EGGS are used, both, in savoury dishes and desserts. Baking would almost be nothing without them.
It also contains protein, minerals and vitamins. Nutritious and delicious to eat, what is there not to love about eggs?
It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in many different ways.
Here are five basic ways to cook eggs:
1. Hard and soft-boiled eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are fully-cooked eggs. Both, the white and yolk, are completely solid whereas for soft-boiled eggs, the yolks are still slightly runny and creamy. It is cooked in a shorter amount of time. You can even spice up the eggs by making deviled eggs or herbal eggs.
The first step to making hard and soft-boiled eggs is to submerge them in a pot of cold water. Use cold water instead of hot water to ensure that they are cooked slowly and evenly.
The key to perfect hard and soft-boiled eggs is to cook them slowly. Putting them in direct heat will cause uneven cooking because the egg whites cook at a faster rate than the yolks.
Next, place them on the stove at high heat until the water starts to boil. Remove the pot away from the fire, place it aside and cover it with a lid. Leave the eggs in the boiled water to allow them to continue cooking. You only need to leave it for four to six minutes for soft-boiled eggs and 10 to 15 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
Once it has cooked long enough, remove the eggs from the pot and rinse them with ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Then, it is ready to be peeled and eaten.
Common mistakes when making hard and soft-boiled eggs:
- Boiling them for too long. It causes the egg whites to turn chalky and sulfur rings forms around the yolk. A sulfur ring is a green-gray ring formed on the outer layers of the yolk. It is formed when the sulfur from the egg whites react with the iron in the yolks. This happens when the eggs are cooked too long.
- Submerging them in hot water first instead of cold water. This causes the egg whites to cook faster than the yolk.
- Not cooling the eggs immediately after boiling.
2. Scrambled eggs
Having scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast makes the perfect start of any day. It is considered one of the easiest eggs to make.
First, crack some eggs into a bowl. Here is a tip for cracking eggs: To avoid tiny egg shells in your scrambled eggs, crack your eggs on a flat surface instead of the edge of your bowl.
Then, add milk, salt and pepper. Whisk them vigorously to incorporate air to achieve soft and fluffy scrambled eggs. Avoid mixing in too much milk or you will end up with dense and runny scrambled eggs. Just add half a tablespoon per egg.
Heat up some oil on low heat on a non-stick pan and add in the egg. Stir it slowly for two to five minutes.
You can also try putting a twist to your scrambled eggs by adding vegetables or meat. However, it is best to cook them separately first before adding them together. This is a great way to make use of your leftovers.
Common mistakes when making scrambled eggs:
- Over-cooking your eggs. Scrambled eggs are suppose to have a slight creamy texture. Over-cooked scrambled eggs tend to have a tougher texture. Your scrambled eggs should not be brown.
- Adding too much liquid such as milk or water.
3. Sunny-side ups
Sunny-side ups are fried eggs that are partially cooked. The egg whites has a slight wobble to it and the yolks are still runny.
On a non-stick pan over medium heat, heat up some oil or butter and add your egg. Avoid breaking your egg too high from the pan. This will cause your yolks to break. Instead, break them closer to your pan or break them into a bowl first.
Make sure that it is not too hot. Slow and steady is the way to go.
Ever wonder how to cook the top of the egg without flipping over? There are two techniques. The first technique is to sprinkle some water on a lid and cover your pan for a few minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. The other technique is to spoon the hot oil on the pan over your egg, starting from the egg whites.
With these techniques, you can have perfect sunny-side ups all the time. Nonetheless, practice makes perfect.
Common mistakes when making sunny-side ups:
- Breaking your eggs into your pan from a great height.
- Frying them on high heat. This will cause the sides and bottom of the eggs to turn brown.
A simple omelet is the perfect comfort food for anytime of the day and is relatively simple to make.
Before cooking, make sure that your eggs and butter are at room temperature to ensure even cooking. Then, beat eggs with salt, pepper and herbs of your choice. The herbs that are commonly used in an omelette are chives and parsley.
Heat up butter on a pan over medium heat and add your eggs. Use unsalted butter as they do not brown as fast as salted butter when heated.
Tilt and rotate your pan to make sure the eggs cover the pan all around. When the eggs is partially cooked – where the top of the egg is still runny but the bottom is cooked – add the ingredients of your choice on the left half of the egg. You can add grated cheese, onions, red pepper and/or ham. Also, make sure that you cook your fillings first before adding them in.
Press the ingredients down gently onto the egg. Then, slowly fold in the other half of the egg and voila! A delicious omelette ready to be eaten.
Common mistakes when making an omelette:
- Using a pan that is too big. You will end up with super thin omelette with its fillings bursting out.
- Cooking it over high-heat.
5. Poached eggs
What would egg benedict be without a perfectly poached egg? It is considered both the easiest and toughest type of egg to make. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a professional chef to make the perfect poached eggs once you know the fundamental steps.
Crack your egg into a ramekin or bowl. Fill your pot with water and bring it the a boil. Then, add a splash of vinegar. Vinegar allows the proteins in the egg whites to cook faster.
Lower the heat and stir the water until it forms a vortex. Do not stir too vigorously though, you wouldn’t want boiling water splashing everywhere.
Strain the egg with a strainer to remove loose outer whites. Then, take a deep breathe and carefully pour the strained egg as close to the vortex as you can.
It will start shaping into an oval and gently swirl the water again. Two minutes is all you need to achieve perfectly poached eggs with delicious creamy yolks.
Slowly scoop the egg out and place it on some kitchen paper to absorb the excess water before transferring it to your serving plate.
Common mistakes when making poached eggs:
- Poaching your eggs on high-heat. It is important to lower the heat before adding the egg. Poaching them on high heat tears the whites before they set, leaving you with egg soup and chalky whites.
- Stiring your vortex too vigorously.