6 Simple Yet Unique Twists to Traditional Egg-Cooking Methods
Eggs are some of the most versatile ingredients you can find in your kitchen. What’s even better is that you can also use them as a topping (e.g., in salads), incorporate them in sides (e.g., in egg rolls), or eat them as the main dish (e.g., frittatas or Scotch eggs).
Speaking of main dishes, another great thing about eggs is that they’re quite easy to cook in multiple ways. You don’t even need fancy equipment. All you need is your trusty gas stove and a pot or pan, depending on the recipe. For more flexibility, you can also get a gas range. Price won’t be so much of an issue, because there are plenty of affordable options. With a gas range, you can expand your egg-cooking repertoire to baked recipes.
That said, here are some ways to give variety to your usual egg-cooking methods to make your eggy meals more exciting:
Over Easy Eggs
Let’s start with something simple: a variation of the sunny-side up called over easy. Some of you may even be doing this way of cooking already, but don’t know what it’s called!
To cook over easy eggs, follow the same steps for cooking a sunny-side up. Once the sides of the egg begin to brown, flip it carefully to ensure that the yolk doesn’t break. Cook the other side of the egg for a few seconds. This will form a thin layer of film on top of the yolk, keeping the inside runny. Some people dip their bread into the runny yolk, while others like to mix it with rice.
If you want to cook the yolk, you can let the egg sit on the pan for a little longer. This is how you get either over medium or over hard eggs.
If you think hard-boiled eggs are a little too plain, maybe steamed eggs will be more to your tastes. As the name suggests, steamed eggs are cooked using steam. The water vapor cooks the eggs more gently, resulting in tender whites and creamy yolks. It’s also easier to peel steamed eggs.
For those who don’t have a steamer, you can use a strainer instead. Just make sure that it’s bigger than the pot, so that it won’t fall inside. You can also repurpose a cooling rack. Once the eggs are cooked, transfer the eggs immediately into a bowl of cold water to keep the yolks soft.
Buttery Poached Eggs
Poached eggs might seem complicated to make, but the technique is actually quite simple. Simply take a saucepan and heat up some water, waiting until it’s almost at the rolling boil stage. Then, add some vinegar and swirl the mixture to create a whirlpool. Crack an egg, put it into a small bowl, and then from here drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool. This will keep the egg white together and preserve the yolk. After 5 minutes, remove the egg using a slotted spoon.
For a little more flavor, you can try poaching eggs in butter. Melt some clarified butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Crack an egg into a small bowl and then, once the butter is hot and melted, slide the egg carefully into the butter. Cook for about 5 minutes or wait until a white film forms on top of the yolk. Again, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg.
Smoked Boiled Eggs or Marinated Boiled Eggs
For those with more adventurous palates, try smoked eggs. Simply hard-boil eggs, peel them, and then take them to a grill and give them a good smoke. It’s like barbecuing, but only just enough to give the eggs a hint of smokey flavor.
You can also try soaking eggs in a marinade of your choice. Some people love soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and chili, with a hint of mirin (a kind of rice wine), although you can also experiment with the flavors you want. After boiling, peel the eggs and drop them into the marinade and simmer for about 5 minutes then let sit for an hour or so.
Do you want an alternative way to “fry” eggs without the oil? Try basting them! One way to do this is by water. Just add some water to the frying pan, cover it, and let the steam do its work. You can also use some butter and then, while the eggs are cooking, scoop and pour the melted butter on top of the egg.
Using either of these methods will help you thoroughly cook both sides of the egg without browning the edges.
Baked or Shirred Eggs
Last but certainly not least, you can also try to bake or “shir” eggs. For this, you’re going to need a pie tin or a flat-bottomed dish. Some even use cupcake or muffin pans! Crack the eggs into your preferred container and then place them in the oven for about 15 minutes. While you’re at it, add ingredients like cheese, bacon, and herbs for a simple but definitely delicious dish.
As you can see, eggs might look simple but they’re anything but when it comes to cooking variety. Try any of these cooking methods today to make your breakfast (and lunch and dinner) more interesting!