Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home-style Chinese Steamed Egg with Pork (家常蒸雞蛋)

A while back, my aunt and uncle from Toronto came to visit Vancouver with some friends, on their way to an Alaskan cruise. My mother asked if we can prepare a home-cooked meal for them one of the days they were here.

TS and I said yes -- but warned our mother that the meal is most likely going to be a very simple one. That was no problem, apparently, as by the end of their trip, my relatives were starting to suffer from restaurant food fatigue.

One of the surprise hits of that meal was this Home-style Chinese Steamed Egg (家常蒸雞蛋). In the Fujian/Hokkien dialect, called "tim-nung".

Our mother used to prepare steamed egg quite often back in the day, but for some reason, her steamed egg kept changing and changing and it was never the same taste from the first time to the next.

After a spate of inconsistent and unsatisfying steamed egg dishes, unsatisfying to herself, I guess, our mother probably got discouraged because she never made steamed egg again.

Which is a shame, because home-style steamed egg can be one of the most soul-satisfying dishes to eat.

As with home-style dishes, this was dead simple to make.

I started by pan-frying the ground pork. Well, pan-"frying" may not be the best word. Basically, I cooked the ground pork to release some of its liquid. I added the tiniest amount of Shaoxing wine and sesame oil to taste.

The cooked ground pork then goes into the steaming vessel. In the meantime, I beat some eggs, then added some chicken stock, chopped green onions, chopped tree ear mushrooms, and some Shaoxing wine and salt to taste.

If without tree ear mushrooms in the house, simply use shiitake, dried (reconstituted) or fresh.

That whole lot goes into the steaming vessel over the pork.

As per its name, the dish is then steamed until cooked. There's really no way to overcook this. We had some of these salted egg yolks, so I stuck them into the dish for garnish when the eggs were more or less cooked.


Such a homey dish is quite the pick-me-upper after a long day at work. Our cousins and guests at the get-together remarked, on more than one occasion, how eating this dish gave them such a warm, comforting, satisfying feeling.

Some eggy eatingclub dishes
Tarragon-Carrot Deviled Eggs
Golden Egg Torta
Hunanese Stir-fried Eggs with Green Peppers
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish "Omelette")
Piedmont Marinated Eggs
Asparagus and Crab Egg Crêpes
Stir-fried Egg and Tomato
Oyster Torta
Torta with Pork and Kecap Manis
Curried (Easter) Egg Salad
Taiwanese Stewed Eggs (滷蛋) with Stewed Minced Pork (魯肉 or 肉燥)
Longsilog (Longganisa + Sinangag + Itlog)
Torta (Mexican Sandwich)
Mr. Zheng's Soupy Tomatoes and Eggs with Tofu
Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice Meal with Sambal)
Home-style Chinese Steamed Egg with Pork
Golden Shrimp Torta (Philippine Shrimp Omelette)

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Home-style Chinese Steamed Egg with Pork (家常蒸雞蛋)
Serves 8, or more if part of a multi-course meal

This is quite a large size of steamed egg. Feel free to halve the recipe.

3/4 pounds ground pork
Shaoxing wine, to taste
sesame oil, to taste

16 eggs
2 cups chicken stock
6 stalks green onions, chopped
1 cup soaked tree ear mushrooms, chopped
(substitution: chopped reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms, or chopped fresh shiitakes)

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

salted egg yolks, optional

Heat pan/skillet over medium heat. Add ground pork, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil, and cook until the ground pork is cooked through. Let cool and set aside.

In a bowl, beat eggs and mix in chicken stock, green onions, mushrooms, Shaoxing wine and salt. If using, chop salted egg yolks and add into the mixture. You may reserve some for garnish.

In a container safe for steaming, add the ground pork, then pour in the beaten egg mixture. Steam until cooked. If using salted egg yolks as garnish, simply add them when the steamed egg dish is more or less cooked, then steam for a little while longer to heat them through.

Serve with rice. If desired, serve soy sauce, Maggi seasoning, or kecap manis as condiments.


  1. Did you use the new camera for the pictures here? They looked many times more vibrant and they are really sharp too. Nice!

  2. Wow, that looks absolutely delightful! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I had no idea what this dish was going to be looking at the picture but after hearing your description of it I think I have to try it.

  4. My mommy once told me that if you leave the lid on the steam pot slightly open when steaming, the egg comes out smoother (ie. without the little holes or air bubbles). Though I've never personally tried steaming eggs, maybe you can give the trick a try. You know how my mother tends to be right about these things..

  5. This is one of my favourite home style meals! It always reminds me of childhood meals :)

  6. this is one of my favourite home style dishes! I love mine with salted egg yolks for sure! I'll try out your version soon :)

  7. Oh yes!! this is the stuff I grew up on. So glad I stumbled across your site. I completely forgot how to cook some of the food mum used to make - and you know most of these dishes just aren't in cook books. YAY THANK YOU! :) Off to search for "Muah Ew Kway" (Sesame Oil Chicken) haha!

  8. Ben and Suanne:
    Nope, old camera. =)

    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen:
    Thank you!

    I guess it's a very light (as in, not tight) "frittata", if one is forced to make a comparison.

    Yeah, rough around the edges. ;) Actually too-smooth ones freak me out a little!

    OK, I'll try that... though I doubt mine will be really smooth. I'm too lazy, as you know. I guess it'll be smooth-ER then the current incarnation. Although, I don't really mind the bubbles and such here. (Now, bubbles in flan or creme caramel is a different story.)

    Tastes of Home:
    Happy to remind you of your childhood. =)

    Glad to help! We have a "Three Cup Chicken" post here... not quite Sesame Oil Chicken, but sesame oil-y nonetheless.=)


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