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Chinese Savory Steamed Egg (Pressure Cooker or Steamer)

May 16, 2017
Chinese Steamed Egg

Chinese steamed egg is one of the most popular comfort foods in all of China. My kids love it. My mom used to add goji, dried scallops, or dried shrimps to enhance the flavors. I grew up with it and found it very tricky to cook even though the ingredients are super simple. Timing and temperature are key to make the custard smooth and silky. No special bowl or equipment needed. A big bowl or a rimmed plate is good enough.

Most important things you need to know before cooking:

  • Use a strainer to filter out the foam of the egg mixture
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, foil or even a flat plate when steaming to prevent the condensation from dropping back onto the egg
  • Experiment with the cooking time depending on the serving size
  • Use low heat for cooking the egg. High heat will make the custard curdle.

Egg to Water Ratio

I’ve tried a 1:1 water to eggs ratio and the texture was not as smooth as a 1.5:1 ratio.  This is down to personal preference. If you want a richer egg flavor, try 1:1.

The Perfect Steamed Egg (Savory Custard)

After cooking, if the surface is wrinkled, that means it’s overcooked. The texture will be significantly different. Shorten cooking time as needed. The steamed egg also shouldn’t be too watery. It could be undercooked, or too much water was added to the egg mixture.

Pressure Cooker vs. Regular Steamer

I love using the electric pressure cooker for anything possible. Why? It’s quick, clean, precise and consistent. Using a regular steamer can be tricky each time if you forget to keep track of cooking time. I just need to set the timer for the pressure cooker and leave it do the rest. The texture and taste are almost identical to a regular steamer. So if you have an electric pressure cooker, I’d recommend using it for this recipe.

Chinese Savory Steamed Egg (Pressure Cooker or Steamer)

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Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 large eggs
  • 175 ml 3/4 cup, warm water, about 80°F / 30°C
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ tsp sesame oil
  • soy sauce to taste
  • scallions for garnish


For the Egg Mixture
  1. Beat the egg with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl until the egg is well beaten.
  2. Heat the water to about 80°F in microwave (about 45 secs) Slowly add the water while stirring the egg in one direction.
  3. Pour the egg mixture through a strainer to remove the foam. It’ll make the egg extra smooth.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or foil. For the pressure cooker, I use foil.
For Regular Steaming
  • In a medium sauce pan, place the bowl on a rack. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit in the steamer for 2-3 minutes.
For Pressure Cooker
  • Add 2 cups of water to pressure cooker. Place the bowl on a rack. Use the “Steam” setting, set the timer for 5 minutes. Once it finishes cooking, let it sit for 7-8 minutes. No need to release the pressure.
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