Steamed Egg Custard

Egg February 8th, 2008

steamed egg

Steamed egg custard has probably got to be one of the easiest dishes to cook but difficult to master and make perfect. Using just eggs, water and salt, you can whip up a nice smooth custard looking dish or one which is less desirable in experience much unlike the craters of the moon if you don’t get the technique right.

The Steamed Egg Custard is just the basic recipe as you can improvise it by adding other ingredients as you like. The Chawanmushi, which is the Japanese Steamed Egg Custard, is a more elaborate version with other ingredients like mushrooms, crab stick and chicken meat. You can always start learning with something simple like this Steamed Egg Custard recipe before attempting the more difficult ones with added ingredients.

This is my wife’s recipe for Steamed Egg Custard


  • 2 large eggs
  • 250 ml water (previously boiled and cooled to room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Crack eggs on a bowl. Add salt and water. Using a fork, gently stir the eggs and slowly breaking the yolk. Mix well without beating the eggs as you would want to minimize bubbles from forming.

Pour mixture over a fine sieve into a semi-shallow bowl which is suitable for steaming.

Bring water to boil in a steamer. Place bowl with egg mixture into steamer and gently stir the mixture for 30 seconds. Close steamer lid and reduce heat to medium low. Keep heat on high and close lid but just allowing a little gap for the steam to escape. You can use a spoon or spatula to create the gap (this is the secret to getting the perfect steamed egg custard with silky smooth surface).

Steam for 20 minutes before removing from steamer.

Sprinkle with some fried shallots before serving.

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  1. 1
    Mama BoK
    February 8th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Awesome and simple.. but i can never get it right. Mine always got holey holes.. πŸ™

  2. 2
    Rasa Malaysia
    February 10th, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Your steamed eggs so smooth…wah.

    Gong Hei Fat Choy. πŸ™‚

  3. 3
    February 12th, 2008 at 6:01 am

    I love steamed eggs custard, any versions, be it chinese or japanese πŸ™‚ I once made the Japanese one. Check out mine πŸ™‚

  4. 4
    February 12th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Agree with Bee. So smooth and silky. No need to bite…just swallow. πŸ˜›
    Happy Lunar New Year!

  5. 5
    February 17th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Mama Bok : I know just what you mean. It is actually NOT EASY to cook this simple dish. Takes a lot of tries to make it perfect.

    Rasa Malaysia : My wife’s πŸ˜‰ Happy CNY!

    Mycookinghut : Thanks for sharing your Chawanmushi recipe. Looks really good πŸ˜€

    Tigerfish : Yup! Even babies can eat πŸ˜€

  6. 6
    February 18th, 2008 at 7:30 am

    If I want to make the dessert version of egg custard, can I just substitute the salt with sugar???? I really love the sweet egg custard dessert I had when I was a child.

  7. 7
    February 21st, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Reese : No harm trying. It won’t cost you much πŸ˜‰ But if you are talking about the egg custard like those found in egg tarts, that is a different thing altogether.

  8. 8
    February 24th, 2008 at 7:14 am

    I tried it last week using another recipe for the sweet egg custard I found online. It came out alright. I oversteamed it for 2 mins though. Not bad just not as silky smooth as I would have like it.

  9. 9
    March 11th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    to get very very smooth seamed egg – i mix with luke warm water … i dunno why but thats what my father would always do … say 1 bowl of egg to 2 bowls of luke warm water …

  10. 10
    April 21st, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! You are right the secret is pouring the mixture through the sieve. And I was lazy, I put the egg mixture in my rice cooker when the rice is about done. Came out really silky and smooth. 1st time this successful after 10 tries without recipes.
    Thank you Thank you!

  11. 11
    April 23rd, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    sandrine : How long did you place it in the rice cooker? Care to share it with me and other readers here? πŸ˜€

  12. 12
    April 23rd, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I put the steaming ‘rack’ in the water of the rice before turning on. When the rice cooker click over from ‘cooking’ to ‘keep warm’ immediately I place the egg mixture into rice cooker. Then leave it for about 10 minutes. And to test to if the egg. To check if the egg is cooked, jiggle it, it should shake like a jello.

    I think the trick is as soon as the rice cooker click over you have to put the egg in immediately. I think that’s what my late grandma said.

    Oh yes, using a metal bowl to steam is helpful too.

    Your recipe gave me the right measurements of the egg mixture. Thanks so much!

  13. 13
    April 25th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    sandrine : Clever! Thanks for sharing πŸ˜€

  14. 14
    August 28th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    This looks easy. I’ll try this for my 2 yr old daughter. I love the soft silkiness of steamed egg. πŸ™‚

  15. 15
    December 10th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Your recipes are awesome. It’s a shame that I’m Chinese and don’t know how to make many (actually hardly any) Chinese dishes. But your recipes have inspired me to try making some now!! Thanks.

  16. 16
    December 10th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Jessica : Thanks for your kind words. Hope the recipes will stir you to greater heights in your culinary adventure πŸ˜€

  17. 17
    December 16th, 2009 at 3:40 am

    I’m wondering if the trick to smooth egg custard is to only use eggs at room temperature that have sat for a while after whisking to allow air bubbles to dissipate before steaming. I’ve found that the last couple of times I succeeded was when the eggs I was using were at room temperature–if the eggs were too cold, even the lukewarm water trick didn’t work and I’d get a custard that was about as hard as a fruitcake and full of holes like a Swiss cheese if I didn’t allow the air bubbles to dissipate first! If so, it makes sense because nowadays, most people store eggs in refrigerators while the older generation used to store eggs unrefrigerated.

  18. 18
    June 23rd, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for posting this. I just made it, and it came out beautifully. Even the sides and bottom didn’t get that slightly harder, bubbly layer I’ve grown used to.

    In case it helps anyone: I didn’t warm my eggs or my water ahead of time–straight from fridge and cold (filtered, though I doubt it makes a difference) water from my filtered tap, so warm water and RT eggs probably work really well, but don’t seem to be a necessity. From previous failed tries using other recipes, I would venture to say that the steaming apparatus has to be right for your bowl size, both for safety and for cooking reasons. (I used a medium size Pyrex prep bowl for the egg mixture, and put that on top of one of those steamers that open like a flower, all inside a pot that was wide enough for the steamer and just deep enough to hold everything so I didn’t have to reach way down to get it out. I haven’t yet outfitted my kitchen with all the Asian steamwares.) But I’m not a food scientist, and as long as what I did this time keeps working, I’m not going to keep experimenting. Oh, and I also am too lazy to strain out the clearish/white bits that don’t mix with the water, so they settled to the bottom and were cooked like normal, but I expected them. Every other part of the custard was silky.

    Now if only someone has a microwave version that yields similar results . . .

  19. 19
    August 9th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    your recipe was great!!! I have tried it and it works well with my truffle infused eggs!!
    I love it! thanks for sharing this amazing tip on steaming egg custard!

  20. 20
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    the eggs are super smooth!!! i can never get it right.

  21. 21
    September 10th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Van : Use high heat and allow the lid to be slightly ajar.

  22. 23
    September 6th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for this recipe! It is the best one I’ve found! You’re right, it is really hard to master, and with the help of your recipe, I came very close to getting it perfect. YUM!!!!


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