Eggs have been a staple of human diets since ancient times. Cooked in countless ways and utilized in various dishes, they are undoubtedly one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Whether you’re going for a classic hard-boiled egg or trying out some new experimental recipe, eggs can always be relied upon to deliver the goods.
The 100 Ways to Cook an Egg list is precisely what it sounds like — an attempt to explore and showcase all the different ways that eggs can be prepared. From traditional techniques passed down for generations to more modern inventions, this list aims to provide inspiration and encourage readers to try something new with their next egg dish.
A brief history of eggs in cooking
Eggs have been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years, dating back as far as ancient Egypt and Rome. The first known cookbook, written by Roman gastronomist Marcus Gavius Apicius during the 4th century A.D., featured several recipes that included eggs as an ingredient.
Throughout history, eggs have played a significant role in the creation of many staple dishes around the world. From omelets to soufflés, quiches to custards; it seems there is no limit to what these little orbs can do.
The popularity of eggs in modern times
Though there are many food trends that come in and out of popularity over time, one thing remains constant: people love their eggs. Whether it’s because they are affordable, easy to prepare, or just plain delicious, there is no denying how ubiquitous this ingredient has become.
In fact, Americans alone consume an average of 279 eggs per person per year! That’s nearly five dozen eggs! You’d be hard-pressed to find another food item with such widespread appeal.
The motivation behind attempting 100 ways to cook an egg
The idea behind creating this list was simple: challenge ourselves (and others) to think beyond basic egg preparations. Sure, frying or boiling an egg is a classic way to enjoy it. But why stop there?
With so many different cultures and cuisines around the world utilizing eggs in unique ways, we thought it would be exciting to try out as many variations as possible, aiming for 100 in total.
Without further ado, let’s dive in and explore some of the most popular (and unusual) ways to cook an egg!
Classic egg preparations
We begin our list with the classics — traditional methods that have stood the test of time.
- Soft boiled: Boil your eggs for 4-6 minutes for a perfectly runny center.
- Hard boiled: Bring water to a boil, then leave your eggs in for approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Over-boiled (glaçon): A technique used in France where hard-boiled eggs are left to cool in ice water, creating a creamy texture.
- Sunny-side up: Crack your eggs into a hot pan with butter or oil and let them cook (covered) until the whites have set and the yolk is still runny.
- Over easy/medium/hard: Same as sunny-side up but flip your eggs before taking them off heat depending on what level of “doneness” you prefer.
- Basted: Add a bit of water to your pan after cracking your eggs and cover them up while they cook. The steam will create a thin layer on top of the yolks without overcooking them.
- French-style: Slowly scramble your eggs over low heat while stirring constantly until they reach a silky smooth consistency.
- American-style with cheese
- American-style with veggies
Baked egg dishes
Baked egg dishes offer something slightly more elevated than traditional cooking techniques while still remaining relatively simple to execute.
Originating in Italy, frittatas are similar to omelets but without the need for flipping. Instead, you bake all the ingredients together in a pan.
- Traditional Italian frittata recipe
- American-style frittata recipe
- Spanish-style tortilla Española recipe
A classic brunch food appreciated by many for its creamy and indulgent texture.
- Classic Quiche Lorraine
- Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
- Crab Quiche
Poached egg dishes
Poaching an egg might seem intimidating, but it’s easier than you think! Here are some classic poached egg recipes to start with:
- Eggs Benedict: Traditionally served on an English muffin with Canadian bacon, this dish features perfectly poached eggs smothered in hollandaise sauce.
- Traditional Eggs Benedict recipe
- Variations of the classic like Southern-style biscuits and gravy or smoked salmon.
**Note**: Poaching eggs requires special equipment such as a slotted spoon and vinegar.
Egg salads and spreads
Egg salads are simple yet delicious recipes perfect for picnics or snacks. Try out these two basic versions:
- Deviled eggs: Hard-boil your eggs then mix up the yolks with your favorite spices and fill them back into the hollowed-out whites.
- Classic deviled eggs
- Southwestern deviled eggs
- Egg salad sandwiches: Combine hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and anything else that sounds appetizing to you. Slap between pieces of bread for a tasty sandwich.
- Classic egg salad sandwich
- Curried egg salad sandwich
Unusual egg dishes from around the world
Let’s get adventurous! Here are some unique egg dishes inspired by international cuisines:
- Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs: A popular snack that involves steeping boiled eggs in a mixture of soy sauce, black tea leaves, and spices.
- Japanese Onsen Tamago: Slow-cooked poached eggs where the yolk is runny but the whites are firm. Perfect for dipping into soy sauce!
- Indian Egg Curry: Hard-boiled eggs simmered in a rich tomato-based curry sauce and finished with cilantro.
- Turkish Menemen: Whip your eggs into a flavorful tomato and pepper sauce, then finish off with feta cheese and parsley.
- Mexican Huevos Divorciados: A breakfast dish where two fried eggs are served on a plate divided by different spicy sauces.
Desserts with eggs
We can’t forget about the sweeter side of things! Here are some dessert recipes featuring eggs as a main ingredient:
- Crème Brulee: A creamy custard topped off with caramelized sugar that adds just the right amount of crunch.
- Custard Pie: An easy pie recipe filled with sweet custard made from scratch.
- Pavlova: Meringue-based cake filled with whipped cream and fresh fruits like strawberries or mangoes.
There you have it — 100 different ways to cook an egg! Whether you’re looking for something quick and simple or hoping to expand your culinary horizons, we hope this list has provided some inspiration.
Remember, though—these recipes are just the tip of the iceberg. Part of what makes cooking so fun is experimenting yourself! So feel free to play around with different ingredients and techniques to discover even more ways to enjoy one of nature’s perfect foods.
- Q: What inspired the creation of the “100 ways to cook an egg” list? A: The idea for the list was born out of a desire to showcase the versatility and endless possibilities that come with cooking eggs in different ways.
- Q: Are there any classic egg dishes that made it onto the list? A: Of course! Timeless favorites such as fried eggs, scrambled eggs, and omelets all have a place on the list, but also with unique twists and variations.
- Q: Can you share some examples of unconventional egg dishes featured on the list? A: Absolutely! A few standout recipes include deviled quail eggs, pickled eggs, baked avocado with egg, and even an egg-topped pizza.
- Q: How do you recommend someone approach trying to make 100 different egg dishes? A: Don’t feel pressure to try them all at once or even within a specific time period- make it fun! Mix in some familiar recipes with ones that are new and challenging. Experimenting can lead to interesting flavor combinations and new techniques that can improve your skills in the kitchen.