May 112011

from left : chicken eggs, century egg, salted duck egg


Didn’t realize i have so many photos for this entry!

To be honest, this dish is a little new to me. I’ve never had this all my life till recently. However, if you are talking about steamed water egg — 蒸水蛋 — then it’s entirely different story altogether. That my friends, was my childhood food. In fact, it was one of my favourite dishes by my dear mother. And today, it has became my boys’ favourite too (it’s not hard to love this egg dish!).

So where did i learn of this Three Emperor Egg dish?

Not restaurants or online for sure. I actually tried googling but lo and behold, there’s almost zero information available for this egg dish on the internet! Almost unbelievable actually if you were to ask me. I mean, internet supposed to have everything right? No?

Anyway, i remember reading it long, long time ago in the newspaper, a recipe posted by a reader but that was it. It was only recently when i was served this unforgettable spinach with 3 eggs combo dish at a Chinese restaurant and seeing how much i enjoyed it, then i made it a point to try this dish out, based on my mom’s 蒸水蛋 recipe.

i love mine silky and creamy, just like this! BEST!

Three Emperor Egg

(based on my mom’s steamed water egg recipe)

4 eggs, using CP Chilled Eggs*
1 salted duck egg (dice the yolk, save the egg white)
1 century egg, roughly diced
12 x half egg shell water/stock**
1/2 tsp salt, to taste

Left (clockwise) : century egg, chicken egg (beaten), diced century egg and salted duck egg yolk, salted duck egg


1. Beat eggs, salted egg white and water together till well.
2. Stir in diced salted egg yolk and century egg.
3. Add salt.
4. Steam egg over low heat (and i mean really low) in a boiling wok/pot for just 10 minutes or till the surface hardens. But if it’s wobbly, it’s perfectly fine too. However that really depends on personal preference though.
5. Serve immediately.

Optional : feel free to garnish the dish with fried shallots or pepper or soy sauce or sesame oil. for me, i like mine unadulterated. ;)


This is how i usually serve this dish actually. Steaming in bowls is a little tougher. It gets cooked too quickly!

Verdict : I love this egg dish very, very much. But if you are anything like my boys, who dislike the foul smelling century egg, then you may not like it that much. If that’s the case, skip the century egg! And there is no need to alter anything else in the recipe.

Do give this a try!

A couple of Q & As

  • So why do i use the egg shell to measure the water?

It’s because eggs’ sizes vary so, using its own shell is the best way to measure the water that is needed to make the custard smooth.

  • Do i strain my eggs to remove bubbles?

Nope. That’s why you could see some bubbles forming at the side. But you could if you want to.

  • What’s the secret to silky smooth custard?

The heat. Hence, like i mentioned, use very low heat to steam.

Last but not least, never let the base of your bowl/plate to touch the boiling water during steaming!

All the best to those who would be trying. :)


A little about CP Chilled Eggs

CP Foods solves the problem of cracking up stale eggs with the latest CP Chilled Fresh Eggs. Using innovative technology, the CP Chilled Fresh Eggs are sanitised, oiled and chilled within one hour of being laid to ensure that the supreme freshness from the farms is sealed and kept within the eggs until they hit the cooking pan. The large size eggs contain lesser cholesterol than ordinary eggs, and have a lifespan of up to 90 days!

From December 2010, the CP Chilled Fresh Eggs is available at all Cold Storage, NTUC Finest, Meidiya and Carrefour.

Thank you, Jacqualine from Vibes Communication for the CP Chilled Eggs.

  46 Responses to “Three Emperor Egg (Steamed Water Egg)”

  1. One of my favorite childhood dishes that my mum cooked a lot. Without the lot, just plain water egg, sometimes with minced pork.

  2. hi!
    i came across ur onde-onde post. would like to ask u how do u ensure that the gula melaka are all melted. cus mine still contain chunks of gula melaka when they are done :(. Thanks!

  3. i ate it a lot in my undergrad time! My Chinese flatmate made it all the time :)

  4. i have not had this for a long long time!

    mum used to make it!

  5. I have seen the three egg combo with some veges but never steamed all together. I think I will like this. Thanks for the recipe Sherie!

  6. ellie : yes, that too! with minced pork.

    wen : hello! you have to make sure your gula melaka is finely chopped with no big chunks. hths!

    anh : don’t you just love it? so simple but so satisfying!

    keropokman : very easy to execute this at home. pass the recipe to J! like tonight! oh wait, no kitchen hor.. :(

    pickyin : u are most welcome, my dear :)

  7. Looks yummy babe!! This is always good with rice or on its own! I love the yellow plate! Where can I get it?

  8. I love egg dish! And this one is so beautiful. To get a smooth steamed egg will be tricky though, I think :)

  9. Looks like I may have to pass on the century eggs in this one. I tried them for the first time in China last year and found the flavour way too pungent, I spat the sucker out. Not for me. Perhaps I can replace it with some blood sausage! ;)

  10. I think I had something similar for yumcha once, would you say this is a Chinese Dish?

  11. Oh boy, this is my favourite kind of steamed egg. Yours look silky smooth and yummy. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you’re having a lovely day.

