Eggs are one of the most versatile dishes out there. Poached, baked, scrambled, fried, over-easy, sunny-side-up, there are so many ways to cook and eat eggs that it’s sometimes hard to choose exactly how to have them! Whether cooking up a storm at breakfast or choosing something extra to have with your evening meal, we’re bringing you a definitive guide to the different types of eggs and how to cook them!
How do you like your eggs?
If you’ve ever found yourself in a restaurant at breakfast time, then you’ve more than likely been asked, “how do you like your eggs?” If you don’t have the correct egg lingo at your fingertips, then there’s always the worry that you’ll end up with the wrong eggs! So, here’s our handy guide to 6 different types of eggs, so the next time you’re asked, “How do you like your eggs?” sunny-side-up won’t seem so daunting!
What are the different types of eggs?
Boiled (Hard & Soft) Eggs
Cooked in the shell in a pan of boiling water, hard-boiled eggs are completely cooked through, usually in about 10-12 minutes, and are delicious when sliced and served with toast, in a sandwich or added to a salad. Soft boiled eggs are cooked in exactly the same way, with the cooking time halved, so the yolk stays runny. Remember to be generous with the water, otherwise your pan might dry out, or treat yourself to an egg boiler for perfect eggs every time! Toast yourself some soldiers for the perfect dippy-egg dish!
Delicious on toast or as an accompaniment to a full-English breakfast, scrambled eggs are made when the yolk and egg whites are broken and whisked together and hard-scrambled for a drier texture or soft-scrambled for a runnier consistency. Put a pan on medium heat and grease with butter or a little oil. Add the eggs and a splash of milk to the pan and constantly fold the mix throughout the cooking time. Your scrambled eggs should start to take shape after 2-3 minutes. For soft-scrambled, remove them when they look wet but not too runny, and for hard-scrambled, continue cooking. Season and serve with toast!
Another easy way to make scrambled eggs is to use your microwave. Crack two eggs per person into a microwaveable bowl, add a good splash of milk and whisk the mixture together. Pop the bowl in the microwave on full power for two minutes. Remove and stir! If the mix is still runny, keep cooking in 30-second increments until it looks delicious! Easy eggs every time!
Here’s where we start to introduce some egg lingo. There are many different types of eggs to ask for when dealing with fried; they’re like the steak of the egg world! Fried eggs are usually cooked in a frying pan, on medium heat, with a little oil. Crack the egg directly into the pan and cook. Now, time for some egg terminology:
Sunny-side-up describes an egg yolk that’s as bright as the morning sun! These are fried in the pan on one side until the edges of the whites begin to brown. The yolk remains intact and should be runny when pierced.
Over-easy is a sunny-side-up egg that’s been flipped to cook it on both sides. This creates a thin film over the yolk, but it should still have a runny centre. Be careful not to break the yolk when you flip the egg!
Over-medium is cooked in the same way as over-easy eggs, but for longer on each side, so the yolk is much firmer.
Over-hard eggs are fried, flipped and fried again! Cooked through so both the egg-white and yolk ends up hard, they’re the perfect addition to any breakfast sandwich.
With a rise in the popularity of avocado on toast, the poached egg is the comeback king of the egg world and is the perfect choice for brunch. Cooked in a pan of water or in an egg boiler, poached eggs are like soft-boiled eggs cooked without the shell and are a great example of how you can cook eggs without oil. Bring water to the boil before turning it down to a simmer, add a splash of white vinegar to the water, and swirl the water to make a whirlpool. Crack in your eggs and cook for a couple of minutes until the whites begin to firm-up. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve. Poached eggs are super-versatile and delicious served over avocado or as an addition to fish and meat dishes. Season with black pepper for extra-flavouring.
Baked eggs are absolutely delicious! Cooked in the oven, usually with other ingredients, they’re super-easy to make and even better to taste! Crank your oven up to full temperature, grease some ovenproof ramekins and add your chosen filling (think mushrooms, spinach, meat or whatever takes your fancy!). Crack your eggs on top, season with salt and pepper and bake for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until the white is set but the yolk is still runny. It’s an eggs-cellent quick and easy meal!
Omelettes & Frittatas
In principle, an omelette and a frittata are the same things. An omelette is folded over like a calzone with all of its delicious ingredients inside, whereas a frittata is served open like an egg pizza! Whisk your eggs in a bowl whilst heating a pan on medium heat. Melt in a little butter, swirl the pan until it’s disappeared, then add the whisked eggs to the pan and tilt it so the runny egg covers the pan’s surface. Cook until the egg has set, then remove the omlette from the pan, add your ingredients to it and fold over. Alternatively, you could fry some ingredients first, then add the egg and cook them all together, folding at the end. For a frittata, fry the ingredients, add the whisked egg to the pan and then place it under a grill for 5 minutes until cooked. There are all kinds of easy frittata and omelette recipes on the BBC Good Food Guide to fill your pan full of delicious inspiration!
How many different ways are there to cook an egg?
There are over 100 ways to cook an egg and they’re a great and inexpensive source of protein, so however you like your eggs, you can be safe in the knowledge that every time you eat one you’re filling your body full of goodness, whether your poach, boil or fry!