Steamed pork and egg

This is a dish my mom used to make when I was a little kid. She’d make it in a big glass bowl shaped like cabbage leaves and use two or three eggs. She’d use salted duck egg, not ordinary chicken egg. I’ve looked and looked for raw salted duck egg in the US, but I haven’t found any. Maybe it’s illegal?

We don’t have any stockpots with steamer inserts, so we use those trite bamboo steamers you can find in most Asian grocery stores (or Chinatowns). Due to their limited depth, we steam in small bowls which can only handle a little bit of meat and barely one egg.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Mix ground pork with some seasoning, aromatics and alcohol. For seasoning, we use a standard Asian mix of salt, pepper, and a dash of soy sauce. For the aromatics we use finely chopped scallions and grated ginger. Occasionally we put in sesame oil, but it’s really strong and sometimes I can’t handle it. For alcohol, we use cooking wine or mirin (or a combination of both). For this dish, I’m generous with the mirin but conservative with the cooking wine.

  2. For a different texture (less meat-like and more sponge-like), add a starch like corn starch, flour, or bread crumbs. Depending on my mood, I’ll put in something like a tablespoon of corn starch.

  3. Put the meat mix into your steaming vessel (in our case the bowl) and dig a little well for an egg. Crack an egg into the well you made, and sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper over it.

    Right before it goes into the steamer

  4. Steam for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Keep in mind that the last part to cook will be the middle, which is where the egg is (in our case). Adjust the cooking time, then, based on how runny you like your egg. Garnish with parsley if you feel like it.

Right after it comes out of the steamer

It hasn’t happened to me before, and I don’t know why, but a lot of fat separated from the meat during the steaming process. It didn’t bother us: we just saved the lard to use in cooking later. It made a delicate and tasty seasoned oil.

Update: Added the bit about aromatics, corn starch and the egg cooking last. I made it again just a couple of days after posting and realized I forgot those details the first time.

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