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Monday, September 13, 2010

Steamed Egg Custard With Minced Meat Sauce- 肉燥蒸水蛋

Steamed Egg 3

Steamed Egg 6

Cucumber 3

Those who had caught my earlier post on Braised Mince Meat Sauce may remember how proud and pleased I had been over the dish. It was definitely the most versatile dish I have made thus far and it tasted amazing! Encouraged by the success over the dish, I went on to make a second batch of the meat sauce a few days after I published my post. This time, I had made a bigger batch,separated them into 5 smaller portions and kept them frozen in the chiller. As a result of that convenient arrangement, I get to cheat a little for today's post and prepare dinner in less than 15mins...

Steamed egg custard is a dish I remember my mother cooking very regularly during my younger days. She would normally steam it plain and serve it with soya sauce drizzled over the top. Other times, she would also steam it together with minced pork which is another tasty dish by itself.  My mother by any standard is not considered a good cook - possibly because she has no one to coach her in the kitchen. My grandmother, I was told, passed away when my mother was still very young. I vaguely remember my father telling me that when they first got married, my mother was rather ignorant about the ways around the kitchen. Hence, I have to admit that her steamed egg custard is hardly a winner, by general standard. Very often, they were overcooked and tasted somewhat bland but whatever it was, we still liked them as kids. Hence very very much later, when I had my first Chawan Mushi (Japanese steamed egg custard) in a Japanese restaurant, I was really blown away by the smooth silken, wobbly texture of the egg custard. Till this day, I still order the Chawan Mushi every time when I dine in a Japanese restaurant.

Compared to my mother, I am much more lucky - today, there are many more ways than ever to access cooking tips and recipes. The countless cooking programs on TV, the wide selection of cookbooks available in bookshops, the comprehensive as well as fancy cooking classes and last but not least, the avalanche of food blogs out there that makes you feel like you are surrounded by a gargantuan team of  cooking mothers, grandmothers, and peers guiding you to become a better cook, literally, everyday. Everybody now, can potentially cook a good meal, it is just a matter of whether you are bothered enough to do it.

I am not sure if my mother knew that there is a Golden Rule for steaming egg custard. I first learnt about this golden ratio over a TV cooking program when I was working in Guangzhou,China many years ago. The magic numbers stipulated by the Golden Rule is 1,3,7. One can of Swanson's Chicken stock (about 400ml), 3 eggs and 7mins steaming. This ratio has never failed me since. Recipes may vary a little with more or less liquid or eggs depending on how firm you prefer the custard to be. Chinese steamed egg custard tends to have a firmer texture while the Japanese Chawan Mushi is more tender.
After getting the right mixing ratio, the next challenge would be to master the intensity of the heat to ensure a silken smooth finish. Overly strong heating yields 'pock marks' on the surface of the custard. I normally steam my egg by leaving the lid of the steamer slightly ajar.

IMG_3859

For today's variation, I had spooned some Braised Minced Meat Sauce over the steaming custard when the surface has set. I can't describe the sense of satisfaction I felt when I removed the cover of the steamer to reveal a silken smooth custard that reminds me of the soft, spotless complexion of a chubby baby....

Cucumber 2
I had also prepared a simple side dish which is made up of shredded iced cool cucumber topped with the Braised Minced Meat Sauce.
Steamed Egg 250-100

Recipe :

Egg Custard
Seasoning
Salt                       1/4 tsp
Chinese Wine        1 tbsp
Pepper                   Dash

Egg                        3
Chicken Stock       400ml

Braised Mince Meat Sauce (Recipe Here)

Method:
1. Boil water in a pot. Break eggs into a bowl and lightly beat with a fork, carefully not not create too much bubbles.
2. Add seasonings to the beaten egg. Stir well to incorporate.
3. Add chicken stock and stir well to incorporate.
4. Using a filter, pour the egg solution into bowls.
5. Steam over high heat for 30s, reduce heat to medium and continue to steam for 5mins.
6. Spoon Minced meat sauce over the set custard in the steamer and continue to steam for another 2 mins.
7. Serve immediately while hot.

42 comments:

zurin said...

Its so nice to see such a light lovely dish after all the rich food and sweet cookies and cakes after Raya. Finally ive some time in between a while to check whats going on on blogworld. silky custard is tricky but I suppose slow and gentle heating always works. You made it to perfection!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

I love the mince meat, looks so inviting and match with te silky smooth look alike steamed egg, definitely delicious!

[SK] said...

wow, looks yummy!! i watched a show on TV yesterday, the chef have prawns and scallop on the steamed egg base instead, that's very gorgeous~~ :)

Passionate About Baking said...

Shirley,
Thanks for your steam egg guidelines of 1:3:7. Your steam egg custard looks so silky smooth. And topped with your mince meat. It is so yummy! Your mince meat with shredded cucumber truly reminds me of the Zha Jiang Mian minced meat workshop that I attended. Feels like making it and eating it now...Yummy!

edith said...

You done an awesome job on the steaming. Perfect score for you.

Joanne said...

A savory egg custard? Hmmm I've never heard of this before! But honestly that just makes me all the more intrigued. I must try it! From the way you describe it, it sounds perfect with the meat. A nice balance of textures and flavors.

Allie said...

Wow shirley, this looks very very delicious! I love Japanese chawanmushi too...it's lovely silky texture is just a dream for the palate.

I'm really tempted to make this when I get home. Your cooking skills are so lovely!

