Steamed Egg (蒸蛋)

Learn how to make this heavenly soft Chinese comfort food that's perfect for all occasions!

Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Yields
4 servings

A Recipe by Daddy Lau

My dad's been cooking Chinese food for over 50 years - as a kid fending for himself in Guangzhou, as the head chef of his own restaurant, and as a loving father in our home.

Hopefully, by learning this recipe, you'll get to experience some of the delicious joy we felt growing up eating his food!

- Randy

My parents used to make Steamed Egg for my sister and I all the time as kids. Even now, there's always a 50/50 chance that it'll be a part of the gourmet 10-course holiday spreads that my dad conjures up.

On paper, it's an easy dish to make.

However, the devil's always in the details.

Generally speaking, my dad and most Chinese chefs aim for a creamy, soft, and velvety texture.

It all boils down to (heh heh) several factors:

  • The water to egg ratio
  • The starting temperature of the water mixed with the eggs
  • The amount of time spent steaming

Read on to find out how to perfect this Chinese classic!

Ingredients

Weight: US
oz
g
Volume: US
cup
mL
Servings
4
  • 4 egg
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 green onions
  • 0.50 tsp salt
  • 0.50 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 0.50 tbsp oil
  • white pepper (

    to taste

    )

On Chicken Bouillon

My dad usually has chicken powder on hand in his kitchen. Since some grocery stores don't carry this, I've included a link to purchase the one my dad uses on Amazon.

You'll need a steamer rack

You can't make this dish without something to elevate and separate your bowl from the wok/pan. It doesn't really matter what brand you use, as long as it has a relatively low profile and fits in your wok/pan.

Here's a suitable one that costs about $5.

These links are affiliate links, which means that if you use our links to purchase these ingredients, Amazon pays my family a small amount for the sale - at no extra cost to you. If you use these links, we really appreciate the support!

First, we chop our green onions (2) to be added as garnish at the end. This gives our dish more color and flavor.

Place the steamer rack in the wok, and place your bowl on top of the rack.

Ideally, your bowl should have enough clearance between it and the wok for your fingers, so you can easily remove it when it's piping hot.

Pour enough water so that the bowl is about a third or halfway submerged in the wok. This helps with more effective heat transfer.

Take the bowl out, and place the lid on the wok.

Set the stove to high heat, and let the water come to a boil.

Crack the eggs (4) into a bowl, and add salt (0.50 tsp), chicken bouillon (0.50 tsp), and oil (0.50 tbsp). Start mixing the eggs with a fork or chopstick.

This is a really important step that determines the Steamed Egg's final fate of fluffiness.

We're going to mix warm water (2 cups) with the eggs (0.5 cups per egg).

I really had to probe my dad for an exact temperature range. He legit got annoyed when I asked him, and said "it just needs to be warm!"

The ideal range is about 35-45 C or 95-113 F. If you don't have a food thermometer laying around, you can microwave the water for about 45-60 seconds.

It should be warm to the touch, but not unbearably hot.

Pour a quarter of the warm water (0.50 cups) into the eggs, and mix until bubbles start foaming at the top.

Pour the remaining warm water (1.5 cups), and continue mixing until you see bubbles again.

Make sure that the water is boiling in the wok and that your stove is still on high heat.

If it's boiling, remove the lid, and carefully place your bowl inside. You may want to use an oven mitt.

Pour your egg and water mixture into the bowl, and cover the wok.

After you cover the wok, leave the stove on high heat until the water starts boiling again. This should take anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes.

Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 8 minutes.

As the dish nears completion, you can test its doneness by gently shaking the wok. The egg should shake with a Jello-like consistency.

There are more variables here that you can fine tune with more practice:

  • The thickness and material of the bowl you use
  • Your "simmering" heat

For example:

During this round of instructions, we used a ceramic bowl. My dad usually uses metallic bowls, which have better heat transfer. For metallic bowls, he just turns the heat completely off for the remaining cook time.

Once the dish is done steaming, remove the lid. Add green onion and white pepper to the bowl.

Some people prefer to mix the white pepper into the egg batter. My dad prefers adding at the end.

Feel free to get creative here with soy sauce, oyster sauce, other garnishes, and etc.

We're done! It's time to remove the Steamed Egg from the wok.

Depending on how much clearance you have (and pain tolerance), put on oven mitts and carefully lift the bowl out of the wok.

You may need to use the spatula as a lever for more clearance.

