In one of my kitchen notebooks, my youngest child drew a picture of his dream birthday breakfast. He was maybe four at the time. When finished, he proudly presented to me his rendition of a sunny-side-up egg with rashers of bacon arranged around the gleaming yolk like a frame. A masterpiece.
It’s unsurprising that I’ve raised such a fan of eggs. I always feel confident if I have a carton of them in the fridge; I know a meal is at the ready whenever hunger pangs hit. Outside of North America, there are eggy traditions uninhibited by the clock. They’re a quick, inexpensive source of protein and extremely versatile. Be it carbonara, shakshuka, a herb-flecked soufflé or a simple jammy egg to triumphantly crown my ramen, eggs for dinner never feels like a compromise.
There are as many variations of dan faa tong (egg flower soup) as there are fans of it, yet the core components remain steadfast—a cornstarch slurry thickens the broth, into which ribbons of egg unfurl and bloom. The trick to the latter is slowly pouring the whisked eggs into the swirling broth and then allowing those strands to set before stirring again, lest they break. This rendition has tomatoes for a balance of sweet and sour. Get this egg drop soup recipe.
The region of Chettinad is located in the Sivaganga and Pudukottai districts of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Chettinars spent centuries as mercantile bankers and traders of salt and spices across Asia, and that history of travel is evident in their cuisine. Get this egg curry recipe.
Some call it a Denver, others call it a Western, but whatever the name, salty ham, charred onions and crisp-tender peppers are hard to beat when it comes to an omelette. Here’s one made like a tortilla Española in that it’s large format and cut like a pie. Renowned chef Ferran Adrià famously added potato chips to his version, and, cribbing from his method, we’ve added kettle-cooked jalapeno chips to this hearty skillet dinner for some extra texture and a hum of chili. If you’re nervous about inverting the eggs, skip the flip and finish the tortilla in a moderate oven until just set, then broil it until it’s lightly tanned. Get this tortilla recipe.
In this Iranian/Persian dish, the eggs can be scrambled directly into the spinach or poached on top for those who love a runny yolk moment. Some recipes add mint or parsley to the wilted greens and saffron in addition to or in place of the turmeric. Feel free to do the same if you have them on hand. Get this spinach and eggs recipe.