Silky Chinese Steamed Egg Custard

Silky Chinese Steamed Egg Custard

This classic Chinese custard is simply deceptive to master on the stove, but deceptively simple in the microwave. Eggs and stock form the base of a delicately smooth, savory custard that’s similar in texture to silken tofu. Top with soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions and enjoy over steamed rice or poached seafood. For chawanmushi, the Japanese version, use dashi in place of chicken stock.

All of Anyday’s recipes are tested (and retested!) in many different microwaves and home kitchens to make sure they work — and work well.

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Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.

To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.


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Product Size

  • Small Dish
  • Medium Shallow
  • Large Shallow
  • Medium Deep
  • Large Deep

Prep Time

4 mins

Cook Time

4-5 mins

Free Time

to catch up on a podcast


  • 2 (100g) large eggs
  • cup (150ml) chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • chili crisp or chili oil (optional)


  1. Whisk together eggs, chicken stock, and salt in a separate bowl.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the Anyday dish. This removes thicker bits of egg white and makes the resulting custard silky smooth. Cover with the lid (knob lifted).
  3. Cook in the microwave at Power Level 6

    Certain foods cook best in the microwave at lower power levels. 

    Different microwaves have different settings. See your microwave manual (or look it up online) to learn how to change your microwave’s power level.

    For many microwaves: enter the cook time, press the “Power” (or “Power Level”) button, and select a number between 1-10. Other microwaves may require selecting the Power Level first, and then entering the cook time.

    Microwaves list power levels in different ways. Here’s a guide to help you adjust:

    PL 10 = 100% = High (default)

    PL 9 = 90% = High

    PL 8 = 80% = Med-High

    PL 7 = 70% = Med-High

    PL 6 = 60% = Medium

    PL 5 = 50% = Medium

    PL 4 = 40% = Med-Low

    PL 3 = 30% = Med-Low

    PL 2 = 20% = Low

    PL 1 = 10% = Low

    You will know if the power level has been successfully changed if you hear periodic changes in the microwave’s tone after it begins cooking.

    for 4-5 minutes, or until the custard is barely set in the middle, and jiggles gently if shaken. If it’s too runny, add time at Power Level 6 in 30-second increments. Let rest with the lid on for 1-2 minutes to let the egg gently finish steaming.
  4. Garnish with scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add a spoonful of chili crisp or chili oil for a burst of flavor!

Serving suggestions & tips

  • Adjust the power level by 1 as needed — increase if it’s taking longer than expected, or decrease if the custard is bubbling too much and ends up with a “hole-y” texture.
  • Replace chicken stock with dashi to make this into chawanmushi, packed with umami-rich flavor.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.