Welcome back to the First We Feast GIF Tutorial series, where we ask restaurant cooks to demonstrate easy ways to step up your technique when cooking at home.
You’ve probably been making scrambled eggs for years. But chances are, they’re not nearly as great as they could be. The power of properly scrambled eggs—ones that are light and fluffy, and softly set—should not be underestimated. Whether served on a buttered piece of toast or worked into a sandwich, great scrambled eggs are a crucial element of any home cook’s arsenal.
For some guidance, we enlisted chef Nick Korbee of Egg Shop to teach us perfect scrambling technique. At his Nolita restaurant, Korbee serves huevos around-the-clock, in everything from pulled pork sandwiches to quinoa and avocado bowls.
Before you get started, a couple egg-scrambling principles:
- DO use a small non-stick skillet (one that’s well cared for, with no scratches or scrapes)
- DON’T over-beat the eggs
- DO put scrambled eggs on a sandwich
- DON’T chop up your scrambled eggs in the pan
- DO season the eggs right at the end of cooking (but not before you cook them)
HOW TO SOFT SCRAMBLE AN EGG
1. Crack two eggs into a bowl. “That’s kind of a basic scrambled-egg proportion for one person,” says Korbee.
2. Now, don’t go crazy and start whisking like a maniac. Break the yolks with a fork, and then gently rotate the yolks into the whites. “The more you destroy the eggs, the weirder the eggs will turn out.”
3. Add approximately one tablespoon of fat: cream or melted, cooled butter only (no milk or half-and-half). Mix to incorporate.
4. Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Put olive oil in the pan. Swirl the pan to evenly coat the surface with the fat.
Why olive oil? “It has a good flavor,” says Korbee. “But, it doesn’t have a high smoke point. If the olive oil is actually smoking, that means it’s too hot for you to cook your eggs, and you’re going to burn them and get a really gnarly, brown, fried scrambled egg going on.”
If you want to use butter: melt the butter, swirl it around to coat the pan, then discard the extra butter so it doesn’t brown at the bottom of the pan.
Feel your pan: If it’s hot at this distance then it’s ready to go. But if it’s so hot you can’t hold your hand over the pan, that means it’s too damn hot.
5. Once your pan is nice and hot, pour your eggs into the pan—you should hear a sizzling sound.
After a couple seconds, pull the pan off the heat. The heat retained in the pan will be enough to cook and firm up the eggs.
6. Using a spatula, gently pull eggs to the center of the pan and let the liquid parts run out under the perimeter. Continue to do this, until the eggs become a solid mass (one that’s still loose in the center). Korbee explains: “Pile the eggs up, let the eggs drip out. Pile the eggs up, let the eggs drip out.”
Please, resist the urge to chop up your eggs. “Perfect eggs aren’t broken, they aren’t chopped up—unless they’re a French-style, which involves something different altogether.”
That, friends, is how to make a soft-scrambled egg.
If you like your scrambled eggs cooked “hard,” you can flip the eggs over and continue to cook.
Note on seasoing: Notice Korbee didn’t put any salt or pepper in before cooking the eggs. “Adding salt at the beginning will draw the liquid out of the eggs, and create larger curds, making them harder to work with,” says the chef. When your eggs are cooked—right before you take them out of the pan—season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
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