Vegan Chinese Egg Tarts

Vegan Chinese egg tarts are one my most requested recipes for my vegan dim sum series. I've wanted to do one for the longest time, and it's just taken a while to play around different ingredients and to get the texture right. I ended up using custard powder for the flavor and color, but also for texture as there was some cornstach in it. Starch gives custards thickness and bounce, but it is not yield strong enough bonds to mimic the custard in an egg tart, which almost has a snap to it because of the eggs.

For that snap, I opted to use agar agar. In my initial trials, I added to much agar powder and the result was a harder texture in my custard. When I added additional liquids and fats, it softened the agar and what I was left with was a product very similar to the texture of an egg tart custard. Upon feel, it may still seem like the custard is harder than traditional egg custards, but once you bite and taste it, the texture is actually a whole lot softer and smoother.

Vegan Dim Sum: Vegan Chinese Egg Tarts

(Makes 12 Servings)

Custard Filling:

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon agar powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon custard powder
  • several drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • annato seeds, optional

Chinese Egg Tart Shells Recipe


  1. Pre-bake egg tart shells in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Take out and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pot, bring water, agar powder and sugar to a boil.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, custard powder and food coloring (if using) until there are no more lumps.
  4. Once the agar mixture has come to a boil, turn down to medium heat and cook until all the agar has dissolved.
  5. Add in the custard mixture and slowly bring mixture up to a boil. Continue cooking for 1 minute. Turn off heat and let cool slightly.
  6. Pour custard filling into the individual egg tart shells. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until filling has set.