Korean steamed eggs have a bit in common with an omelet (perhaps a Western omelette), a little in common with poached eggs, and some features in common with scrambled eggs, too. But truthfully, eggs prepared in this traditional Korean fashion set themselves apart from other eggs by virtue of their silkiness and smooth texture.
People in Korea eat eggs at all meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. They're a popular side dish, and can be served as the main dish as well, especially at breakfast. Common ways to prepare eggs include frying them, making a Korean rolled egg omelet (Gaeran Mari), making a Korean egg sandwich or breakfast egg toast out of them, or even including eggs in Korean "sushi" rolls (kimbap).
This quick and easy steamed egg dish (gaeran jim) can be made in the microwave or on the stove. Koreans enjoy eggs at any meal of the day, so this steamed egg recipe is an easy side dish for morning, noon, and night.
Serve it alongside any traditional Korean main course, such as Korean pan-fried fish (saeng sun jun), or use it as a quick snack or stand-alone meal, perhaps with some additional vegetables or protein, such as Spam or ham. Rice also goes well with steamed eggs, regardless of whether it's plain or seasoned.
This Korean steamed eggs recipe includes only scallions as seasoning for the eggs. However, you can experiment with chili pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and vegetables such as mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, zucchini and sweet corn while sticking reasonably closely with Korean tradition.
You also can consider substituting broth (beef broth, chicken broth, seafood broth, or vegetable broth) for the water in this recipe, which will give the eggs a different, robust flavor.
Regardless of what ingredients you use in your gaeran jim, pay particular attention as you cook this dish, since it's fairly easy to overcook or even burn the eggs if you become distracted. Ideally, your eggs should cook into a dish that carries the same texture as the silken variety of tofu.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 scallion, chopped
- In a heat safe bowl (porcelain or stoneware work best), whisk eggs, water, salt, and scallions together until fully combined.
- If using microwave, cover the bowl with a plate and cook for 4 minutes.
- If steaming on stove, steam bowl in steamer for 10 minutes over medium-high meat. You can also just put the bowl in a large pot with a few inches of water at the bottom (15 minutes over low-medium heat).