If you're a BOSS like my dad, you can use your bare hands. I am not a boss. I use oven mitts.

Summary

Steamed Egg (蒸蛋)
Learn how to make this heavenly soft Chinese comfort food that's perfect for all occasions!
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • 4 egg
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 green onions
  • 0.50 tsp salt
  • 0.50 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 0.50 tbsp oil
  • white pepper (

    to taste

    )
Step 1 - Cut green onion↑ Jump to details

Chop the green onions (2) to be added as garnish at the end.

Step 2 - Boil water in the wok↑ Jump to details

Place the steamer rack in the wok, and place your bowl on top of the rack.

Ideally, your bowl should have enough clearance between it and the wok for your fingers, so you can easily remove it when it's piping hot.

Pour enough water so that the bowl is about a third or halfway submerged in the wok. This helps with more effective heat transfer.

Take the bowl out, and place the lid on the wok.

Set the stove to high heat, and let the water come to a boil.

Step 3 - Start mixing eggs↑ Jump to details

Crack the eggs (4) into a bowl, and add salt (0.50 tsp), chicken bouillon (0.50 tsp), and oil (0.50 tbsp). Start mixing the eggs with a fork or chopstick.

Step 4 - Prepare warm water and mix with eggs↑ Jump to details

This is a really important step that determines the Steamed Egg's final fate of fluffiness.

We're going to mix warm water (2 cups) with the eggs (0.5 cups per egg).

The ideal range is about 35-45 C or 95-113 F. If you don't have a food thermometer laying around, you can microwave the water for about 45-60 seconds. It should be warm to the touch, but not unbearably hot.

Pour a quarter of the warm water (0.50 cups) into the eggs, and mix until bubbles start foaming at the top.

Pour the remaining warm water (1.5 cups), and continue mixing until you see bubbles again.

Step 5 - Start steaming eggs↑ Jump to details

Make sure that the water is boiling in the wok and that your stove is still on high heat.

If it's boiling, remove the lid, and carefully place your bowl inside. You may want to use an oven mitt.

Pour your egg and water mixture into the bowl, and cover the wok.

Step 6 - Boil, simmer, wait↑ Jump to details

After you cover the wok, leave the stove on high heat until the water starts boiling again. This should take anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes.

Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 8 minutes.

There are more variables here that you can fine tune with more practice:

  • The thickness and material of the bowl you use
  • Your "simmering" heat

For example:

During this round of instructions, we used a ceramic bowl. My dad usually uses metallic bowls, which have better heat transfer. For metallic bowls, he just turns the heat completely off for the remaining cook time.

Step 7 - Add garnish and flavor↑ Jump to details

Once the dish is done steaming, remove the lid. Add green onion and white pepper to the bowl.

Some people prefer to mix the white pepper into the egg batter. My dad prefers adding at the end.

Feel free to get creative here with soy sauce, oyster sauce, other garnishes, and etc.

Step 8 - Remove bowl from wok↑ Jump to details

Depending on how much clearance you have (and pain tolerance), put on oven mitts and carefully lift the bowl out of the wok. You may need to use the spatula as a lever for more clearance.

Step 9 - Take pictures
Whip out your camera (1). Begin taking photos (1,000,000). Pick your favorites!
Step 10 - Share and tag us on Instagram @madewithlau #madewithlau!
Did you have fun making this recipe? We'd love to see & hear about it. (Especially my dad. He would be THRILLED!)

The Steamed Egg Cheat Sheet

For reference, here are the secrets to success.

  • Water to egg ratio:
    • 0.5 cups per 1 egg (use less water if you prefer a thicker texture)
  • Starting temperature of water:
    • 35-45 C, 93-115 F
  • Steaming duration:
    • High heat until boiling (about 1-4 min)
    • Simmer for 8 minutes

Enjoy!

My sister and I have many, many happy memories enjoying this dish growing up.

Now, hopefully, you can create your own memories with this dish with your loved ones.

Also, I cordially invite you to eat with us and learn more about the dish, Chinese culture, and my family. (My parents share their experiences raising chickens back in rural China. Pretty cool!)

Cheers, and thanks for cooking with us!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the recipe.

Watch on YouTube

About Made With Lau

We started Made With Lau to honor and share the legacy of our wonderful parents, Jenny and Chung Sun Lau.

Our hope is that these posts give you (and our future generations) a glimpse into how great they are!