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Techniques - Eggs

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks



Many recipes call for either yolks or whites. Smell cracked eggs before using to be sure that they are fresh

In a nonreactive bowl, break the shell of an egg by tapping it against the rim of the bowl. Insert your fingers into the break, and gently pry the two halves apart. Some of the white will escape into the bowl.

Gently shift the yolk back and forth between the shell halves, allowing the white to fall into the bowl. Take care to keep the yolk intact. Place the yolk into another bowl, and set aside. Remove any shells that may have fallen into the bowl.

Beat egg whites

For the best results, use room temperature egg whites, a copper bowl, and a balloon whisk

Place the egg whites in a perfectly clean bowl and begin beating slowly, using a small range of motion to break up their viscosity.

Continue beating steadily, using larger strokes, until the whites have lost their translucency, and begin to foam.

Incorporating as much air as possible, increase your speed and range of motion, until the whites have “mounted” to the desired volume, and are stiff, but not dry.

Test by lifting the whisk; the peaks should be firm but glossy, and the tips should droop gently.


Use fresh eggs, as they have thicker whites, and are less likely to disperse when cooking

Crack an egg onto a small plate, being careful not to break the yolk, then slide it into a pan of gently boiling water with vinegar

Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the white over the yolk just until set. Repeat with remaining eggs. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil, and poach for 3–5 minutes, or until the whites are completely set.

Place the eggs in another pan of gently simmering salted water for 30 seconds to remove the taste of the vinegar. Then, using a slotted spoon, place the eggs on a clean dish towel to drain briefly.

Poaching water

In the boiling water, add 1 tsp of white vinegar to every quart (1 liter) of water. This will help the egg white to coagulate, rather than form streamers in the water. Do not add salt, as it will discourage coagulation.


Despite the name, eggs must be simmered, never boiled. If a green ring appears, it is the result of overcooking (or an old egg)

For soft-boiled

The whites will be set, and the yolks runny. Use a pot large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer. Cover them with at least 2in (5cm) of cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then immediately lower to a simmer for 2–3 minutes.

For hard-boiled

Both the whites and the yolks will be set. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. When the eggs have cooked, place the pot under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Peel away, and discard the shells when cool enough to handle.


Scramble as you like, whether you prefer your curds large, small, or completely scrambled in traditional French-style

Crack the eggs into a bowl, making sure to remove any fallen shell. With a fork, break the yolks and beat the eggs. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, then melt enough butter to lightly coat the base of the pan. When the butter has melted, pour in the beaten eggs.

Using a wooden spoon, pull the setting egg from the edges into the center of the pan to cook the raw egg. For larger curds, let the egg set longer before scrambling.

For creamier eggs, add a little milk when beating the eggs in step 1, or add a little cream just before the eggs are finished.

Make a classic folded omelet

A 3-egg omelet is easiest to cook; any more than 6 eggs will be difficult to handle

Beat and season the eggs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, and melt 1 tbsp of butter. Add the eggs, shaking the pan, so the eggs can spread evenly.

Stir the eggs gently with a fork while continuing to shake the pan. Stop stirring the eggs just as soon as they are set. Fold the side of the omelet nearest to you halfway over itself.

Sharply tap the handle of the pan to encourage the other side of the omelet to curl over the folded portion, and slide to the edge of the pan.

Tilt the pan over a serving plate, so that the omelet falls onto the plate, seam side down. Serve immediately.

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