Comfort Food 1

Posted on April 21, 2005 by Aun

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Okay, it’s not the world’s greatest photo or the world’s prettiest dish, but this is my all-time favourite stay-in-and-have-a-simple-meal-at-home food. It’s a steamed egg custard with minced pork and salted duck egg yolks and is one of the few things that I’d be more than happy to eat a couple times of week for the rest of my life.

I grew up eating this, thanks to a Cantonese “amah” that cooked phenomenally well. My mother, of course, makes a killer version. And, more recently, my wife has mastered it. (I should admit that while it is in fact a relatively easy dish to prepare, I’ve only made it myself a few times. My wife is much better at preparing Chinese food than I am—Europhile that I am—and this dish has become a solid part of her vast repertoire.)

To make this dish (for two), you’ll need:

150g minced pork
3 eggs
400ml chicken stock
2 salted duck eggs
1/2 onion or some shallots
2 cloves of garlic

You’ll also need on hand for flavouring some light soy sauce, sugar, Chinese wine, and sesame oil. Spring onions are a nice addition as well.

Prepare necessary equipment for steaming. Ideally a large wok with a steamer attachment. Get the steam going over a high heat. Marinate your pork with a bit of soy sauce, Chinese wine and sesame oil. Finely dice up your onion and garlic and stir-fry it with the minced pork. Add a pinch of sugar to taste. You should decide how much you want to add. The pork should be savoury with a subtle sweetness. Spread the pork mixture into a heatproof bowl. Wash your salted duck eggs, and crack them open. You only want to keep the semi-hard yolks. Nestle these in the pork mixture, either whole or broken up in bits. Beat the eggs with a pair of chopsticks. Combine it with the stock. Add a pinch of salt to taste. When the mixture is well blended, strain it into the bowl with the pork and duck egg yolks. Steam the bowl over high heat for 5-10 minutes, then reduce to a low-medium flame/heat and steam for an additional 15-20 minutes. The custard should be wobbly and set, but not hard. Sprinkle some soy sauce and sesame oil over the finished custard as well as some chopped spring onions. Eat it with rice.

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When done right, the silky smooth custard mixed with the savouriness of the pork and the salted egg yolks forms an unbelievably delicious combination. It is, as I mentioned, a simple dish. The whole process, though, does take a bit of practice, especially calculating just the right timing for how set you want your custard. (Of course, figuring out steaming temperatures on your own kitchen range can be tricky for some.) Ideally, the best way to make this is to do what I’ve done. Convince a loved one to learn how to make it for you.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. cha xiu bao April 26, 2005 at 6:32 pm

    It may not be the prettiest photo of the world, but the egg custard with the scallions on surely looks damn sexy to me! I can just close my eyes and imagine I’m eating one made by my mom… I guess I can k/o at least 3 bowls of rice with this.

    thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Karen Ong October 13, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    This is one of my hubby’s fav dishes from his childhood days (his granny used to make it!) and as a surprise for dinner last night (to cheer him up due to a little traffic accident he had gotten into during lunch time), i rushed back home and whipped up a simple “comforting” dinner using your recipe !

    Just a short note to say that I am sooo addicted to your posts ever since my friend fwd the link to me. I’ve been hosting dinner parties (albeit on a more casual and smaller scale than yours) since my uni days in the UK, and have been dying to do so after starting work back here in Singapore.
    Lucky for me, I’ve had very supportive and food-loving parents (and of course the family maid to help clean up). Now that I’ve married and moved out, i try to keep my cooking (esp with the oil and frying) minimal and fuss free, so your type of cooking really appeals to hubs and me !

  3. kinu January 9, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Hi Chubby Hubby!

    A Happy Wonderful Year to you!

    Oh, how I love this dish!!! I also grew up with this lovely, yellow, eggy thingy! And yes, I can eat it every day, for weeks and weeks. Though I don’t make this as good as my Apoh. Hence have been quite distant to jing-sui-dan. Thanks for reminding me. I will make it tomorrow :)

  4. Adeline July 3, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    could i just ask how long (and at what temp) you would steam it at if you were using a Miele steamer?

  5. S July 4, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Adeline, I have been parted from my steamer for a couple of months due to our move, so I cannot speak with any certainty. Try 85 degrees for 15-20 minutes (we like our custard wobbly). Much also depends on the size of the dish you are using. But I hope this general guideline helps!

  6. Adeline July 5, 2008 at 10:00 am

    many thanks!

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