Steamed egg custard is what I'm partial to eating in times of unease or fatigue. At the end of a trying day, the forgiving dish asks for little — no arduous chopping, stirring or washing. All it takes is a bit of calm whisking, followed by a quiet wait while the dish steams. Yet, for what little work the process requires, it gives much in return: a reassuringly soft, warm meal that feels toasty in the belly and is delicate on digestion. The mild umami flavor and pillowy consistency, while nourishing the body, somehow concurrently pacify the soul. Even the aromatic steam, wafting up toward you as you eat, feels uplifting.
Technique tip: To adjust the serving size up or down, just remember that the ratio of eggs to broth should be 1:2.
Crack eggs into a bowl and beat with a whisk or chopsticks. Add in salt, then pour in broth and mix until well-combined. Pour the egg mixture into a shallow heatproof bowl, the size of which can fit on your steaming rack. (Opt for porcelain or ceramic bowls if possible, as metal can heat up too quickly.) Use a spoon to remove any bubbles from the surface of the liquid.2.
Place a steaming rack inside a cooking pot. Fill the pot with about 1 inch of water. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Place the bowl with the egg mixture onto the steaming rack and cover the bowl with a large plate. (Depending on the size and shape of the bowl, consider resting the plate upside-down, to ensure a fitted seal and no contact between the plate and the egg mixture.) Cover the pot with a lid and let the egg mixture steam for 8 minutes.3.
Turn off the heat and leave the dish, covered, for another 5 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl from the pot. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil, and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds, if desired. Serve while warm with a bowl of rice.