Steamed Savoury Custard

Comfort food par excellence. In this most satisfying dish, eggs are beaten with stock or water, and the result is a savoury delicacy. The custard is smooth as silk, with just the right body and texture. A more substantial dish can be made with the addition of minced pork to the custard.

Such quickly made home-cooked dishes were ideal for busy Chinese-American mothers like mine, who had to work and then come home to prepare meals for hungry family members. This one is whipped together in literally minutes.


  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ยผ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) Chinese Chicken Stock or store-bought fresh stock
  • Groundnut or vegetable oil, to coat bowl
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions, to garnish


Mix together thoroughly the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, salt, eggs and chicken stock.

Rub a heatproof shallow bowl with groundnut oil or vegetable oil, then pour in the beaten egg mixture.

Next, set up a steamer, or put a rack into a wok or deep pan, and fill it with 5 cm (2 in) of water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Carefully lower the bowl into the steamer or onto the rack. Turn the heat to low and cover the wok or pan tightly. Steam gently for 15 minutes, or until the custard has set.

Remove the custard and drizzle oyster sauce over the top. Scatter the spring onions all over and serve at once with rice.