  12. I actually learnt to make this in high school! I cook this a lot as its so simple and yumy with rice!

  13. Thank you for the post I learned a lot.

  14. Steam eggs are my girlfriend’s favorite dish, maybe I should make this for her..

  15. The plain steamed egg dish is what my mom would cook when there aren’t enough eggs to go around!:D Simple and delicious! Will try this when my boys are around:D

  16. Looks so perfect! So silky velvety and smooth!

  17. mycookinghut : bingo! now, i love eating it on its own! i got the plate from one of the kitchenware shops in OUG, KL :)

    Lia : it’s the fire that u have to control.. all the way. then for sure, u’ll get silky smooth egg custard!

    john : ROTFL! u ah! :P

    elle : yes, definitely yes. from the history, it was served back in those ancient days where Emperor still rules.

    kristy : my pleasure. u have a wonderful day too!

    pigpigscorner : high school! Wow!

    kitchenvoyage : u are most welcome :)

    jacob : do give it a try!

  18. jeannie : let me know how it goes ok? :))

    tigerfish : awww.. thank you!

  19. I make chawamushi this way too! :D

  20. click wrongly..haven’t finish yet..LOL! i have to try putting in century eggs..i LOVE century eggs! :D

  21. I have tried steam eggs before.. without century egg … tak tahan bau.
    OUG? that used to be my area bertendang… ie lived :D

  22. I love steamed eggs, esp. when they are mixed with century eggs. Can’t get enough of them.

  23. I LOVE this dish! There is this Zi Char place at Commonwealth called Two Chefs that do a pretty good version with spinach in it. Yums!

  24. Looks good! And also one of those dishes I remember from my childhood. I steam my HK style steam egg custard/pudding over low heat too to get the silky smooth texture.

  25. OUG KL is too far for me… :(

  26. faithy : hehe! u know ah.. i used to dislike century eggs.. but now, i seem to like everything!

    lisa : really?!?! i’m over at Happy Garden! century egg sedap lah.. i used to dislike it as well!

    angie : same! eggs are god-sent!

    corsage : now now, u are tempting me for sure! I’ll get the addy from you if i’m going!

    erica : yupyup! low heat is da way to go ;)

    mycookinghut : i believe plates like these are available everywhere babe! penang conpirm ade one!

  27. Sherie I replied to your email and it was bounced. Do you have an alternative email?

  28. This egg dish looks absolutely gorgeous! I am just waiting for my homemade salted egg to be ready so I can try my hands on this dish.

    Thanks for sharing!

  29. Yi : U are most welcome!

    WOW! Homemade salted egg?! Can’t wait for your post ;)

  30. Mmm I love steamed egg! Never had three kinds all in one before though. Sometimes my mom heats up some oil with spring onions and splashes it on top of the egg. So yummy!

  31. hello! Its the first time viewing your blog, love your photos. (: You can try palcing some minced meat or pieces of meat underneath the steamed eggs, would make another lovely dish i believe. My ah ma makes ‘tok tok ba’, in hokkien, this way without the salted duck eggs and its really good! will post the recipe on my blog when I have the time after my exams.(:

  32. The name you have given to the dish is majestic. And you have done it to perfection as seen in the pictures. Congrats. However, to put it in the real perspective, the homonym of “emperor” in Cantonese is similar to “yolk”. So to put it very plainly, the dish in most cook books might appear as “Three-yolk steamed egg”.

  33. Hi, im very interested to try your recipe. Just a question though, how different would the eggs turn out if i used 6 half egg cups of water and 6 half egg cups of chicken broth? I want to give the egg dish a little ‘taste’ of its own, but am afraid if i use 12 half egg cups of broth, it might be a little salty? Whats you advice? Thanks in advance!

  34. cindy : steamed eggs FTW! :)

    nigel : hello! welcome to my humble blog. ahh.. minced meat.. i love that version too and i must agree with you, it’s really quite delicious. all the best for your exam!

    cantoncook : ahhh… thanks for enlightening me! so this dish is called Three-yolk-egg in most cook books huh? Direct translation!

    adele : i say go ahead. it won’t make any difference to the texture. however u might wanna experiment it a little.. different wok, different ingredient yield different results always. also, the broth/ stock i used is homemade, unsalted.. so if yours is salted, u might also wanna adjust or omit the salt altogether. hths! :)

  35. thanks for sharing this version – looks so yummy, as the version I know is just plain eggs….

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