You Can Scramble Eggs in a Pot of Simmering Water

You Can Scramble Eggs in a Pot of Simmering Water
Photo: Claire Lower

A wise man once said, “Eggs are nature’s cooking school in a shell, a pathway to teaching yourself everything you need to know to become a passable home cook.” With this one (cheap, ubiquitous) food, you can learn at least five different cooking methods (fry, poach, boil, scramble, bake), and get familiar with fats, seasonings, and the whole concept of heat control. (Burning eggs is a great way to learn the limits of your electric range.)

I have cooked thousands of eggs in almost as many ways, and yet there is always more to learn and explore. Take these poached scrambled eggs from Food52, for instance. Until yesterday, it had never occurred to me to scramble eggs in a pot of swirling, simmering water, but it makes sense on a few levels.

Much like the ribbons of egg you get in an egg drop soup, these scrambled eggs are tender and (obviously) moist. They’re soft and uniform in texture, nearly impossible to overcook, and much easier to poach than the traditional poached whole egg, which takes some level of skill to pull off. If you loved poached eggs, but are intimidated by the cooking method, poached scrambled eggs are a much easier recipe to start with.

Water scrambling a few eggs is easy: Bring a few inches of water to a low boil, scramble some eggs in a bowl (or jar), and then swirl the water bath around to create a vortex before pouring in your eggs. Place a lid over the pot and wait 20 seconds, then drain the eggs in a sieve.

Though beautifully cooked, these eggs are damp, and there is nothing you can really do about that. Waiting for them to “dry” in the sieve will only leave you with cold, damp eggs. These eggs are not made for toast, because they will make your toast wet. (You see that toast in the photo at the top of this blog? It got wet, and I had to feed it to my dog.)

Instead of trying to force these eggs on toast, add them to dishes where a little moisture isn’t a problem. In a bowl of hot, steaming rice, doused with chilli oil, they are perfect. They’re similarly delicious in a bowl on their own, with a pat of butter or drizzle of olive and lots of salt, eaten with a spoon.

Poached Scrambled Eggs (adapted lightly from Food52)

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (at least two)
  • Salt, a couple of big pinches per egg
  • Finishing fat, such as a pat of salted butter or really good olive oil

Grab a sauce pan and add about four inches of water. Bring to a low boil. While the water is heating, crack the eggs into a wire mesh sieve to drain away any watery whites, then beat the eggs and salt together. I like to use a jar or Tupperware for this.

Once the water is softly boiling, stir it with a spoon to create a vortex. Pour the eggs in and cover the pot for 20 seconds.

Decant most of the water away from the eggs — you may have to hold them back with a wooden spoon — then pour them into the sieve and swirl them around to shake off excess water. Set the sieve on a paper towel to absorb even more excess water, then slide the eggs into a bowl, or onto a pile of rice. Add a pat of butter, drizzle or olive oil, or some chilli crisp, and eat immediately.

   

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