I’m typically not a very big eater.  When I was young, sometimes I’d make it through my whole 2/3-full bowl of rice with one small chicken wing.  But on the days my dad made steamed egg, I would happily get second and third helpings of rice just so I could eat more of the steamed egg!  This dish always reminds me of home — the smooth, silky soft texture is so comforting and easy to eat lots of.

I remember we used to make this dish with simply eggs and water, but over the years, both my parents and I have experimented with substituting the water with different liquids and also adding in other ingredients to enhance the flavor. My parents also learned a trick from my Aunt Grace, which is to mix the eggs with hot and then cold liquid prior to steaming. This helps lessen the cooking time when the egg steams, creating a smoother texture and preventing overcooking. For the creamiest and most flavorful version, I’ve started using hot chicken broth and cold milk.

This dish can be eaten plain (as I did for my meals in college) or served as a side dish with rice and other meat or vegetable dishes.  I like it best mixed in with rice!

Steamed Egg

The proportion of egg to hot liquid to cold liquid is roughly 1:1:1.  You can adapt this recipe accordingly to make more or less. This ratio gives the steamed egg a consistency like soft tofu.

2 eggs
3/4 c. hot chicken broth (or less if adding dried scallop water)
3/4 c. cold milk
2 dried scallops (optional)
pinch of salt

dash of Maggi (or soy sauce)
sesame oil
scallions, chopped

1. Soak dried scallops in warm water for 30 minutes or until soft enough to tear apart. Save liquid.  (Hot water will soften the scallops even faster.) When soft, tear the scallops into very thin shreds.

2. In a heatproof bowl, beat the eggs together with 3/4 of the scallop pieces.

3. Combine dried scallop water with chicken broth to make 3/4 cup liquid. Heat the scallop water and broth to just before boiling.

4. Slowly add the hot liquid to the egg and scallop mixture, whisking continuously. After all the hot liquid is incorporated, whisk in the cold milk, and then add the salt.

5. Cover the heatproof bowl with a piece of clear saran wrap. This step is important to ensure that the top of your steamed egg is silky smooth.  If left uncovered, the condensation inside the steamer will drip and create dimples on the surface of the egg.

6. Place the bowl in a steamer and steam on medium-high for about 12 minutes (time will vary depending on steamer/bowl/stove)

7. After about 12 minutes, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 of the dried scallop pieces on top of the eggs.  Replace the saran wrap with a fresh piece (the already removed saran wrap will have lost its cling). Steam for another 3-5 minutes.  When the steamed eggs are done, it should jiggle slightly.  If eggs look too watery or are overly jiggly, steam for a few minutes longer.

8. When the egg is done, take it out of the steamer and garnish with the green scallions, a dash of Maggi sauce, and sesame oil. Serve hot over rice.