Korean Steamed Egg :: Gyeran Jjim (계란찜)

I’m just returning from a food-filled girls’ weekend in SF/wine country, which was amazing! Whenever I come home from a decadent trip, I must say my body craves homemade Korean food to put me back on equilibrium (my favorite ‘reset’ meal is dwenjang or kimchi jjigae — both recipes to come at some point.). 

With a pretty empty fridge though, I had to stick to simple. Not just simple, but fast because I was too hungry. ;) Gyeran jjim, or Korean steamed egg casserole, really fit the bill this time around!

gyeran jjim

I can remember being fed soft curds of gyeran jjim as a very small child. The mild flavors and smooth textures are supremely kid-friendly and therefore, comforting.

It’s a surprisingly easy dish to make, especially if you already own a ceramic stovetop-safe crock (as seen in most Korean kitchens). Of course you can make it in a non-ceramic vessel; just make sure it has a heavy bottom. 

The method I use here is pretty straight-up. Growing up though, my mom took the care to actually steam a bowl of prepared eggs, propped up on a stainless steamer in a larger pot (much like how you’d steam dumplings). That method is delicious too, but creates a much more mousse-like texture. Either way you choose, just remember to serve gyeran jjim warm! It usually plays the role of featured banchan (side dish) at both restaurants and homes.

2009_06_03

Gyeran Jjim (serves 2-4), adapted from Discovering Korean Cuisine
Ingredients:
– 4 large eggs
– 2 cups water (I decreased to 1 – 1.5 cups, creates a nice broth)
– 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (I used about 2-3 scallions)
– 1/4 onion, chopped
– 1/4 zucchini, chopped (I didn’t have, so I didn’t use)
– red pepper slices (optional) –> I used a small nub of diced carrot instead for a pop of color, even though they inevitably sink to the bottom :P
– 1/2 tsp salt (I used a large spoonful of saewoojuht, or salted shrimp, instead because that’s what I grew up with)
– pinch of black pepper

Directions:
1. Crack eggs and whisk lightly with water in a bowl. I like to then use a sieve to pour the egg/water mix into the crock (otherwise, I’ve found, the yolk and white layers can separate while cooking).
2. Add scallions, onions, carrots, red pepper, zucchini, salt (in my case saewoojuht) and pepper. Mix everything lightly.
3. Close the lid and cook over high heat for 4 minutes, then another 4-5 on low. Serve warm, along with rice, of course. ;)

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13 Responses to “Korean Steamed Egg :: Gyeran Jjim (계란찜)”


  1. 1 Christina Kim @ Deglaze Me June 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Is it really that simple? This is a must on my to-cook list. I have a dol-sot, do you think that would work? Thanks!!

    • 2 eatyourbap June 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

      You sure can! In fact, that’s probably where gyeran jjim were born ;) (not scientifically proven).

      Please let me know how it goes!

  2. 3 Christine June 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    saewoojuht in gyeran jjim rocks! i need to get myself a ceramic pot. i’d always made it in a regular bowl, covered with saran wrap and steamed in a large pot, but that seems like a pain compared to your way.

    • 4 eatyourbap June 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm

      Hey girl!

      Oh that’s totally the style I grew up with too! But it’s so much more involved (ie: more dishes to wash), I’ve just adopted this version as my go-to. Hope you like it!!

  3. 5 Christina Kim @ Deglaze Me June 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I just made this dish as a post-gym-pre-class quickie meal, and it was perfect! It came together in minutes and it’s tasty :) Thanks!

  4. 6 Truly Smitten July 9, 2009 at 11:47 am

    THIS is my husband’s FAVORITE!

  5. 8 Andrew P. July 10, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Hey cuz! Love the site. :-)

    I tried your recipe, but I don’t have any stovetop safe ceramic crocks or saewoojuht. I do have decent sized ceramic ramekins, so I tried steaming the eggs in those. They turned out alright except for the fact that there was a lot of liquid pooled in the bottom of each ramekin under the cooked egg. I don’t know if it’s because I was supposed to cover each individual ramekin or if your way of cooking evaporates off the excess liquids or if I’m missing something else. Any insight/suggestions?

    • 9 eatyourbap July 10, 2009 at 10:13 am

      Hey Andy!!

      Thanks so much for swinging by! I’m sorry your end result wasn’t so optimal, but I do think this method yields a lot more ‘soup’ at the bottom than the regular steam method we grew up on.

      Did you heat these ramekins directly over the stovetop or place them in another vessel? If it’s not direct heat you’re dealing with (which helps dissipate a lot of the water), maybe you can try the ol’ fashioned way, where you get a heat safe bowl covered in saran wrap, place it on one of those retractable spider steamers set in a larger pot. Fill the pot with a couple inches of water (taking care not to touch the steamer) and literally steam your way to eggy goodness.

      This method will take longer (depending on your egg preferences and size of the bowl, maybe 15 minutes or so?), but it will create a much more uniform and smooth mousse-like texture.

      Does that help at all? If not, I will be happy to do more research so you and C can get a delicious gyeran-jjim experience next time!!

      Can’t wait to see you next month, RSVP is on its way ;)

  6. 10 Amanda September 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I really hope you keep this blog up. You’re making Korean food that I ate while living in Korea. So many cookbooks focus on fancy Korean food. I want home food, you know?

  7. 11 Jamie Lee January 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Love this book!~ My sister bought this for me last year and it is totally useful!

  8. 12 KeopiJuseyo October 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    The gyeran jjim I had last week was a “moat” encircling the Korean BBQ stove. Some pictures on my link.

  9. 13 Christina December 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Yeah I followed all of these instructions and burned the hell out of my eggs XD maybe the heat setting was too high?


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