KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — “How would you like your eggs cooked, sir?”
This question, when posed to me at a brunch café or at the egg station at a hotel buffet, always stumps me. Call me indecisive but what do I want?
Sunny side up or over easy? Hard boiled or soft boiled? Poached or sous vide? Scrambled eggs or omelette?
That last pairing is perhaps the most perplexing for some. These days you might be served scrambled eggs that are practically in a single clump or an omelette that threaten to fall apart.
So which is which?
For the former, I prefer very soft curds, of a creamy texture rather than too runny. Loose rather than all clumped up.
Where omelettes are concerned, I defer to the great French chefs. An omelette shouldn’t be stuffed to the gills with half a dozen ingredients; it should be simple and folded onto itself, creating almost a half moon shaped pillow.
Why not have it both ways with this velvety soft “scramblette”?
Use the freshest eggs you can find.
Let’s get the jargon police out of the way first: there is no such term as “scramblette” — I just invented it. Partly because I have very clear ideas of what scrambled eggs and omelettes ought to be, but mostly because “scramblette” just sounds... fun!
What we want here is a dish that is tender and fluffy, nearly set but not quite. Almost scrambled eggs, almost an omelette, but truly the best of both worlds.
Crack each egg carefully to avoid broken pieces of eggshell.
A SOFT ‘SCRAMBLETTE’
Use the freshest eggs you can find. Brown or white, it doesn’t matter. Crack each egg carefully to avoid broken pieces of eggshell.
Despite what some cookbooks and chefs might have you believe, you don’t really need that much butter. A pat of butter goes a long way.
Given how few ingredients are required, make sure to use the best and the freshest. This means freshly cracked black peppercorns rather than pre-ground black pepper in powder form. Flakes of sea salt to finish.
For an Asian touch, I don’t use salt directly in the egg mixture; I prefer a generous dash of fish sauce instead. Some light soy sauce will work too.
Just a dash would do. Don’t use too much else the results will be too salty or brownish in hue rather than a golden yellow.
A pat of butter goes a long way.
Instead of using a spatula, which can be a bit too rough, I prefer a quick twirl with a pair of chopsticks to loosen up the egg mixture as it cooks. A gentle twist right before the curds have completely set will produce the lava-like folds of eggy goodness you desire.
Keep a close watch; you want to remove the eggs before they are thoroughly cooked through. Remember the residual heat will cook the eggs further as you transfer them from the pan to the plate.
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly cracked black pepper and flakes of sea salt, for serving
Black peppercorns and sea salt.
Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs briskly to ensure the whites and yolks are well combined.
Add the fish sauce and continue to whisk aggressively for a while longer to aerate the eggs, so they are fluffier when cooked.
Add the butter to a cold pan. Use a low to medium-low heat to melt the butter, making sure to coat the entire cooking surface of the pan.
Now pour the beaten eggs into the pan. Leave undisturbed until you observe the edges have started to cook a little. Using a pair of chopsticks, twist from the centre of the mixture to allow the liquid parts to fold into the forming curds.
Lava-like folds of eggy goodness
Once the eggs are about three-quarters cooked, remove from the heat and divide between two warmed plates. (The eggs will continue to cook from the residual heat.)
Sprinkle some freshly cracked black peppercorns and flakes of sea salt over the eggs, to taste. Serve immediately whilst hot.
For more Weekend Kitchen and other slice-of-life stories, visit lifeforbeginners.com.
* Follow us on Instagram @eatdrinkmm for more food gems