Creamy Steamed Egg Soup

This is a sort of hybrid of an omelette, the steamed egg custards which are popular in Asia, and a soup.

It is a good for busy families because:

(a)    it is quick and easy to make;

(b)   it can be eaten at any meal – breakfast, lunch, or dinner; and

(c)    it can satisfy a diversity of tastes, since each family member can choose a personal set of ingredients and cook the meal in his own bowl.


Here’s a sample set of ingredients:  eggs, cream, and bone broth (for a great broth, get bones with as much fat and collagen attached as you can!); scallions, tomatoes, and shrimp.

The volume of the cream and broth should be equal to the volume of the eggs. Water or milk can be substituted for broth if it is unavailable. Other ingredients we frequently use are shiitake mushrooms, onions, smoked gouda or pecorino romano cheese, bell peppers, bacon, meats, and fish. Not shown are herbs and spices to taste.

Start by mixing the eggs, cream, and bone broth:

Pour these into a bowl through a strainer. This breaks the egg white up into tiny pieces, mixing it into the fat and broth and preventing chunks of uncooked protein from appearing in the soup.

Then, mix in the other ingredients and spices to taste:

While you’re doing that, start a little water boiling in a wok:

You’ll need a steaming tray to put in the wok; this elevates the bowls above the boiling water.

If you have a large pot with a steaming basket, that will work equally well. We used the wok because it has a glass cover and we can take pictures as it cooks.

It comes out looking like this:

And here it is served:

You want to cook just long enough – 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the bowl – so that protein is cooked.

We’ve tried cooking this in the microwave, but it doesn’t taste as good: the egg comes out tougher.

Buffet-style family dinners

If not everyone has the same taste in food, set out ingredients buffet-style and let them build their own meal. Here are a few alternative ingredients:

Our wok fits three soup bowls:

This is what the finished product looks like:

Individual bowls take about 5 minutes to cook, one large bowl about 10 minutes.


For complete macronutrients in one meal, potatoes or sweet potatoes with butter or sour cream, or rice with seasoned seaweed, and vegetables such as kimchi can be served alongside. We buy kimchi at an Asian supermarket on weekends and it relieves us from having to make vegetables during the week.


Steamed egg custards are very popular in China, Japan, and Korea, but they are generally made without cream or broth – just eggs, water, and salt. This particular version is our own invention, and we think the bone broth, the cream, and the delicate texture of the steamed egg make a delightful combination.

  1. This looks delish, my two year old son loves eggs and I’ll bet he’d dig this. We can’t do dairy, though; should I just use bone broth or do you have another suggestion for dairy free?

  2. I would think coconut milk would stand in fine for heavy cream given that you’re not relying on the milk protein at all in the recipe.

  3. Would this work with coconut cream instead of cream?

  4. Hi Tiffany,

    You can just use bone broth, or you could try Eric’s suggestion of coconut cream.

    I agree with Robert, coconut milk or cream should work fine. We’ll try it ourselves next time.

    Best, Paul

  5. Interesting.

    Spanish Tortillas would also be a good PHD food. Potato and egg. maybe a little chorizo for flavor and animal fat. Interesting if there is an Asian version of this.

  6. Wow that looks delicious and sooo easy 🙂 !

  7. my mom used to make this.
    sometimes she used more liquid to make a soup.
    her variations:

    1) sauteed green chopped onion (or shallots) + ground pork.

    2) clam

    some vegi may need be sauteed first.

    yes, the variations are endless.

  8. Huge fun! Thanks Paul & Shou-Ching.

    I used chicken, enoki and shitake mushrooms, spring onions, asparagus and chervil, and was glad to use stock and cream with eggs, since that’s what I had in my fridge – genius!

    I steamed them in a large sauté pan with the bowls sitting on Chef’s rings.

    I think I maybe cooked them a little too long since the end result looked a little scrambled and souffléd. The taste was still great, pulling up pieces of chicken and mushroom through the creaminess and the soft egg with just a touch of saltiness.

    This is one I’ll do again … more eggs next time.

  9. Creamy Steamed Egg Soup | Recipes Home - pingback on May 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

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