Image By Hetty McKinnon, Abstract
In Cantonese, we call this dish ‘water egg’ – egg whisked with water and a dab of salt, then steamed until it becomes a smooth, soft savoury custard. I loved this dish when I was growing up, and I still do. My mother would make it with dried scallops and we devoured it spooned over white rice. I always thought this dish was one of my mother’s easier recipes, but when I tried to make it for myself, I was met with failure, time and again. Where my mother’s steamed water egg was silky and light, mine was puffy and clumpy. Her custard was more baby’s bottom, mine more wrinkly face. When I finally cracked it, the answer was actually in a small-but-mighty detail my mother had mentioned countless times – low heat, slow cooking time. In the end, the quest to perfect this three-ingredient recipe taught me a great deal: the importance of listening, the power of patience and that Mum is always right.
A smooth slippery texture is key to this dish. Using cooled, boiled water is important as this helps it combine with the egg. The water should not be hot at all; it should be warm, similar to tepid tap water…Read More