Eggs, Eggs, Eggs….. Join Me To Cook Eggs….

IMG_4655

INTRODUCTION

I doubt if any one from my generation have never try eggs and if they try, never like eggs. Of course they are some unfortunate people in this world that have egg allergy and can only have cakes or other cuisines that are eggless. Bearing this in mind, I would think that majority of the people (at least in my circles of friends) would not reject the offer of a simple fried egg dish to go with their meal.

I do not wish to elaborate more about eggs but this special egg write up is with the intention for the submission of “Little Thumbs Up: Eggs (August 2013)” and Ms. Yen Simpson have a quite a detail write up of all sorts of eggs in her blog here.


WAYS OF COOKING EGGS

There are many ways of cooking eggs and this post will by pass all the descriptive flowery languages and go straight to the following ways of cooking eggs. You may have known this better than me but just took some time to read if there are any thing that you can add to my post and constructively criticise about my ways of making eggs. The methods that will be covered here are:

  1. Soft Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)
  2. Hard Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)
  3. Coloured Eggs (上色蛋)
  4. Poached Eggs (水波蛋)
  5. Scrambled Eggs (炒蛋)
  6. Eggs Omelette (蛋饼)
  7. Braised Eggs (卤蛋)
  8. Steamed Eggs (蒸蛋)
  9. Adding eggs to Chinese Soups (蛋花)
  10. Fried Eggs (煎蛋)


1。2。SOFT BOILED EGGS AND HARD BOILED EGGS (水煮蛋)

IMG_4550

To have perfect soft boiled eggs and hard boiled eggs, there are some timings that need to be followed An over boiled egg will have solid egg yolks slightly bluish in colour.  If it is fresh farm eggs, additional 5 minutes is needed. It is easier to boil eggs keep in the refrigerator than those keep at room temperature.

In a big pot filled with water, add in two big tablespoon of vinegar (to prevent egg whites flow out in the event the eggs crack), one teaspoon of salt and bring the water to boil under high heat. Once boiled, turn to medium heat to let the water simmer. Place the eggs using a spoon and gently lower down to the pot. The range of timing to get the desired textures of eggs are as follows (source: :adapted from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Soft-Boiled-Egg)

  • 2 minutes – very soft yolk and egg whites
  • 3 minutes – the white is set and the yolk is just starting to thicken
  • 4 minutes – the white and yolk are set, with the centre of the yolk still creamy.
  • 5 minutes – the white and yolk are set with centre starting to set
  • 10 minutes – the white and yolk are all set
  • Any further timing than this will result the eggs yolks to start turning to a bluish colour.

IMG_4134

Please note the colour changes of the egg yolks.


3。COLOURED EGGS (上色蛋)

At birthday or other important occasions, Chinese like to colour their eggs red. If you do not colour the eggs properly, the eggs will stain your hand or when you touch it. Therefore, it is important that your eggs do not lose its colour when you hold it.

IMG_4551

  • In a bowl, put some colour gel or permitted food colouring. Add few drops of vinegar. Stir well.

  • When ready, transfer your hard boiled eggs directly from the pot that it was cooked and use a spoon to roll the eggs. The hotter the egg, the easier it is. Continue rolling until you get your desired colour tone. It will dry very fast because of the heat inside the eggs. Look for any areas not covered with the colouring and make sure the colour is as even as possible.

IMG_4634


4。POACHED EGGS (水波蛋)

As per Wikipedia:

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, that is, in simmering liquid. This method of preparation is favoured because a very consistent and predictable result can be attained with precise timing, as the boiling point of water removes the temperature variable from the cooking process. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poached_egg)

A poached egg is consider as perfect if all the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny. It is good to be served in soups or with breads.

IMG_4627

  • In a hot pot of water, add one teaspoon of vinegar. Let it boil under high heat and once boiled, turn down to low heat and let it simmer.

  • Crack your eggs in a bowl or some kitchen utensils, slowly place it in the water. Don’t stir the water. If you want to stir the water, it must be done in a circular motion quickly such that the egg whites would not dispersed the the near by areas. Let it simmer until all the egg whites solidify.

IMG_4633


5。SCRAMBLED EGGS (炒蛋)

Per Wikipedia:

Scrambled eggs is a dish made from whites and yolks of eggs (usually chicken eggs). Eggs are poured into a hot greased pan and coagulate almost immediately. The heat is turned down to low and the eggs are constantly stirred as they cook. The pan and the stirring implement, if kept in constant motion, create small and soft curds of egg. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambled_eggs)

IMG_4628

  • In a big mixing bowl,  put some eggs. Put in some milk and beat until the eggs are well “mixed”, The purpose of this step is just to ensure the egg yolks and the egg whites are well beaten, You can also used a hand whisk to whisk it.

  • In a frying pan, put in some butters (or other cooking oils of your choice) and melt the butter.

IMG_4629

  • Pour in the beaten eggs and constantly stir it. Once the eggs have solidify into smaller curds, off the heat, add in seasonings such as salt and pepper and scoop up to a plate for servings.

IMG_4632


6.  EGGS OMELETE (蛋饼)

Per Wikipedia:

In cuisine, an omelette or omelette is a dish made from beaten eggs quickly cooked with butter or oil in a frying pan, sometimes folded around a filling such as cheese, vegetables, meat (often ham), or some combination of the above. To obtain a fluffy texture, whole eggs or sometimes only egg whites are beaten with a small amount of milk or cream, or even water, the idea being to have “bubbles” of water vapour trapped within the rapidly cooked eggs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omelette)

IMG_4630

In this illustration, I have prepared seaweed omelette with tomatoes. An omelette is deemed perfect if both sides have solidified whereas the insides are still moist but not runny. Milk is usually used to achieve that effect. Please refer the scrambled eggs above.

