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Scrambled eggs Chinese(?) style - is it wrong?

k
karlin88 Mar 14, 2012 08:05 PM

I like all kinds of scrambled eggs. Not just the kind cooked patiently over low heat although I love those too :). But whenever I see or look for scrambled eggs recipes they all go the same way: cook over low heat patiently. Don't get me wrong I love eggs cooked like this, but I also love eggs cooked over super high heat. It just felt like the entire food world was yelling at me with a megaphone that I was cooking my eggs wrong from the beginning.

When I first learned to make scrambled eggs I learned it this way:
Beat eggs and add salt and chopped green onions. Heat the oil until it is really hot and smoking (you can also test this by putting in a drop of the beaten egg; if the egg coagulates instantly than the oil is hot enough). Pour in the beaten eggs and stir quickly. The eggs are always done in less than 30 seconds. What's interesting about this method is the eggs instantly billow up and look kind of a like a cloud initially.

Does anyone else make their eggs this way over really high heat? Has any one tried both types of eggs and which do you like better?

  1. c
    Caerus Mar 17, 2012 07:34 PM

    Alton Brown's scrambled eggs recipe finishes his eggs over high heat. I absolutely love 'em his way.

    1. huiray Mar 17, 2012 06:59 PM

      All the time.

      Usually I don't even beat the eggs first. They get cracked on the edge of the HOT pan, the shell broken apart and the egg (contents) plopped into the hot oil. Shells tossed into the sink, spatula thrust into the yolk, scrambling of yolk and white ensues, and the heat is turned off when the mixture is half-set. Depending on my desire, I would have used a hotter or cooler pan/oil to generate some crispy edges/bits or minimal/no crispy bits. Plate or bowl is taken from the cupboard - while the scrambled mixture cooks a bit more in the still hot pan - and the eggs transferred from the pan. They should be still *just* on this side of being completely set and would be soft, moist, and have a bit of "wok hei" to them. The whole process to table takes a couple of minutes or so (including heating the pan & oil up)(I have a gas stove). Ta-da....eat.

      I really don't think of it as "Chinese style". Why should it be thought of in that way?

      I do a similar thing when making fried rice.

      Once in a while I would do an "omelette" with beaten eggs, plenty of hot oil so that it billows up a bit as you say and so that it begins to set but can be made to slide around in the pan in one piece with the spatula. (The egg mixture is usually diluted with WATER, *not* milk or cream, when beating before frying) Then – eat as-is, or chop up/julienne for tossing with fried rice, or rice noodles, etc.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/579972

      1. paulj Mar 17, 2012 06:07 PM

        I cook the eggs quickly when making fried rice, though I think of it more as cut up omelet than scrambled eggs. My normal scrambled eggs are a bit slower, though rarely so slow as to produce the soft curds that some insist are proper scrambled eggs. We've had some long threads on the topic, mainly instigated by posters who are upset because they can't get those slow cooked eggs in restaurants.

        1. luckyfatima Mar 16, 2012 07:12 AM

          I also cook scrambled eggs on high heat. I let the pan get really hot, drop in the eggs, stir to cook and quickly turn off the heat so they don't brown or overcook. They come out very light and fluffy and in big chunks. I never liked those small broken down eggs and I didn't realize that slow cooking was what achieved that or that this texture was desirable.

          1. lilgi Mar 15, 2012 11:15 AM

            LOVE my scrambled eggs over high heat. I usually take them out moist, but the residual heat continues to cook them the way we like. When I remove them moist from the pan after cooking over low heat it's miles away from the way we like our eggs. Probably not enough residual heat, and leaving them in longer is just not the same.

            Glad you posted this, I'd no idea these are called Chinese style scrambled eggs.

            1. mariacarmen Mar 15, 2012 11:07 AM

              I do, and i didn't know that was a Chinese thing. I love the way the puff up. I, too, like it the slow-cooked way, but these are great. very fluffy and never tough - you don't leave them in the pan long enough to get tough.

              1. JungMann Mar 15, 2012 10:34 AM

                That is how I learned to make them as well. If you add a little rice flour, you can create crispy edges on the egg puffs as well. It's a different species from the creamy style of scrambled eggs -- not necessarily any better, just different.

