Gyeranjjim is a popular Korean side dish. It is a custard-like steamed egg casserole. Because it’s so simple to make, this is a side dish that I frequently add to a meal at the last minute. Gyeranjjim is a humble and adaptable dish – you can make it just with eggs and scallions or with other chopped vegetables like carrots, onions, and/or zucchini. Shrimp and pollack roe are often added too. To thin the eggs and enhance the flavor, I use anchovy broth which is typically used for this dish. But chicken stock, vegetable broth, or even water works as a substitute. This side dish is usually served in a small stone pot (ttukbaegi) in Korean restaurants. But, you can use a regular ramekin.
2 large eggs
1/2 cup anchovy broth* (or chicken stock, vegetable broth or water) – use more for softer eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1 teaspoon of Korean salted shrimp, saewujeot, finely chopped or liquid)
1 teaspoon chopped scallion
2 medium shrimps, chopped (optional)
(*Boil 7 or 8 medium dry anchovies and a 3-inch square of dried kelp in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes. Freeze the leftover broth to use at another time.)
Beat 2 eggs and run it through a sieve to break the egg mixture down into a smooth liquid consistency. (If you skip this process, make sure to whisk the eggs sufficiently.) In a lightly oiled ramekin, small stone/ceramic pot, or any heat proof bowl, mix the beaten eggs well with the anchovy broth, the liquid from the salted shrimp (if using) and salt.
Use one of the following cooking methods depending on the cookware used:
Steamer: Boil water in a steamer. Place the ramekin in the steamer. Cover the steamer and steam for 7 minutes. The center of the egg mixture should still be a liquid at this point. Add the chopped shrimp and scallions, cover and steam for additional 3 minutes until the mixture is set.
Pot: Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pot. The water should come halfway up the sides of the ramekin. (Adding a folded paper towel at the bottom will prevent the ramekin from rattling while the water is boiling.) Carefully place the ramekin in the pot. Cover the pot and steam for 7 minutes over medium low heat. Make sure the water boils gently. Add the shrimp and scallions, cover and steam for additional 3 minutes until the mixture is set.
Stone/ceramic pot (stove-top proof): Add the egg mixture to the pot. Cover, and simmer over medium low heat on the stove for about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and scallions, cover and simmer for additional 2 minutes until the mixture is set.
Serve piping hot.