Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eggs and Snow

It is snowing in Portland. Snowing, It’s-a-White-Christmas, giant, powdery white snowflakes kind of snow. The kind of snow that conjures the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and dreams of skating in Rockefeller Center and drinking hot cocoa afterwards at Serendipity.

After I have imbibed all of the hot chocolate I can possibly handle, it is precisely this kind of day that makes me crave comfort food! One of my favorite comfort dishes is one that Court introduced me to when we were first dating. In fact, I think he pulled it out to make sure I would be powerless to resist him. It is a simple Cantonese dish that transports him right back to his childhood, and for me, provides great satisfaction when I don’t want to make much of an effort for dinner.

Steamed eggs might not sound like the incredibly luxurious dish that it actually is. It is a very simple dish—with only 4-5 ingredients and a short cooking time, but the result is a silken custard of savory eggs topped with scallions and oyster sauce. I am incredibly attached to oyster sauce—it is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. I should warn you that it might take a couple of attempts to find the perfect bowl to cook it in. We like rounded bottom ceramic dishes the best, and use our double boiler as our steamer. It is hard to nail down a cooking time, as it varies so much from dish to dish, so for the first time please stand close by and check every two minutes with a fork. You will know it is set when it is the texture of silken tofu in the middle. Once you have the cooking time down, it might just become one of your go to comfort foods as well.

Let it snow!

Cantonese Style Chinese Steamed Eggs

Serves 2
• 3 eggs
• ¼ cup broth (I use chicken)
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 2-3 drops of toasted sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon canola oil to coat the bowl
• 2-3 scallions, finely minced
First, bring water in double boiler or wok to a rolling boil and be sure to coat the bowl with canola oil.
Whisk the egg with salt, sesame oil and broth in the ceramic bowl.
Place bowl into a steamer or double boiler and cover with lid. (You can make your own steamer by simply adding some water into a wok and raise the bowl above the water by using a small wire rack. If you do this, don’t close the wok lid fully... leave a small gap)
Gently steam for 8-15 min (time varies greatly depending on dish). You should open the lid and check if the egg is cooked by placing a fork in the center to see if it has set. Remember that it should be the texture of silken tofu.
Remove from steamer, drizzle with oyster sauce and sprinkle scallions on top just before serving. Serve with steamed white rice.


jj said...

sounds tasty and cozy! could use some of that today.

blair said...

Quit stealing my snow! Also while I appreciate the mention of serendipity, as a restaurant but I take offense at the idea of the John Cusack movie, which was so bad it cemented in my mind that he was no longer capable of making good decisions and that he is most likely a drunk. As for the dish....what can I say I've never had it. I have however heard somebody raving about it for a few years but maybe she could make it for me next week?

Proustian said...

I've been looking for more excuses to use theselilac colored chopsticks I bought in LA, this sees like it. Teach Blair to make it!

Courtney (the other one)

Juree said...

I will!! I think maybe we should have for Christmas lunch before our crazy feast :

Courtney, so happy that you visited the site!!

Juree said...

Oh-- and Court bought me some adorable chopsticks with owls on them that I have to use next time. I am strangely attached to anything with owls on it!

Gabe said...

That sounds PERFECT for the cold New York winter ahead!

Jill said...

Looks dreamy and I want to know...How do you lucky women out there get a man to cook for you?

Traci said...

Juree -- So I'm curious, how are you liking Portland? You were in New York before, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi Traci,

We were in NYC before, and I would say that for the most part, we are adjusting to Portland pretty well. Though the 2 weeks of snow and ice here started to try my patience after awhile! Your daughter is absolutely adorable!!

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