The eggs are beaten and water or chicken broth added to create a more tender texture and to add extra flavor. Only pre-boiled drinking water or bottled water is normally used. Most home filtered water is not considered safe as the steaming process does not kill any germs in the liquid.
Other solid ingredients may also be added to the mixture. The egg mixture is then poured into a dish, which is then placed in a steamer then steamed until fully cooked. The eggs should be steamed until just firm, so that the texture of the eggs is still smooth and silky. A plate is usually placed on top of the bowl containing the egg mixture and left on while the egg is being steamed. Uncapped steamed eggs will have water on top of the finished dish due to the steam.
Home made versions generally include scallion, century egg, or dried shrimp. These additional ingredients are added to the egg mixture before steaming. It can also be enjoyed with soy sauce. The taste is usually savory (as opposed to a sweet custard).