the egg mixture. Straining the egg mixture will guarantee the perfect homogenous smooth texture. It eliminates the egg membrane which creates a less silky texture.
  • Cover the steamed egg with plastic wrap and poke holes in it. Using plastic wrap prevents the condensation of the steamer from ruining the texture of the eggs.
  • The temperature of the steamer water should be gently simmering. For the silkiest Chinese egg custard, you will need to steam the eggs over medium-low heat where the water in the steamer is gently simmering.
  • Cooking time will vary. The cooking time of the Chinese egg pudding will vary depending on the container you use. I recommend using a bowl that is heatproof like glass or ceramic.
  • Test if it is done cooking before removing it. You will know if the steamed eggs are cooked if you gently tip the bowl slightly to one side, and the eggs only slightly move and jiggle like jello in the center. If it is still runny, steam it until it is set. Keep in mind it will continue to cook and set as you let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • Storage Instructions: You can store these Chinese steamed eggs by wrapping them with plastic wrap and storing them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat: simply microwave covered until warm or steam again until warm. Note that the silky texture may not remain as silky and soft when you reheat.

Nutrition:

Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 1158mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

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