Steamed Eggs

This is a very child-friendly comfort food (and a good source of protein for the ovo-vegetarians). It makes a splendid savory breakfast item as well as part of a homey dinner or protein-rich afternoon snack. The Mandarin word for it, jidan geng, was one of my daughter’s earliest words: after she awoke from her afternoon nap and in preparation for her pigeon-chasing ritual in the sub-zero Chicago park next door, she would demand it vociferously from her babysitters, who were always happy to oblige.

4 ea large eggs (I urge you to use organic, pastured eggs if you can find them – you’ll never look back!)

1/2 c water (you can play with this amount depending on the texture you like – up to 6 oz per egg will work; less water = more custardlike, more water = fluffier)
1 pinch salt
1&1/2 tsp light soy sauce (or more to taste)
1 tsp sesame oil

Whisk the eggs with the water until smooth – there should be no whites still in blobs.
Pour into 4 individual heatproof bowls or into 1 large heatproof bowl.
Steam over medium heat until set: 6-8 m for individual bowls, 10-15 m for large bowl.
If it is still wet in the center, it will jiggle a lot – check on it in 1 m increments after that.
If it puffs up, TAKE IT OUT, as it is just about to overcook (in which case you’ll have egg curds in a lot of watery liquid – still edible, but not as pleasant a mouthfeel!)
Drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil, and serve it forth!

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