Chinese steamed eggs with clams are my absolute FAVORITE way to enjoy steamed eggs! The briny clams and their juice add so much umami and flavor to these silky eggs.
If you haven't seen my post on how to make the BEST, silkiest, Chinese steamed eggs, I highly recommend checking it out first! I went through many tests (and fails) to gather the most helpful tips for this dish.
Tools you'll need to make this recipe
- a large pan with a lid that can fit the steamer
- kitchen scale (recommended), or liquid measuring cup to measure the liquid to egg ratio
- sieve / strainer to strain the eggs
- a wide plate with sides to steam the egg in
- note: if you use a stainless steel vs a porcelain or ceramic plate (what I'm using), you may want to reduce the cook time by 1 min or so, since stainless steel conducts heat quicker.
What type of clams to use for Chinese steamed eggs with clams
For this dish, I like using manila clams. They're one of the most easily accessible and affordable type of clams, and are a good size to ensure you get enough on a plate of steamed eggs.
If you have the option to choose your clams, look for ones with shells that are shut and not cracked. If they're open, it could mean they're no longer alive.
Three tips for the best Chinese steamed eggs with clams
Tip #1: Wash the clams VERY well to remove any grit
Rubbing salt against the clams works as a great abrasive that will remove the dirt from the shells.
Once the outsides are cleaned, rinse and then soak them in cold salted water for 20-30 minutes. This will encourage them to expel any extra dirt that may be sitting inside their shells.
Finally, rinse them in clean water until the water is clear and no more visible dirt remains! You may need to repeat this a handful of times.
Tip #2: Steam the clams JUST until their shells pop open
Before steaming the clams with the eggs, you'll need to steam the clams on their own first. Steam the clams on high heat JUST until their shells pop open. For me, this took about 4-5 minutes, but will likely vary based on your setup.
If you steam the clams for too long initially, they can end up with a chewy and rubbery texture. Remember that they'll continue to steam with the eggs later!
Tip #3: Use the delicious steamed clam juice in the steamed eggs
When you steam the clams initially, you'll end up with some clam juice on the plate. Make sure it's free of any dirt, then use it as part of the liquid for your steamed eggs. You won't need to add any extra salt for the steamed eggs, and it adds so much natural briny flavor!
Remember that everyone’s stove, steamer, and tools (like your plate) may vary slightly, so I recommend using this as a guide, then fine tuning it based on your setup! Good luck, and feel free to comment with any questions you have!
Chinese Steamed Eggs with Clams
- 10 live manila clams
- 3 large eggs
- 2:1 ratio warm liquid to eggs (low-sodium chicken broth or water + steamed clam juice)
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder skip if using chicken broth
- salt for cleaning clams
- scallions sliced
- ginger thinly sliced
- white pepper
- 2 tablespoon hot neutral oil
- 1-2 teaspoon soy sauce
Prepare the clams
- Discard any clams with shells that are open or cracked. In a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the clams. Use the salt as an abrasive to rub the outside of the shells, removing any sand or dirt. Rinse the clams.10 live manila clams, salt
- Empty the bowl, then add 4-6 cups of cold water and 2 tablespoon of salt. Mix to dissolve the salt. Add a few ice cubes to keep the water cold, then add the clams. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes. The salt will encourage the clams to expel more dirt.
- During this time, you can prep the aromatics: thinly slice the scallions and ginger.scallions, ginger
- After 20-30 mins, drain the water. Rinse the clams until the water runs clear. You may need to repeat this a handful of times. Doing this will ensure there's no dirt in your steamed eggs!
Steam the clams
- Place the cleaned clams in a shallow bowl or plate, and steam on high just until the clams pop open their shells. For me, this took about 4-5 minutes, but will likely vary based on your setup.
- Once they are all opened, remove from the heat, and make sure to save the clam juice on the plate. If there's any dirt in the clam juice, strain it out.
Prepare the eggs
- Place a large cup or bowl (that can hold at least 2 cups of liquid) on a kitchen scale. Set the unit to fluid oz, and crack the eggs into the cup.3 large eggs
- Add a 2:1 ratio of warm liquid (the clam juice + chicken broth or water) to eggs. For example, if the eggs weighed 5 fluid oz in total, you’ll add 10 fluid oz total of liquid.2:1 ratio warm liquid to eggs
- If you used water in the above step, then add chicken bouillon powder. If you used chicken broth, you can skip the bouillon. Beat thoroughly.½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
Steam the eggs + clams together
- Bring a pan of water (at least 2-3 inches high) to a boil. Lower to medium heat.
- Set up your steamer, and place a bowl or plate in the middle. Strain the egg mixture onto the plate. With a spoon or paper towel, remove all the foam and bubbles on the surface.
- Evenly spread out the clams into the egg mixture. Cover the eggs with an upside down plate.
- Put the lid on the pan, and steam for 8 mins (time may vary slightly based on what plate you’re using). After 8 mins, turn off the heat but keep the lid on. Let the residual heat continue cooking for 3-5 mins.
- While the steamed egg is finishing cooking in residual heat, heat up some neutral oil in a separate pan just until it starts smoking.2 tablespoon hot neutral oil
- Check that the steamed egg is cooked through by lightly tapping the side of the dish. It should be set, but slightly jiggle in the middle. If it still looks watery, steam it for a few more minutes. Once it's done, carefully remove the steamed eggs from the pan. Top with scallions, ginger, the hot neutral oil, soy sauce, and white pepper. Enjoy!scallions, ginger, white pepper, 1-2 teaspoon soy sauce