We tried making silky Chinese steamed eggs as effortlessly as artist Nicole Coson
The first try was a mess but we did it eventually—with flying colors
Jun 25, 2020
By this point, you might have realized just how much we love eggs at Comfort Kitchen, starting with the Chinese eggs and tomato stir-fry and then a recipe for the perfect fried egg. But you know what we love most? A sophisticated recipe prepared using the humblest ingredients like, well, eggs.
“You don’t need a whole lot of ingredients to make a nice meal,” says artist Nicole Coson who made Chinese steamed eggs for us earlier this month. She compared it to chawanmushi, the Japanese egg custard dish but way easier and requires way fewer ingredients, five to be exact (six if you count in the hot and cold water for mixing): eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and scallions.
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Artist @nicolecoson gives us a lesson in Physics—okay fine, measuring volume—with her Chinese steamed eggs recipe ft. her dog Frankie. “It’s kind of like a Japanese version chawanmushi but way easier and requires way less ingredients.” Oh, and precision is key. Nolisoli Comfort Kitchen comes out Monday and Thursday nights on our IGTV. #NSComfortKitchen #nolisoliph #eggs #steamedeggs #chinesecooking #chinesesteamedeggs #recipe #asiancuisine #ovovegetarian
It’s impossibly silky and smooth to the bite like a savory flan, too, thanks to Nicole’s patient and repetitive removal of the “bubblage,” which formed from whisking the eggs.
So we thought, “You know what, anyone can do this. Let’s do it.” And we did.
The tricky part here is mixing the egg mixture with half cold water and half just boiled water. As you know, eggs cook fast so it’s important that you combine these liquids with different temperatures first before adding it in, otherwise, you risk turning it into egg drop soup. And the water must have the same volume as the eggs. We told you, Math.
We got past that part without a fuss. We then had to remove the bubbles. Twice. Easy. Now, we thought everything was fine but we didn’t take into account that our choice of container to steam the mixture in mattered, too.
Trying to avoid using cling wrap, we used an air-tight container to reduce the steam that can make a dent on our smooth mixture once cooked. That was our first mistake. The second one was that our makeshift steamer was not sealed so some steam inevitably escaped. After 10 minutes (we enlisted the help of a virtual assistant to keep time, too, as Nicole did), excited as we were for dinner, it ended up as a warm, liquid egg mixture with some curds. (No, we didn’t take a photo of that so you experience Schadenfreude aka laugh at our failure).
That was a fail. Frustrated, we ended up making this bonito flakes sandwich recipe for dinner instead.
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“I’ve Frankensteined this recipe two nights ago after a failed attempt at a recipe that was supposed to be dinner,” says our associate editor @christianjsanjose. A sandwich with whatever he managed to find in his pantry—mostly Japanese condiments like Kewpie mayo, togarashi and bonito flakes. “It’s like a tuna sandwich but since we’ve done that already, I added cucumber slices for a crunch but also because that’s the only fresh ingredient I can find in my fridge. Celery would have been a great addition.” #nolisoliph
But we were not discouraged, okay? After a few weeks and after digging up a proper steamer from our parent’s kitchen, we finally managed to replicate this Chinese steamed egg recipe with relative ease like Nicole. Although, we suspect her Carl Jan Cruz tank top had something to do with it.
This time, we played it safe and chose a tried and tested container: a leche flan llanera. (Again, no photo because we were too eager to enjoy the fruit of our labor. Also because by the time we finished, we were really starving for breakfast. You’ll just have to trust that we did it).
And this time we can tell you with confidence that no soy-scallion sauce went to waste. We didn’t create a new recipe either as a backup, which is kind of sad, but at least we can finally relate to Nicole when she described the “perfect bite” with the right proportion of rice to seasoned steamed eggs. God this woman really loves Math!
Nolisoli Comfort Kitchen comes out Monday and Thursday nights on our IGTV.
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