Gyeran-jjim with shrimp is the simplest way to make breakfast a little bit fancy
Judy Joo gyeran-jjim egg custard
Credit: Photo Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

London-based chef, cookbook author, and TV host Judy Joo travels the globe and the airwaves extolling the particular pleasures of Korean food. In her latest book, Korean Food Made Simple, Joo shares a recipe for one of her most favorite morning dishes, geyran-jjim. Her version of the steamed egg custard is admittedly non-traditional, rather a semi-mashup with the popular Japanese dish chawanmushi, and gets a gorgeous flavor boost from fish sauce, tender shrimp, crunchy sesame seeds, crisp scallion, and nutty toasted sesame oil. And it takes just about as much effort as a bowl of infinitely less-fancy oatmeal.

Egg Custards with Shrimp

(Saewoo Gyeranjjim)

Judy Joo gyeran-jjim egg custard
Credit: Photo Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Yield: Serves 4

Printed with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

These silky, light, and super-easy egg custards are good on their own and even better topped with sweet shrimp and sliced scallions. Take care not to overcook these, as the texture can become tough and dry. Even though gyeran-jjim is usually served as a banchan, for a simple meal, serve them with watercress salad and brown rice.


8 large eggs
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
8 small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 scallion, thinly sliced on an angle
Toasted sesame oil, for serving
Roasted sesame seeds, for serving


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, stock, fish sauce, and salt. Pour the mixture into four 10-ounce heatproof bowls or ramekins. Arrange the bowls in a large wide pot with a lid. Add enough boiling water to the pot to reach two-thirds of the way up the sides of the bowls. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, cover the pot, and steam until the custards are slightly wobbly in the center, 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Divide the shrimp and scallion among the bowls, cover, and steam until the shrimp are cooked through and the custards are set, about 3 minutes more. Top the custards with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and serve warm.