I am a very big lover of eggs. I think there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t have at least one at some point. They’re wondrous.
I once had a trainer look at me like I’d sprouted a second head when I told him that I ate whole eggs. It was during the time when egg yolk was seen as a “cholesterol bomb”. It was believed that eating egg yolk would doom us to heart disease, strokes and other cholesterol related illness. As more studies have been undertaken however, the myth of the evils of egg yolk have been disprove as we’ve learned that in fact eggs raise levels of beneficial cholesterol, and can actually help to fight against cardiovascular disease. It’s also been discovered that many of the vital vitamins and minerals in eggs are of the fat soluble variety, meaning that your body can’t absorb them without the presence of fat, which eggs provide naturally along with the vitamins that need it. If you think about it, the soul purpose of eggs is to grow life, so it makes absolute sense that they would be perfectly balanced and designed to provide a huge amount of what we need, in a readily available form.
Another area of research about eggs which is of particular interest to me, is that they are among the top foods to eat to promote mental health, and to help with depression and anxiety. There seem to be a few ways that eggs achieve this. First of all there is a link between low cholesterol and depression. While too much blood cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular problems, equally cholesterol deficiency has been found to lead to a much higher prevalence of depressive symptoms. Secondly, eggs are an amazing source of choline, a part of the B-vitamin family of which most of us tend to be deficient. Choline has a huge amount of impressive benefits including helping to prevent fat from being deposited along our artery walls, and helping to improve liver function, but most impressively to me are its abilities to aid in healthy neurotransmitter function, helping with neurological disorders, mental health and cognitive function in general. A true super food if you ask me.
Alright, that’s the science-y bit of why you should eat eggs, but how about the sheer loveliness of them. I’m afraid that for this girl choking back half a dozen bland egg whites is just not in the picture. Whole eggs are magnificent scrambled, boiled, poached, baked, in omelette, quiche, and fried (or as we say, “flat eggs”,my little sister used to call them this when she was tiny and it stuck). I love them pretty much anyway they come, and thought that I was pretty familiar with all of the wonderful ways of eating them…until I came across steamed eggs.
Steamed eggs? Why would you steam an egg? Because it turns out that when you steam them they become beautifully silky, smooth and light, a similar texture to silken tofu. They’re wonderful.
I discovered that this method of preparing eggs is a very common means of preparation, and in fact a favourite dish in China and Korea. The methods vary a little from simple steamed eggs traditionally served with a sprinkling of spring onions, to versions made with stock in place of water, to a sweetened version made with milk, very similar to a set custard, and served as dessert.
I decided for my first attempt to go with simple steamed eggs, and the method is very simple. You need to beat the egg for a few minutes, gently stir in some water and a pinch of salt, pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a small heatproof bowl or ramekin (Passing it through a sieve removes the membrane from the egg, giving it it’s smooth texture. The finer the sieve the smoother the finished product. I passed mine through a muslin lined wire sieve and it worked perfectly!), cover with a bit of tin foil before placing the ramekin in the top of a steamer,cover and leave it to steam for about 10 minutes or until the egg is cooked with a bit of wobble in the middle.
I topped mine with snipped chives as I didn’t have any spring onions. It was beautiful and was simple enough that it worked perfectly on my first attempt!
This dish will most certainly join the ranks of my commonly cooked recipes. Next will be to try the sweet version!
Steamed eggs, where have you been all my life?
- 1 eggs
- 80 mL water
- Pich of salt
- Chopped spring onion or chives to serve
- In a small bowl or jug whisk the eggs well for a few minutes until uniform in colour and texture.
- Gently stir in the water and a pinch of salt. Being gentle with it at this stage helps to prevent bubbles from forming giving it a smoother texture in the end.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a ramekin and cover with a piece of foil.
- Fill the bottom of a steamer with an inch or two of water and bring it to the boil.
- Set the covered ramekin in the top of the steamer, put the lid on and leave it for about 8 minutes. Gently lift the foil to check if the eggs are set but with a slight wobble in the middle. Cover and leave to cook longer if needed.
- When they’re ready, remove them from the heat, sprinkle on the spring onions or chives and serve warm.