On The Menu :: Steamed Egg Custard

I’m no MasterChef but I do love cooking and I love knowing the science behind it. I’m a bit of a nerd like that. Some tips and tricks I can understand the logic behind, but other things just stump me. It just simply, IS. A’s grandma will also tell me – as she’s teaching me – that as long as I do as she says, I’ll be just fine 🙂

One of the dishes A and I really love is steamed egg. Such a simple Asian dish and every mouthful just brings back wonderful memories of having mum and grandma force feed me 😛 The first time I made steamed egg, I THOUGHT I knew what I was doing. I used the very same bowl my mother-in-law always uses; I put water into the bowl up to the line as per her instructions; I even left a little gap so that steam could escape during the cooking process.

The result was a horrendous looking dish… The eggs were steamed but where was that smooth silky texture?! My husband and I had to make do with a steamed egg dish that was full of holes and just kinda BLEAH. We finished it, mind you. But we’re good Asian children like that – we finish off everything that’s placed in front of us. 

When I once again managed to get A’s grandma in the kitchen with me for a lesson – because she’s the chef bomb diggity in the family – I asked her to PLEEAASE tell me how to get a good steamed egg custard. And here’s what she said:

– Boiled water is best.

– Approximately three “shells” of water per egg used.

– Sieve the egg mixture and carefully spoon out as many bubbles from the surface of the egg mixture as possible, before steaming.

– Bring water to a boil in steamer and ensure that fire is on low when steaming.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Have I done as I was told? Hell yea! And since then, we have not EVER had steamed eggs that did not look like this:


To change things up a little last night, I decided to use dashi broth, instead of just water, and hey, presto! Japanese Chawanmushi 🙂 We had ours straight up – without the fuss of any fish cakes or shitake mushrooms. If you’re feeling fancy, please knock yourselves out! The best thing about anything home cooked is that you can have chawanmushi just BURSTING with fish cakes and mushrooms!  

Here’s how my Chawanmushi went down, if you’re interested:


5 large eggs, lightly beaten

Dashi broth — 15 “shells” of broth was approximately 750-800ml. I’d save a “good” egg shell and fill it 15 times with the cooled down dashi stock. This is what I use to make my dashi stock:


I used 4 packs because I really wanted a very strong taste of dashi coming through but you might want to use just 2 packs on your first attempt.

Pinch of pepper

Dash of sesame oil


1. Add dashi stock to the lightly beaten eggs and mix to combine. Add a pinch of pepper.

2. Sieve egg mixture into your bowl(s) of choice and scoop off any bubbles from the surface of the egg mixture.

3. Bring water in the steamer to a boil, lower fire and start steaming your egg mixture. 

4. A large bowl of about 5 eggs will take approximately 45 minutes. If you decide to use individual ramekins/bowls, I’d say to check on your eggs after 15-20 minutes. 

5. You’ll know your eggs are done if they wobble a little. If the center still looks very wet, allow eggs to steam for another 5-10 minutes.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Please have a go at this recipe if you, like me, love EGGS 🙂 I love eggs in all forms – steamed, fried, sunny-side up, scrambled… You name it, I love it! 😛 Let me know how you go if you do attempt this! Bon appetit! xx


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