Teacup eggs I got this recipe from a stay in a spa-clinic in Mexico, which had been established in the early Forties to conduct various experiments to ascertain optimal human living conditions in a (more-or-less) "clean", isolated environment. In the early Eighties, it resembled the Abbey of Theleme in "Diary of a Drug Fiend", with less heroin and more water, inside and out (no not that way, but...) Surrounded by faded Hollywoodians, and some very progressive families, I ate about 900 calories a day, walked up mountains, and nearly fainted in a sauna (high altitude and starvation does that, you know). I also got "the Treatment"...but that's another story...

Anyway, the best way to do this is to have a bitty bamboo steamer (the kind that fits into a largish saucepan), a flameproof cup of some kind big enough to hold your egg, and a pot big enough to hold the steamer.

Now then. Grease the cup with some butter. Break the egg into the cup. Then slice one fresh mushroom, and lay it on the egg. Slice up one scallion, minus the top, and lay it on the mushroom. Shred some mild cheese (Monterey Jack, Mozzerella, Swiss...) and lay it on the onion. Salt, pepper. Put enough water in the pot not to touch the bottom of the cup when it sits on the steamer. Set water to boil, and steam for ten minutes with lid on. Fish the cup off the rack with tongs before serving. At the Experiment in Living, I got two a week. You'll want more.

Once you've had your first half-dozen or so eggs in this manner, you'll start thinking of other ideas: why not peppers and tomatoes for a "Western" Teacup Egg? (Think of all the Chinese in the Wild West...) Or maybe some chopped-up ham in place of the mushrooms? Kelp flakes? Fish sauce?

Cooking....it's just like writing poetry...

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