Eggs are a must-stock ingredient in many kitchens around the world. Often used as a building block to construct both sweet and savoury dishes, eggs are a powerhouse protein that are the perfect foundation for a variety of international flavours. Here are 15 ways that chefs around the world fry, poach, scramble or otherwise cook this excellent ingredient.
Nasi Lemak (Malaysia)
Those who like to mix flavours at the table will love this Malaysian dish, where each bite is different depending on your tastes: crispy fried anchovies, peanuts and slightly spicy sambal laced with tamarind. All served with coconut rice and a hard boiled egg. Cooling cucumbers add a fresh contrast on the side.
Tea Eggs (Taiwan)
Cracking the shells of hardboiled eggs and steeping them in a sweet/salty soy and five-spice mix results in a pretty pattern (tip: the more you crack the shell, the more intricate the network of lines criss-crossing the outside of the egg will be). These snacks are enjoyed throughout China and Taiwan — and are customizable to different spices or sizes. Try them with quail eggs for a pint-sized appetizer nibble.
Moo Palo (Pork With Eggs) (Thailand)
Craving some gravy for your eggs? This Thai dish builds on the soy-based liquid used in tea eggs, but adds cilantro, fish sauce and tender pork belly for a braised dinner with substance.
Cocotte Eggs (France)
Coddled soft eggs baked in ramekins with crème fraîche is a quintessentially French dish. Top with whatever suits your fancy to add a bit of heft for a light meal — cheese, smoked fish or even a few truffle shavings for a special occasion — and shower with chives or other herbs for a vibrant finish.
Eggs Bhurji (India)
In certain regions of India, eggs are a staple that span different meal times. This subtly spicy scrambled dish (anda bhurji) incorporates chopped green chilis, ripe tomatoes, golden turmeric and a small pinch of chili powder for a better than average breakfast or even an afternoon snack.
Shakshuka (North Africa, Israel and the Middle East)
Many countries claim ownership of various versions of this poached egg in tomato dish — wherever its origin, this versatile and easy meal is popular for its endless variety and versatility.
Spanish Tortilla (Spain)
At pintxos bars around Spain, sturdy layered potato and onion omelettes are served to hungry diners. This egg dish is ideal for mid or late night snacking, served bite-sized or as one big plate.
The sound of rice sizzling against a warmed stone pot is only improved by the sight of the streaky yolk of an egg slowly ribboning through the steaming dish. Julienned vegetables and a quick pickled cucumber adds crunch — and a healthy hit of sriracha or sambal oelek brings up the heat.
Dan Tat (Egg Tarts) (Hong Kong/China)
Sometimes (and erroneously) lumped in with the Portuguese egg tart called pastel de nata, the Chinese version sports a satiny smooth filling with none of the former’s characteristic charring on top. Flaky and crumbly pastry encases the custard with a tender shell, making for a delicate treat.