01 March, 2011

For the tiny picky eaters - steamed egg custard

I'm sure those of you who have toddlers, finding the one dish that is both nutritious and pleasing to their palate can be quite a challenge.  Eggs are a wonderful source of nutrition especially the egg yolk.  But not all children like eating the yolk.  I know I didn't when I was a kid!  So this is a great way of getting both yolk and white into the mouth and it's so easy to do - once you know the trick!

Both Chinese and Japanese cuisines feature this dish with variations in the ingredients.  It is not so much the ingredients than the method (am I repeating myself too much here?) that gives the perfect smooth jello texture that is a great hit with the kids.

As with many of the "traditional" recipes I use, it's a pinch of this and a little bit of that.  So please bear with me!

Steamed egg custard
2 eggs
2 pinches of salt.
Spring onions for garnishing


  1. Prepare steamer and boil the water.
  2. Crack 2 eggs into a measuring cup and add 2x the amount of water.  Add the salt and beat the mixture until homogenous.  You can add pepper if you want.
  3. Pour mixture through a sieve into container you want to steam the egg in.  Use a container that can be placed in a steamer.
  4. Place egg into steamer and turn down the heat from the stove.  
  5. Take the eggs off the stove once it turns a light yellow (from translucent yellow)
  6. Garnish with spring onions.
  1. I use a measuring cup to make it easy to gauge how much water to add.  It's a 1:2 ratio I use.  1:1 gives a firmer texture if you prefer that.
  2. You can use chicken stock or dashi stock (for chawanmushi) instead of water.  But the kids don't seem to notice the difference.
  3. You can add things like ginko nut, fish cake and such to make a more interesting dish.  I prefer not to as it increases the surface area where bubbles can form and ruin the smooth texture.  I'm anal like that.
  4. Do NOT boil the egg mixture.  The idea is to get the egg to just cook.  I use a steamer with a clear lid so I can peek in to see if the egg has cooked.  I get the steamer to a boiling point and turn the fire down to the minimum so that the water simmers.  Once the egg sets, I turn off the fire and leave the egg in the steamer until it's time to serve.  
  5. If you are using a hot plate, you will need to remove the entire steamer off the stove as the water can continue to boil.

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