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Eggs are a near perfect food: a rich source of protein that is full of vitamins and minerals. They’re also incredibly versatile: hard-boiled, poached, fried and scrambled – it’s almost as if it’s a different ingredient each time. Here’s our world tour of all the wonderful uses to which different cuisines have put the humble egg.
1. Chinese Tea Eggs
Often prepared for Chinese New Year, these eggs are also a favourite street-food snack.
3 to 4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp black tea leaves or 1 tea bag
3 to 4 pieces star anise
1 small stick cinnamon
2 to 3 strips dried orange peel
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
1 tsp sugar
- Place the eggs in a pot of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for one to two minutes.
- Rinse the eggs in cold water and tap each one with the blunt part of a spoon until the whole surface is lightly cracked.
- Return them to the pot and refill with water, just enough to cover them.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
- Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 2 to 3 hours, adding more water as it evaporates away.
- Peel and eat – they will have a rich flavour and a stunning marbled appearance.
2. Eggs and Peas Puglia-style
A dish from the heel of Italy that balances sweet fresh peas with hearty bacon and cheese.
2 tbsp of olive oil
75g diced bacon
60g grated Pecorino Romano
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat, and cook the onion until it begins to soften.
- Throw in the bacon and cook until it begins to brown, then add the peas and mix together.
- Sprinkle in a little water and steam the peas, replacing it as it evaporates, until the peas are cooked.
- Mix the egg, breadcrumbs and cheese with salt and pepper and add to the frying pan.
- Stir as the eggs begin to set, and serve hot.
3. Eggs Benedict
The classic brunch dish from the USA is the ideal way to enjoy a lazy weekend morning.
4 slices smoked back bacon
2 English muffins, split
2 tsp white wine vinegar
4 egg yolks
1tbsp lemon juice
- Start the hollandaise sauce by melting the butter in a pan.
- Beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice until the mixture becomes thick.
- Place the bowl over a pan over boiling water to heat the sauce gently, without cooking the eggs.
- Add the butter slowly while whisking the mixture.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cook the bacon until crispy and toast the muffin halves.
- Fill a pan halfway with water and add the vinegar, which will help the poached eggs set.
- Bring the water to a strong simmer and crack the eggs in. Lower the heat and cook for three minutes.
- Remove the eggs and let them drain.
- Lay a slice of bacon on each muffin, followed by an egg, and cover with hollandaise sauce.
What are your favourite ways to eat eggs?
Let us know in the comments below!