- Make sure that you allow the egg mixture to stand until all the bubbles dissipate before steaming
- Always leave a gap between the wok and wok cover to allow the steam to escape, otherwise the build-up of pressure within the wok will cause the egg to bulge, and later collapse once the wok cover is removed due to the change in pressure.
Be sure to read the rest of the tips as well before trying out this recipe. You can thank yourself later for putting in the hard work when you are able to succeed in replicating this recipe at home!
Silken Smooth Chinese Steamed Egg Custard with Minced Meat (Zheng Sui Tan 蒸水蛋)
The secret to silken smooth Chinese steamed eggs revealed. Say goodbye to craters, dimples and pothole steamed eggs!
- 6 Eggs
- 50 grams Lean Pork Minced
- 1 tsp Salt For the Egg
- Water to be added to the beaten eggs Double the volume of the beaten eggs (Water to egg ratio 2:1)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Oil
- 2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 Stalk Spring Onion 1
PREPARATION FOR SILKEN SMOOTH CHINESE STEAMED EGG RECIPE (15 mins)
Wash and mince the meat coarsely.
Marinate the meat with the 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp of oil and 2 tsp light soya sauce for a few minutes.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
- Add the marinated meat to the beaten eggs and mix vigorously until it is well incorporated.
Pour the egg mixture into a stainless steel plate. The steaming plate I used in this recipe is 27cm in diameter and 5cm high, and it fits perfectly.
Add the water into the egg mixture in a 2:1 ratio, and mix well.
Mix in 1 tsp of salt and let the egg mixture stand for 15-20 mins or until the air bubbles have disappeared.
Optional: Wash and cut the spring onion into small pieces. Then add the chopped spring onion into the egg.
COOKING METHOD FOR SILKEN SMOOTH CHINESE STEAMED EGG RECIPE (20-25 mins)
Fill a wok with water, cover it and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove the wok cover and dry it with a cloth to get rid of the condensation.
- Before placing the egg mixture to the wok, give it a quick swirl to spread out the spring onions.
Place a rack in the wok and transfer the eggs on the rack ensuring the egg mixture is level with the plate.
- Cover the wok making sure there is a gap between the wok and the cover . Many wok covers have a little 'handle' that can be used to maintain a small opening for the steam to escape.
- Steam over medium high heat for 20-25 mins.
- After 15 mins, lift up the cover to check the consistency of the egg by gently shaking the plate. If the centre is still very wobbly, continue to steam, checking every few minutes till the centre is firm. Now the steamed egg custard is done and ready to be served.
- The beaten eggs need to stand for 15-20 mins for the air bubbles to disappear before steaming otherwise it will form dimples when cooked.
- If you prefer the egg to be more firm, reduce the amount of water slightly.
- Do remember to wipe off the condensation on the wok lid, otherwise the water will drip into the egg and produce an uneven surface, marring the presentation of the dish.
- It is important to leave a gap between the wok and the cover to allow the steam to escape. Too much steam built up within the wok will force the egg to bulge, creating an air gap in the egg. Once the cover is lifted, the sudden drop in temperature will cause the bulge to collapse and wrinkle, creating potholes, and thereby losing its silken and smooth texture. Unlike steaming fish, for steamed egg, the more you lift up the wok cover the better it is because more steam will be let out.
- The water in the wok for steaming must be sufficient to produce enough steam to cook the egg. A good gauge is that the water level should be at the same height at the top of the steaming rack. The egg mixture in the plate must be level with the plate when placed on the rack otherwise the finished product will be tilted to one side of the plate.
- The level of the egg mixture in the plate must not be too thin. It must be at least 1 1/2 inch thick. So do choose the size of your steaming plate wisely.
- Use a steaming plate that is either stainless steel (preferred) or heat resistant glass (but it should not be too thick otherwise the egg will not be able to cook evenly).
- You can use the same bowl for beating the eggs to measure the amount of water to be added. Just make a mental note of how high the egg mixture (without meat) comes up to, and then measure double that amount of water to be added. Another way to measure the right amount of water to be added to the egg is by using one egg shell. You need to make a hole at one end of an egg and empty the shell. If you are using 6 eggs, you need to use 12 eggs shells full of water. That is: 1 egg to 2 egg shells of water. This is the perfect formula and it has never failed me all these years using this method of measurement.
- If the steamed egg is not salty enough, don't worry. You can add some cooked oil and light soya sauce to drizzle over the cooked egg and it looks very presentable and enticing.
- You can also add some dong fen into the egg mixture. Before that, you need to soak 20gm of dong fen in hot water. Once softened, cut into shorter strand about 1 inch in length.
- It's best to mince your own lean meat, or to buy lean mean and get it minced on the spot by the butcher. The pre-packed minced meat tend to be quite fatty - which is less healthy, and also may cause the meat to float on the surface of the egg so it won't be as smooth.
- Also, don't over mince the meat, otherwise it will end up powdery!
- The minced meat can be substituted by 20 gm of chopped Hei Bee (dried shrimp). First you need to wash and soak the Hei Bee in hot water for 15 minutes, then chop coarsely. The water of the dried shrimp can be added to the egg mixture too. Remember to reduce the amount of water for the egg to take into account the dried shrimp water.
- Alternatively, the Hei Bee can be substituted by dried scallop too. You need to wash and soak the scallop in hot boiling water for a longer time, around 45 minutes. Shred the scallop by hand before adding to the egg mixture. Don't forgot to use the scallop water as for the Hei Bee.
- It is not a good idea to use fresh shrimp when making Chinese steamed egg as the shrimp has very short cooking time and it will end up overlooked and rough which does not go well with the smooth texture of the egg.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Baby/Toddler-Friendly: Skip the spring onions and reduce the salt.
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Confinement: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Use gluten free soya sauce
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Vegetarian: Skip the meat.