Steamed Prawn with Egg White
This steamed egg white with prawns (蛋白蒸虾) is a Cantonese restaurant favourite. In this home recipe, the egg white is silky soft just like tofu. I like to call the steamed egg white “enhanced tofu” because it looks like tofu but tastes better (ok you can tell that I’m not big on tofu). Want to know the secret to getting this silky soft texture? Check out the step-by-step pictures in this post.
Leftover Egg Yolk Idea:
- Golden Fried Rice Recipe (above)
Typically, shell-on prawns are used for this dish. In our home recipe, de-shelled prawns are preferred. Not only are they easier to eat, we can sneak in more prawns in the plate. It’s also easier for the prawns to absorb the marinade given the short marinade time. I am also currently hoarding prawn shells in the freezer to test out a new dish. But the tutorial below comes with instructions at the end if you want to cook this with shell-on prawns.
After removing the shells and dark veins from the prawns, marinade them for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, add egg white, corn flour and seasonings. Yes, corn flour is a secret ingredient which gives the egg white a smooth texture.
Thoroughly beat the egg such until the corn flour is fully dissolved in the egg white mixture and the mixture turns opaque. I used a milk frother (it’s primary use is for making latte but it works so well for me here). You can also whisk it by hand using a fork, just make sure to beat it really well and leave no flour lumps in the egg mixture. Use a small spoon to skim off the top layer of bubbles.
This is the milk frother I used. I got it from Ikea for S$2.90. To prevent splashes, the frother must be totally submerged in the liquid before it is turned on or off (you’ve been warned).
Grease the bottom and sides of steaming plate with sesame oil. I’m not sure why, but steamed egg white sticks to the plate terribly and it is so difficult to scrap it off during eating and washing. Greasing with sesame oil gives the steaming plate a natural non-stick coating and it is aromatic too.
Arrange the marinated prawns in the plate, top with thin strips of ginger.
Pour three-quarters of the egg white mixture to cover the prawns partially. Steam this for 3 minutes, or until the egg white is cooked.
Turn off the heat. Wait for 1 minute for the hot steam to dissipate to prevent being burnt. Then spoon the remaining egg white as the last top layer of the dish.
Continue steaming the dish for another 2-3 minutes, until the egg white is just set. In my experiments, cooking the egg white in two layers achieves the most smooth looking top layer and helps the egg white to cook more evenly. If you are not fussy with the looks, you can actually steam it at one go for about 5 minutes.
For Shell-On Prawns
This is how I prep the prawns when making this dish with shell-on prawns. Trim off all sharp edges from the prawns. Peel the prawn shell body leaving the tail and head still on. Cut a slit on the back to remove the veins. In this way, the prawns are still quite easy to eat and the marinade well absorbed.
Use fewer prawns (about 5, or any number that occupies the plate). This is before the ginger and egg white mixture is added. The method of cooking is still the same as above.