Steamed egg: A staple side dish in Asian cuisine

photo of chawan-mushi dish
Brücke-Osteuropa/Creative Commons

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Warm, smooth and savory, steamed egg is a popular side dish in many Asian countries such as Japan (referred to as chawanmushi), Korea (gyeranjjim) and China (zheng dan). Although it may look complicated, it’s actually a simple dish and can be made by a beginner. Moreover, the dish is versatile and can be easily tailored based on one’s own preferences. Here’s how you can make it in no time! 


Serving Size: 2

Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 clams (optional)
  • 3 shrimps  (optional)
  • 1 imitation crab (optional)
  • Scallions as garnish (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they are smooth before adding in your choice of stock or water.
  2. Add some salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Next, strain the egg mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to get rid of any air bubbles.
  4. Steam the mixture in a water bath for 10 minutes, before adding in the optional clams, shrimps, and imitation crab.
  5. Re-steam the mixture again for 5 minutes and let it rest for another 5 minutes to make sure the mixture is completely cooked through. If it still looks watery, cook for an additional 3 minutes. 
  6. Garnish with scallions and enjoy!

There you have it, a savory, creamy side dish! To be able to truly savor the flavors of this dish, try to eat it with plain tasting food as you do not want the sweetness and creaminess of the egg to be overpowered. So what are you waiting for? Grab a warm bowl of rice and snuggle in with some steamed egg.

Contact Erica Jean at [email protected].