                1. RealMenJulienne Mar 15, 2012 05:02 AM

                  If you like them, then that is the right way. I love making eggs this way too. The browning creates flavor, it's not something to be avoided. The low-heat, culinary school style eggs have very little flavor to me .

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: RealMenJulienne
                    m
                    magiesmom Mar 15, 2012 05:22 AM

                    If the eggs are good and not factory farmed they have huge flavor on their own and the slow low cooking rally brings it out. If not you have to add flavor some other way.

                    1. re: magiesmom
                      e
                      Exy00 Mar 17, 2012 05:20 PM

                      I've bought eggs from pasture-raised chickens and they don't taste any different to me. If I had been blindfolded, I probably wouldn't have been able to distinguish them from my usual factory eggs (but of course the crazy-bright orange yolks are a giveaway.)

                      They did a blind taste test at SeriousEats awhile back and the serious eaters couldn't, either -- they even had the tasters try them multiple times, and individual tasters weren't even consistent from bite to bite as to which they preferred.

                      There's good reasons to buy non-factory eggs, not least of which being compassion for the chickens. Also, that orange color is from carotenoids that the chickens ingest while pecking at wild plants and may well be beneficial to your health. But I think it's pretty clear that taste is not, on its own, a real reason.

                      1. re: Exy00
                        m
                        magiesmom Mar 17, 2012 07:32 PM

                        I disagree heartily. It may just be the freshness of them, but more than once people have commented that my egg dishes are amazing without any knowledge or prompting.

                  2. biondanonima Mar 15, 2012 04:29 AM

                    I detest soft/runny eggs so I always scramble mine on higher heat (although not usually smoking hot), and cook them until they're completely cooked through. Some people refer to this as a broken omelet, although I find the stirring process gives them a different texture than a chopped frittata. Chacun a son gout.

                    1. f
                      fourunder Mar 14, 2012 11:54 PM

                      minus onions....sounds like egg foo young to me...

                      1. The Professor Mar 14, 2012 08:54 PM

                        Some times I do it the fussy way ...low heat, stirring, small curds. And sometimes I do it the high heat way ...heat the butter in the cast iron pan, pour the egg in, wait 5 seconds, then stir rapidly for a bit...and the eggs are done in less than 20 seconds (I like my eggs soft scrambled, or a bit "snotty").

                        Either way, I almost always beat a spoonful of either heavy cream or sour cream into the eggs.
                        For my "Sunday eggs", I make them the long, fussy way and often add some thinly sliced and chopped Hungarian salami, and serve the soft and creamy small curd results over freshly made soft buttery croutons made from cubes of rye bread. And a glass of wine, champagne, or a Bloody Mary to accompany it (it's ok...it's the weekend).
                        Abszolút finom!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: The Professor
                          ipsedixit Mar 14, 2012 08:58 PM

                          For certain, anything with heavy cream or sour cream would not be scrambled eggs "Chinese style" ...

                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            The Professor Mar 15, 2012 09:59 PM

                            True. But I like what the cream adds to the flavor, and being Hungarian I have Mongol blood in me...and the Hungarians use cream or sour cream...so it's Chinese enough for me. Indirectly. Very.

                            A bit of a stretch, I guess. But I had to see if I could rationalize it. LOL.
                            ;-)

                        2. ipsedixit Mar 14, 2012 08:51 PM

                          My mom does it this way.

                          Sometimes she'd also add Chinese pickled radishes. Yum.

                          I don't really consider this scrambled eggs, more like a faux-hybrid frittata omelet.

                          1. d
                            darrentran87 Mar 14, 2012 08:27 PM

                            I've tried both ways. I prefer it over low heat. When it's over high heat it gets watery and kinda tough... I prefer the velvety texture of scrambled eggs over low heat.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: darrentran87
                              lynnlato Mar 17, 2012 06:34 PM

                              Low and slow with nothing but egg creates that lovely, creamy texture that I love. I could never grow tired of it. But I pretty much love eggs any way you wanna give 'em to me. I won't complain. ;-)

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