Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹)

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹)

Soft, silky and smooth steamed egg is commonly cooked in many Chinese households. Prevent watery eggs by using the golden ratio and a few simple tips. In less than 20 minutes, you can prepare this savoury custard loved by babies, kids and adults alike.

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Preparation 5 mins
Cooking 15 mins


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Nutrition per Serving

70 kcal
1 g
5 g
6 g

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Chinese steamed egg is a soft and silky savoury custard. A simple soy sauce mixture is poured over the dish for a light gravy. It tastes light, similar to silken tofu with a mild egg flavour. Steamed eggs are healthy as they can be made without oil and the nutrients are retained due to the short cooking time.

Smooth, soft steamed egg
Smooth, soft steamed egg

While it is the perfect dish to have when one is feeling under the weather, it is also a comforting dish for children and adults alike. You can never go wrong when serving steamed eggs with rice.

Why use this recipe

  • THE perfect egg and water ratio
  • Useful tips to perfect the smooth surface
  • Improve flavour naturally

Steamed egg water ratio

The perfect ratio is 1:2, egg to water. An easy way to measure is to use the egg shell. Simply crack an egg into half and use the shell to measure the amount of water. That way, you can more or less get the accurate amount of water if you do not have a measuring cup.

Keep in mind the ratio and you can always ensure the perfect steamed eggs.

Not too much or too little water
Not too much or too little water

Avoid bumpy or rough surface

A smooth surface on steamed egg is highly desirable. Although it has simple ingredients, do not skip the following steps if you want to achieve the perfect steamed egg that every grandmother will approve.

Remove large air bubbles Sieve the egg mixture after beating to remove large bubbles. The tiny bubbles on the surface must also be discarded with a spoon. Otherwise, the air in the bubbles will expand and pop leaving a bumpy surface.

Preheat steamer Do not place egg mixture into a steamer that is not heated up. Preheat the steamer so that the egg mixture can cook immediately.

Do not use high heat Instead of cooking with a steady and subtle heat, the egg mixture might bubble up or overcook. The steamed egg will end up puffy and bubbly.

Use lukewarm water This is extremely important if you are living in a country with a cold climate. Room temperature water then is simply too cold and will take time for the eggs to cook. Therefore, use lukewarm water which is comfortable enough to drink. Not hot water or it will cook the egg mixture.

Use aluminium foil or cling wrap This is an extra step to ensure that water droplets will not fall onto the surface of the egg. You do not need this step if you remove the steamer's cover swiftly and if the heat used is not too high. If you are unsure, simply cover the surface as suggested.

White chunks in steamed egg

It is part of the egg, a protein structure and is safe to consume. For an even light yellow pudding-like texture, pour the egg mixture through a strainer to remove it.

Why is my steamed egg watery?

If the liquid is still yellow in colour, the eggs might be undercooked due to colder water temperature or low heat. Steam it longer. Another reason could be the excessive amount of water used. In this case, the liquid is clearer but the egg is cooked. Discard the water before serving.

How to check if steamed eggs are done

Use the tip of a knife to poke through the thickest area of the steamed eggs. If it is ready, there should not be any uncooked egg mixture (yellow in colour) spilling out from the crack.

Tips to improve flavour

Substitute water with the broth of your choice. For example, chicken stock broth or vegetable broth. You might want to reduce salt if the broth is salted.

Green onions and the soy sauce mixture add flavour to the dish. Add some fried shallots for the extra oomph.\

Last step before serving
Last step before serving

If you prefer, marinade some minced pork or chicken with soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper. Spread it thinly at the bottom of the bowl. A thick meat layer will require a longer cooking time. Try this steamed meat recipe if you are in the mood for another easy and comforting dish.


400 g
1⁄4 tsp
1⁄4 tsp
white pepper
1 tbsp
light soy sauce
1⁄2 tsp
sesame oil
1 tbsp

Steps to Prepare

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹) Step 1

Step 1 of 6

    • 4 egg(s)

Prepare steamer. In a bowl, crack 4 eggs and mix it evenly with a pair of chopsticks.

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹) Step 2

Step 2 of 6

    • 400 g water
    • 1⁄4 tsp salt
    • 1⁄4 tsp white pepper

Add water (double the amount of egg), salt and pepper into the beaten eggs and mix till it becomes homogenous.

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹) Step 3

Step 3 of 6

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a deep plate or bowl. Discard the leftover egg mixture that didn't make it through the sieve.

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹) Step 4

Step 4 of 6

Remove the bubbles on the surface of the egg mixture with a spoon.

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹) Step 5

Step 5 of 6

Cover with aluminium foil and steam the egg mixture for 15 minutes in the pre-heated steamer at low to medium heat.

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋羹) Step 6

Step 6 of 6

Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, sesame oil and water in a bowl. Once the steamed egg is ready, gently pour the soy sauce mixture and garnish with the chopped spring onions before serving.

Published: September 3, 2022

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