Almost everyone enjoys eating eggs (except of course for vegans or someone with an allergy). And almost everyone has a favourite way of having their eggs: easy-over, soft-boiled, whatever. Except me. I love eggs soft-boiled, hard-boiled, easy-over, sunnyside, fried soft with runny yolks, hard fried so that edges are lacy and black, as an omelette, scrambled, as a fritata, as a souflé, as a custard. In a sandwich, over eggs, with shoyu, with chiles...

So just about any way that you could cook an egg for me would be gratefully received (itadakimasu). But there a few useful things to know about preparing eggs.

  • More than anything, using fresh eggs is important.
  • Break eggs just before using. Eggs lose their freshness rapidly.
  • If you break eggs on a flat surface, the shell stays together in larger pieces. Breaking eggs on the edge of bowls is fine but can cause small pieces of shell to fall in.
  • Straining beaten eggs enhances texture and flavour.
  • Put a cloth under the lid when steaming eggs. This prevents water dripping on the stove.
  • Use a strong fire for the first 1-2 minutes, reduce flame until done. To check if steamed eggs are finished, insert the tip of hashi (chopstick). If clear liquid is in the hole the eggs are done.
  • Be sure not to overcook. Eggs become spongy, lose flavor and texture if over cooked.
  • Allow eggs to warm to room temperature before boiling. Eggs used directly from the refrigerator crack when boiled.
  • Boil eggs from cold water.
  • To keep yolks in the center, roll eggs with hashi (chopsticks) until the water comes to a boil.
  • Soft boiled eggs take 3-5 minutes. Hard boiled eggs take twice the time.
  • Overcooking discolours yolk covering. Yolks solidfy without boiling if put in a pot of hot water for a long time. Whites remain half soft unless boiled. Traditional onsen tamago (Hot Springs eggs) are made this way.

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