Recipe: Korean Steamed Egg (Gyeran Jjim 계란찜)

As great and simple of a food source eggs are, they're surprisingly fickle to cook with. Everything from the level of heat to what it's incorporated with influences much of the end results which makes eggs a very temperamental ingredient in cooking.

Seeing how steamed eggs, also known as gyeran jjim, is ubiquitous in Korean barbecues and other dining establishments, you'd think they'd be just as easy to make. But those who've attempted it before will know it can be surprisingly tricky.

Listed below are the tips and tricks to get that perfect bowl of steamed eggs ready in no time. Seriously, you can have a fantastic bowl of gyeran jjim, from eggs to table, in seven minutes. So, what are you waiting for? Bust out your eggs!

Gyeran Jjim (계란찜)
Makes 2 Servings

You'll need:
- 3 Eggs (4 if the eggs are small)
- 3/4 cup of Water
- 1/2 tbsp of sea Salt

Optional toppings:
- 1/3 Carrot, diced
- 1/2 a Green Onion, sliced
- A pinch of toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1 tsp of Sesame Oil

1. One of the keys to getting a good gyeran jjim is to use an earthenware pot- known in Korean as ddook baegi (뚝배기). These are specifically designed to quickly heat up and retain heat, ensuring even cooking. It's a flexible and nifty addition to any kitchen that does a lot of Korean cooking and can be purchased in most Korean marts for an inexpensive price.

For the gyeran jjim today, you will want to use the smallest size available which is usually the 1-2 serving size pots you see in many Korean restaurants. 

2. Crack in your eggs, add the water, and salt. The eggs to water ratio should be approximately 1:1.

Note: Some like to use a stock- such as anchovy or even chicken- instead of water in this dish but I find it muddles the flavor of the eggs. You can substitute the water with equal part stock but using h2o is my recommendation :)

Add your eggs

Then an equal amount of water with a pinch of salt

3. The second tip for perfect steamed eggs is to beat the mixture like crazy. And by this I mean at least 100 times. It may sound excessive but trust me, the more you beat it and aerate it, the fluffier your gyeran jjim will be. Just think of it as an exercise for the wrists and watch a Youtube video or something meanwhile. You could also do it the easy way out and use a machine but that takes away part of the fun doesn't it?

4. Place your pot on your stove and turn the heat up to high and cook uncovered. After a few minutes you will begin to see the outside edges beginning to bubble and cook. At that point, turn the heat to medium and use a spoon to scrape the sides and bottom (the outer layer) once to prevent the outside part from burning.

5. When most of the center begins to curdle and cook, turn the heat to low and sprinkle on any additional toppings you wish to put on and cover and cook for another minute or two.

Tip: As I said earlier, the earthenware pot retains heat for a long while so instead of cooking the gyeran jjim to the point of doneness, take it off the stove just a minute or two before it's fully cooked; the remaining heat in the pot will finish cooking out your eggs.

6. Optionally you can drizzle just a bit of sesame oil on top for a nuttier flavor but it's perfectly fine as is.

Easy, fluffy, no hassle eggs, Korean style!


  1. thanks for sharing the recipe.. I've wanted to try to make this for a long time. I hope this question is not too silly... do you think this will work in a dolsot rather than ddookbaegi? I recently bought a dolsot to make dolsot bimbimbap and want to make the best use of it.

  2. Hello! I believe a dolsot would work just fine! Give it a go and let me know how it turns out :)

  3. Hi Stew... may i request some recipe? would u make doenjang jjigae ??

    thanks before ^^

  4. Sure! I'll try and get one for dwenjang jjigae up soon. :)


Post a Comment

Questions? Suggestions? Thoughts? Please feel free to comment!