Chinese steamed egg is a traditional Cantonese dish and can be made sweet as a dessert or savoury as a dish. This steamed egg is also commonly referred to as water egg or egg custard. Normally, eggs are beaten well and water added and steamed resulting in a smooth, silky and slightly wobbly consistency resembling soft silky tofu. For the sweet version, it is a very popular and delicious dessert amongst all ages and extremely easy to make. In Hong Kong, you can find this well-liked dessert in Chinese dessert houses tagged as “dessert for beautiful skin” as egg and milk are good for the skin. Chinese steamed egg pudding is a highly versatile dessert, when served hot, it is a perfect comfort dessert, and can also be served cold if preferred. Traditionally, steamed egg pudding is made with eggs, milk, sugar and water. For my gluten free Chinese Steamed Egg Pudding recipe, I am using eggs, lite coconut milk, water, agave syrup and maple syrup. This recipe is also vegetarian, corn free, dairy free, nut free, soy free and refined sugar free.
History and Versatility of Eggs
The consumption of eggs began since the beginning of human kind, nearly 6 million years ago. Chicken (Gallus domesticas) was domesticated in India in 3200 BC and in China in 1400 BC, for their meat and eggs. Chicken eggs were first introduced to other parts of the world like West Asia, Egypt and Europe around 800 BC or later. Chicken eggs are the greatest common everyday food and the utmost versatile cooking ingredient. Eggs can be included in sweet or savoury dishes. They can be fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, scrambled, fried, made into omelettes and pickled. Eggs are high in protein and cooked eggs protein are almost 2 times more absorbable as protein in raw eggs. Eggs are used as a binding agent or thickener in baking for cakes, breads and in custards.
Heath Benefits and Nutritional Values of Eggs
The humble eggs are one of the most nutritious food in the word, they contain essentials vitamins and minerals and are an exceptional source of affordable and high quality protein with all the 9 “essential” amino acids. Eggs are a rich source of vitamin A, folate/folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, iodine, iron, calcium and zinc. Some eggs are enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids. Egg yolks contain lecithin, a composite commonly used as an emulsifier in recipes like mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce. In addition, eggs contain choline that support heart health and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that promote healthy eye sights.
Health benefits of eggs include: lower risks of cardiovascular diseases and stroke; boosts the body’s immune system; support healthy bones; prevention of congenital defects like spina bifida during pregnancy; reduce risks of age-related macular degeneration, cataract and Alzheimers disease; may aid in weight management; promote healthy skin and assist in maintaining healthy central nervous system. Eventhough, eggs are considered high in cholesterol, most of the fats in eggs are unsaturated fats and if you do not have egg allergy, consuming them in moderation with a balanced diet can result in higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Select eggs that are from organic or free-range chickens and store eggs in the refrigerator for up to one month or by the best before date.