Kitchen Corner said...

This steam egg topped with the braise mince meat make the whole dish so delicious! I will try out the braise mince meat for my tofu. Thanks for sharing!

MaryMoh said...

Ooooh...this looks very delicious. My children like this very much. I have to cook, too. Thanks for reminding.

Fuat Gencal said...

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Saygılarımla

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

I love steamed egg and I love this variation with meat sauce on top.
Yummy!!

thecoffeesnob said...

Ooh this just screams comfort food to me!

Anyway the 1-3-7 rule's new to me, thanks for sharing it! A tip I've picked up for steaming egg custard's to cover the dish you're steaming the eggs in with aluminum foil to get perfectly smooth top each time :)

3 hungry tummies said...

I can imagine how well this dish works. Will try the next time I have leftover minced sauce.

Rabbittrick said...

mom's cooking always have that secret ingredient (as my friends like to say, and I won't vocally admit in public - love!).

my mom's cooking isn't top notch either but i love the smell of it wafting through the door when i'm coming home.

thanks for the tip on the egg custard! i always made mine (albeit unimaginatively) with water, shao xing and soy mixed into beaten eggs. that glistening braised meat looks too droolworthy, man, too cool. =)

Beau Lotus said...

Beautiful...mine always get pockmarked because I couldn't remember whether to leave the lid open or not LOL

Anyway, my mum couldn't cook either because her mum died when she was quite young too. But she got by with the basic stuff and she used to make us steamed egg with minced meat and salted fish too.

I will have to remember to leave the lid ajar the next time- but bet I'll get mixed up again.

busygran said...

I like your egg and meat dish! Goes well with a bowl of steaming hot rice!

shel said...

This looks very scrummy! In a way reminds me of a local South African dish we make called Bobotie. You can find it on my blog.
Thanks for the inspiration
Shel

ICook4Fun said...

I love steam eggs but never try this version with meat on top before. This is such a nice change from my usual steam eggs. Thanks for sharing it.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Shirley, your steam egg custard looks silky soft! And that yummy meat sauce over it just makes it Will note down all the tips and try it out...thanks!

Angie's Recipes said...

I like this flaw-free steamed eggs...so smooth and soft.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Isn't it funny! I often wonder how much longer it would have taken to access information before the internet! :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Thanks for the great tips! I've tried making steamed egg custard a few times and it was all holey 8). It's such a great comfort food that instantly reminds me of childhood.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

your minced meat sauce looks so yummy! I've never heard of the ratio too, but that's a great tip, thanks! I agree to that control of the heat is very important for smooth egg custard..

Anonymous said...

This is such an interesting combination of flavors and texture! I guess I should try it sometimes!

Thanks for posting!

Anncoo said...

Mmm...I love this silky smooth steamed eggs with that braised meat sauce on top. Looks so delicious!

mysimplefood said...

I love steamed eggs and yours looks so beautiful, so smooth. I can never get mine right. Thanks for the tip!!

pigpigscorner said...

Your steam egg looks perfect! I like how you served it with minced meat!

Morgan D. said...

I cannot wait to make this! I have a quick question, though. You mention the ratio as 1:3:7, but the ingredients list with the recipe only calls for 2 eggs? Which should i use?

Anh said...

oh my. the egg custard looks so smooth ! :)

tigerfish said...

I made steamed egg a while back...just love it. But do you find the some egg bits/remnants "sticking" to the bowl after the whole dish is almost gone? ;p

Indie.Tea said...

The egg custard sounds amazing. I dont think I've had a savory custard. Bookmarking...

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Morgan,my apologies! That was a typo! I have it fixed now. Good catch!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

I love steamed egg custard but never thought of topping it with minced. Must try your recipe.

Dana from One Haute Plate said...

Savory, silky, exotic. I'll file this away for one of these cool fall nights we're starting to have!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Shirley, thanks for sharing the golden ratio. It's been SO LONG since I last made 蒸水蛋. You reminded how "painful" my route was to achieve that silken smooth surface and texture of successful 蒸水蛋. That was in the States. =)

Lovely story on your mom, too. And, I've gotta agree there are so many of us out there who CAN be good cooks and bakers. It's REALLY just a matter of whether one wants to do it or not. Actions and determination speak louder than words and dreaming.

Mei Teng said...

I love almost all types of egg dishes. Steamed egg with century eggs is also one of my all time favourites.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Your steam egg custard looks so smooth, love the idea to top up with minced meat, simply sound yummy!

Serena said...

Hi, I am a silent follower of your blog. As I notice that you are a frequent traveller, could you pls highlight me where to eat in Tokyo (cakes, bread) as I am going there end Sept.

I am also planning to go to India early Dec...pls. email some tips of where to eat and shop in these two country.

Thanks in advance.
serena

Von said...

I've never heard of the 1,3,7 rule before =O haha.....
My mum usually makes egg custard with Swanson's chicken stock too! It's so yummy =) I used to mash it up and mix it with my rice.....I've never made it myself but I really should since I like it so much =D
I've always had it plain though- but this braised minced meat sauce looks heavenly!! Hmmmmm.....must try this one day!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Serena, I can't seem to access your profile. Can you drop me an email?

Serena said...

Thanks for yr quick response.
My email: serena_wu04@yahoo.com

Trissa said...

Shirley - I must have missed this post but luckily I found it while browsing your blog. I'd love to make this one day - I can imagine such a wonderful combination of textures between the mince and the custard.

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