Life at Warp Speed

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Five Variations for the Humble Steamed Egg Custard September 30, 2013

Filed under: Asian (other than Chinese),Chinese,Recipes — lifeatwarpspeed @ 3:17 pm
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Today’s FB post by a friend (and the subsequent comments) inspired me to share my tested and true collection of savory steamed egg custard recipes. This is the epitome of comfort food that many of us recall from the kitchen table in many Asian households. It is a simple, protein-rich, budget-conscious dish that satisfies and feeds the family and the soul. I am sure that one or more of these recipes will remind you of something your mother, auntie or grandmother used to serve to you. I used to make egg custards for my mom during her fight with cancer since this was a good source of protein, but easy to eat and digest. None of these are hard to make, just remember to steam it over gently simmering water. A hard boil will render your steamed egg hard rather than silky smooth.

Note: If you do not own a steam rack, they are very inexpensive at your local Asian grocery. Or you can remove the top and bottom of a can of tuna or use two pairs of wooden chopsticks laid out in a square for your wok or stir fry pan.


 Steamed Egg Custard 

4 eggs — lightly beaten

1 green onion — thinly sliced

1  teaspoon  sesame oil

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1/8  teaspoon  white pepper

1 1/2  cups chicken broth

1/2 cup  ham — diced, cooked crabmeat, shrimp (can be omitted)

Combine eggs, green onion, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir in broth until evenly blended, then stir in the ham, crab meat or shrimp.

Place a steam rack in a wok and add water to just below the level of the rack. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat so the water simmers gently. Pour egg mixture into a glass pie plate or pour into 4 individual custard cups. Set cups on rack and cover. Steam until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Steamed Egg Custard with Oyster Sauce

2 tablespoons  dried shrimp — soaked and drained (can be omitted)

4  large  eggs

1 tablespoon  light soy sauce — or oyster sauce

1  tablespoon  vegetable oil

1 to 2 tablespoons cilantro or green onions — minced for garnish

Bring 3/4 cup of water to boil and allow to cool. In a small bowl, soak dried shrimp in 3 T of cold water for 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Roughly chop the shrimp. (I often omit this because it can be difficult to find dried shrimp not sourced from China. However, there is something about the taste and flavor that can’t be replicated with substitutions.)

Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in cooled water and soaking liquid. Transfer egg mixture to a 9-inch shallow bowl, add the dried shrimp, and stir to combine.

Bring water to a boil over high heat in a cover steamer larger enough to fit the dish. Carefully place the dish into steamer, cover, and lower heat to medium, and steam 10 to 13 minutes, or just until custard is set. Check the water level and replenish with boiling water. Carefully remove dish from steamer.

Pour soy sauce over the custard. In a small skillet, heat oil until hot but not smoking over high heat. Carefully pour hot oil over custard. The oil will make a cracking sound as it hits the sauce. Garnish with cilantro and green onions, and serve immediately.

Steamed Eggs with Clams

4   eggs

1   can  chopped clams

1 1/2  cups  water — boiled and cooled

1/4   teaspoon  salt

1 1/2    teaspoons  oyster sauce

1 green onion — thinly sliced

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs well with a fork. Drain clams, reserving the clam liquid in measuring cup. Add enough of the cooled water to the clam liquid to make 1 3/4 cups. Add eggs with the clams and salt and stir until blended. Pour into heatproof dish.

Set a rack in a pot and add water to a depth of 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Set the dish on the rack. Lower the heat to a simmer and steam for 25 minutes. The eggs are done when they don’t jiggle in the middle when the dish is taped or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Pour the oyster sauce over the eggs and spread evenly over the surface with the bottom of a spoon. If desired , sprinkle with chopped green onion.

Chawan-Mushi (Japanese Egg Custard)

1  cup  dashi — warm (preferably not the msg-laden granules as that will make this dish too salty)

1  egg

1  teaspoon  soy sauce

2  medium  shrimp — shelled and deveined

2  small  shiitake mushrooms

2  slices  kamoboko

Mic dashi, egg, and soy sauce in a small bowl and divide equally between two containers. Drop the shrimip, shiitake, and kamaboko into the cups. Cover the mouth of each cup with plastic wrap before steaming. Put cups in a wide-mouth pot. Add enough water to pot to reach halfway up the cups. Cover and bring water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and steam for 15 minutes. Don’t let water bubble too vigorously.

Steamed Savory Egg Custard with Tofu

4    eggs

4    tablespoons  chicken broth

1    tablespoon  soy sauce

salt and white pepper — to taste

1/4  pound  tofu — silken soft, cut in small cubes

2   teaspoons  sesame oil

1   green onion — minced

In a small bowl, combine eggs, broth, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir until egg yolks are completely broken and well blended. Lightly grease a shallow 8-inch bowl with a few drops of sesame oil. Gently pour in egg mixture, add tofu cubes and sprinkle with green onion. Place in wok with enough water to reach the bottom of the bowl. Bring water to a gentle simmer and steam custard for about 20 minutes or until just set, being sure to keep the heat very low so that the custard will stay smooth. Remove from heat and drizzle with remaining sesame oil and serve warm.


Split Pea Soup September 29, 2013

Filed under: American,Recipes — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:50 pm
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Who doesn’t notice Andersen Pea Soup when making the trek up or down the 5? Our last road trip to the Bay Area made me think about split pea soup. Since there is no way I was going to pay that crazy tourist pricing for a bowl of soup, I decided to make a whole pot for less than the same price as one bowl. Even though it isn’t anywhere close to winter here in SD, I decided today to work on my next incarnation of split pea soup. Since this one turned out well, I will share it with all of you as the weather is getting a bit nippy for my friends in the northern states.
  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ham bone, smoked ham hocks or shanks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil (coconut, avocado or olive are preferred)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional topping ideas to serve: crumbled bacon, croutons, shredded cheese, curry powder or sour cream


  1. Pick over the peas to any debris or undesirable peas. In a large stock pot, cover peas with 2 quarts cold water and soak overnight. Soaking overnight removes naturally occurring toxins from the peas. I do not recommend skipping this step.
  2. Once peas are soaked, rinse and drain the peas. While the peas are draining, heat oil over medium heat in the pot, Add the onions and cook over medium low heat until they start to get soft, translucent and slightly browned.
  3. Return the peas to the pot, add ham bone, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Pour in the water and cover, bring to boil and then simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water if you want a thinner soup. Continue to cook and reduce if you prefer a thicker soup consistency.
  4. Remove bone; cut off meat, dice or shred, and return meat to soup. If you want to have smooth soup, use an immersion blender before adding back the meat. Add diced celery, carrots and potatoes. Cook slowly, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper if desired to taste.

This recipe can be adapted for a slow cooker.



Lazoo Coloring apps – currently free for a limited time! September 24, 2013

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 7:41 pm
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Click to visit the original postLet’s Color! for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Lazoo: Miku’s Picnic for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Squiggles! for iPad on the iTunes App Store. (always free!)

Whenever I see coloring apps, I usually yawn because inevitably most coloring apps are pretty much the same after a while. However, Lazoo has three awesome coloring apps that are geared for toddlers and preschoolers that made me sit up and take notice!


These apps are free for download with optional in-app purchases for additional scenes. They aren’t pushy about the in-app purchases which is awesome.


Just simply select a picture and scribble and draw away. Tap the Go! button and watch your picture come to life. Watch your cars zoom off the screen with your scribbled “exhaust” or the water hose shoot out your scribbles as “water”. This app is so much fun to play for little ones. These are two really excellent apps and even better, there are no ads!


Highly recommended for 2 to 5. Can be used with older toddlers with parental assistance.






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