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Classic Chinese Steamed Egg (Zhengdan, 蒸蛋)

Author: Kathy Yuan | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


  • Mesh sieve (optional)
  • Plastic wrap or foil
  • Steamer


  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup hot water or broth/stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • splash Chinese light soy sauce (Zhongba preferred) to taste
  • drizzle toasted sesame oil (Cuizi preferred) to taste
  • 1 scallion, green head only, thinly sliced
  • zhacai pickled mustard stems as desired
  • pork floss as desired


  • Set up a steamer system with at least 2 inches of water, so the steaming rack is submerged beneath the surface of the water. Bring the pot to a gentle boil so the steamer is ready to go as soon as the eggs are combined.
  • Beat the room-temperature eggs together in a shallow bowl (a ramekin is perfect) with the salt for at least 1 minute. Whisk in the hot water or broth and combine well. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve to remove most bubbles and, finally, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Poke a couple fine holes in to let moisture escape, and place in the steamer. 
    Immediately turn the heat down to a mild simmer and cover the pot with a tight lid. Steam for 8-10 minutes (depending on the shallowness of your bowl), and let stand a couple extra minutes before removing from pot.
    When you can still jiggle the steamed egg but the top portion is barely set, the egg is done. If you aren't sure, just slice into the middle and check that it keeps its shape and only clear liquid comes out.
    Garnish as desired with the soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, zhacai and pork floss and enjoy while hot!


To get the same silky steamed egg texture, simmer on low to avoid bubbles in the egg. A shallower bowl will steam more evenly than a deep one.