Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Custard for Breakfast!

I mentioned before that I am craving intense flavors, especially in the mornings.  I am sick of scrambled eggs (the only way I can choke them down)  with ham/bacon/sausage. I know I can have whatever protein  I want in the morning, but I have been cooking and the amounts have been on target so there have been very few if any leftovers to re-heat in the morning. 

As a card carrying member of the Night Owl club, I am not a happy camper early in the day.  I don't like to even think about food or cooking then, so I generally have coffee  and wait a couple of hours before eating.  By the time I am ready to eat, I'm truly hungry and don't want to wait so I scramble an egg and force myself to eat it. (Yuck!) I also know that eggs are about the cheapest protein source available on the Whole 30 food plan, so eggs it is.  Every bloomin' day... eggs, eggs, eggs.

Then one day I was looking through archived posts at Nom Nom Paleo and found the following recipe for Cantonese Egg Custard With Minced Pork.  This was a perfect dish to try for a couple of reasons.  I have been trying to use my frozen stash and I had a pound of ground pork that needed to be used.  Also, after reading the recipe, I figured I could make the filling the night before and let it rest in the fridge until the next morning. So that is exactly what I did.  When it was time to put the recipe together the next morning, I simply put the filling in the bowl I was going to use to steam the custard and nuked it for about 30 seconds. Worked like a charm.

                                  Cantonese Egg Custard With Minced Pork

                                                              View from above

Before you do anything

Put about 3 inches of water in the bottom of a large pot, fitted with a steamer rack*.  Bring the water to a rolling boil then turn down to a hot simmer.  This custard requires steam for cooking so it must be hot enough to create steam throughout the cooking time.

The Filling

1 teaspoon ghee (I left that out)
1 shallot minced
1/2 pound ground pork
3-4 stalks asparagus, thinly sliced
3 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced ( I had white buttons and used them instead)
1 teaspoon fish sauce (I broke down and bought Red Boat 'cause it's paleo)
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
ground pepper to taste

Put the ghee and pork  in a small pan. Cook until it loses its pink color. Add the shallots and cook until they are wilted, then add the asparagus and mushrooms.  Cook for about 1 minute then remove from the heat.  Stir in the fish sauce, coconut aminos and pepper.  Put in the bottom of a shallow bowl. (I found a wide cereal bowl was perfect, but make sure you have a matching bowl to cover it.)

The Custard

3 eggs
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon fish sauce

In a medium bowl mix the custard ingredients and gently pour over the filling.

(Now is when it got a little tricky for me because I only steam vegetables in a cute little veggie basket.)

Place the bowl on the steamer rack* and cover with an inverted bowl the same size.  Put the lid on the pot and cook until it is set (the old knife inserted in the center comes out clean trick).  The original recipe says 15 minutes but it took mine about 30 for the center to set. Carefully remove.  I emphasize the careful part again.  This steam is hot enough to cook eggs, it will definitely do harm to uncovered flesh.  I hate kitchen mitts but they are a real help with this. The inside of my right arm may or may not have been bright red for a day or two because I didn't use them. ( Remove the top bowl first before you try to take out the bottom bowl.  I found a pair of tongs helpful for removing the top.)

Let the custard rest for a few minutes, then top with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, a sprinkle of scallions and some fresh cilantro. ( I had no cilantro)  The recipe says it serves 4, but we found it serves 2.  Or we are just pigs who were very hungry.

This was delicious.  Even my picky mother, who had dropped by the house, had a bite and thought it was very good.  Because it is a little time consuming to make this will not be a go to meal, but it might very well become a weekend standard.  Finally!  Eggs that neither taste nor feel like eggs!

So what are you waiting for?  Go crack some eggs!

View from the plate.  This is what 1 serving looks like so I ate 2!

Since I had a pound of pork I doubled the recipe for the filling.  I used just under half for the custard and froze the rest in 2 bags for later use I will adjust the custard down and make it with 1 egg, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce. I think that will work, but I will let you know after I try it.

* A little info concerning the steamer rack.  I don't have one.  I just have a steamer basket and it would not work because there is not a flat surface for the bowl to rest.  Instead I found 3 metal syrup cups ( see pic below) and turned them upside down in a sort of triangle shape. Then I set the bowl on the three of them.  Voila! It worked!


I found these at a restaurant supply house for about 50 cents each.  They are what a lot of breakfast places use to hold warm syrup.  Inverted it turns out they make a dang fine steamer rack.  Good thing I finally found a use for them since I never warm syrup.


  1. What are coconut aminos? I hope that doesn't sound too dumb!

  2. Not at all I had no idea until I began Whole 30. I am guessing it is some kind of fermented coconut liquid, kind of like soy sauce is to soybeans, but I am not certain. I find it at Organic harvest and it costs a ton more than soy sauce, but I buy it anyway so I can be faithful to the Whole30 plan. I imagine you could replace soy sauce for it, but the Whole 30 plan inventors claims it is evil and toxic to the 30 day eating regime so I am avoiding it. no Chinese restaurants for me for 15 more days.

  3. I would be sick of eggs too. You poor girl.
    DO you feel better? Have you lost weight? Do you feel worse if you cheat? Too many question for so early. LOL

    1. I have only cheated twice and they were both minimal cheats. We went out to eat one night and I had a vodka rocks (this is a no alcohol diet) and I had a single serving bag of chips the other day, mainly because I was out and hadn't eaten all day. I have lost some but mainly just feel better.

  4. I glad you found a delicious way to break your egg routine.

  5. Me too! Especially since eggs are one of my least favorite things to eat.