Not sure how many of you are familiar with Chinese Steamed Eggs, but if you are Chinese, this surely will not be strange to you. Steamed eggs was one of my all time favorite childhood dishes. It is a simple and delicate dish which goes well with steamed rice and I find it suitable when you don’t have much appetite or just want something light and simple. Having said that it is simple, yet it took me a long time to master it perfectly, we have a Chinese saying “易學難精” which means easy to learn but difficult to master it perfectly.
When I was studying abroad in the UK, I needed to cook for myself. So steamed eggs came to my head, as it is supposed to be easy. Whisk eggs, add water, mix and steam, how difficult could that be?! But I failed for the first time. I asked my mom, she told me the instructions, after some time I tried again, the eggs solidified and was edible but the appearance was not smooth and pretty. Then I have not tried again for years until I came to Basel. Made occasionally, results were better but not quite consistent until these last 2 times. I don’t even need to measure the water required or sieve the egg mixture to get rid it of air bubbles as some people suggest nor I need to turn the heat from high heat to medium high. And I do not need to worry that it may be overcooked, exactly like how my mom does it. Every time I told my mom that it didn’t work perfectly, she teased me that I cannot master this simple dish. When I was in Hong Kong a few months ago in last November, she showed me that she didn’t even need to cover the plate anymore and the steamed eggs would still come out smooth with no bubbles. I suppose this is really a matter of practice, experience, and experiments with trials and errors.
So these last 2 times, with an interval of 6 months, I am able to repeat the perfect steamed eggs. I posted an iPhone photo in Facebook, unexpectedly that has generated a lot of comments and a lot of time asked me how to do it. It’s really no secret, so I take the chance to share my experience with you.
The above picture is the most basic version which contains only normal eggs.
As I grew up, my mom has made us many other versions namely:
- Steamed egg with salted egg (咸蛋蒸蛋)
- Tricolor steamed eggs (三色蒸蛋) which consists of normal eggs, salted egg and thousand years egg
- Steamed eggs with dried scallops (瑤柱蒸蛋)
- Steamed egg with minced pork or beef (肉碎蒸蛋)
- Steamed egg with fresh fish (魚片蒸蛋)
- Steamed egg white (蒸蛋白), mom’s latest version, to minimize the cholesterol intake.
Luxury version :
- Steamed egg white with crab leg or whole crab (花雕蛋白蒸蟹鉗), latest luxurious version. This is much more challenging, better leave the restaurants to prepare for us, haha.
Photo Courtesy of my dear friend, Annette @Tim’s Kitchen Hong Kong, Nov 2013 during our get together gals’ dinner.