  • Follow the steps as mentioned in scrambled eggs above. Add in the seaweeds to the eggs. Add seasonings or your choice.

  • In a big shallow frying pans, add in the seaweed beaten eggs. Let it fried the bottom layer start to solidify.

  • Add in cut tomatoes strips and when all the eggs are not runny in the centre, fold into half.

IMG_4631


7.  BRAISED EGGS (卤蛋)

Chinese like to braise eggs and usually the eggs were braised together with meat broth such as from braising of ducks, pork belly etc. It appeared in Chinese cuisines such as Kuey Chap, a Teochew type of flat broad rice sheets and served with dark braised meat broth.

IMG_4156

To prepare Chinese styled braised eggs:

  • In a sauce pan, stir fry big pieces of galangal, garlics and gingers until aromatic. Add cups of dark soya sauce diluted with adequate to cover the meat or eggs that are to be braised. Bring to boil under high heat.

  • Once boiled, turn to medium heat, add in five spice powder,  some rock sugars and items to be braised including eggs.

  • Depending on the items to be braised, if without meat, eggs will need about 15 minutes before the colour sets in the eggs.

  • Off the heat and let the eggs sits in the broth for another 15 minutes for the flavour to penetrate the eggs.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing braised eggs and bean curd. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D10 – Braised Eggs and Taukwa (卤蛋和豆干).

IMG_4636


8. STEAMED EGGS (蒸蛋)

Steamed eggs is another common household dish for Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. It is also common in Korean and Japanese cuisines. The challenges of steamed eggs is to ensure that the eggs are flat, soft and without any bubbles or holes appearing on the eggs. In order to achieve that, one important point to note is the usage of boiled water when making the egg solution. If tap were used, the water is full of air or oxygen and this will cause the steamed eggs to have lots of holes. Cooked water are free of air and therefore when steamed, the eggs will be silky and soft.

IMG_4643

  • In a big bowl, crack one egg and add in about half a cup of cooked or boiled water (meat broth can also be used). If you want it softer, you can add in more water., Add in all your preferred seasonings, beat until well combined. Sieved and put in a bowl to steam at medium heat.

  • It is considered as done when the eggs are set. Drizzle with additional seasoning such as sesame oils, light soya sauce if necessary.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing steamed eggs. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D8-Steamed Tofu With Eggs (豆腐蒸蛋)

IMG_4644


9. ADDING EGGS TO CHINESE SOUP (蛋花)

Certain Chinese cuisines required soups to be thickened with egg solution. In the illustration, I have used some old images that I have photographed for the preparation of Lor Mee. A type of noodle dish where braised meat broth were first diluted and further thickened by using eggs and starches. A perfect addition of eggs should see small pieces of eggs floating in the soup or broth and there should be no lumps of eggs in the soup.

IMG_4650

  • Slightly beat your eggs until well mixed.

  • Use high heat to bring to boil. Once the soup is boiling, slowly add in the beaten eggs and use a ladle to stir the soup in a circular motion as quickly as possible. In that case, you will be able to break the egg solutions even before it solidifies.

IMG_4651

There is a detail pictorial instruction of using the same method to prepare another Chinese starchy soup. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe S6 – Vegetarian Shark Fin Melon Soup (素鱼翅瓜羹)


10. FRIED EGGS (煎蛋)

Everybody how to fry an egg and there is nothing much to say about egg frying techniques except one point. In order to have a “sunny top” type of eggs, you can consider the procedures below. If you follow the procedure, your egg yolks will not be easily broken.

IMG_4342

  • Heat up your frying pan and put a teaspoon of oil (optional).

  • Crack your eggs and put a few drops of water around the frying pan. Cover the frying pan to capture the water vapour.

  • Open the cover as soon as the egg is set and egg white is cooked. Off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Note that this way of frying eggs is possible without any oils (if using a non stick pans). You can heat your frying pan under high heat, crack your eggs and off the heat immediately. Put a few drops of water around the frying pan and cover the frying pan immediately and let the water vapour cook the top part of the egg yolk. Once the egg white is cooked, the top part of the egg yolk should also have cooked while inside, the egg yolk remains runny. You may want to refer to my Nasi Goreng Aruk  post on how to fry eggs without oil.

IMG_4656

On more other egg related dishes, you can refer here:


CONLCUSION

Everybody knows how to cook eggs. This post is just a summary of various ways of cooking eggs and of course there are still many other ways to cook eggs. This post will be classified as “special cooking ingredients” series. In the series, there are two other special cooking ingredients which are chillies and belachan.

This is a post that have been compiled over a period of almost a week. Hope you  like the post and share with me additional methods of cooking eggs. Cheers and have a nice day ahead.


I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up “Eggs” event organized by organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.

 

IMG_4635

Burnt, Hot, Spicy– I am running away!!!– Understanding Chilli Pepper and Making Of Chilli Sauce

IMG_5863

I am not running away, in fact, I like chilli peppers. The spicier the merrier.

I like to make my own chilli sauce, I will find the spiciest chilli I can for the making of my chilli sauce. I have to make my chilli sauce at least 3-4 times a year making and average out using about 1 kg of chilli each time. I usually prepare my chilli sauce in its base form. Thereafter, I used it for a dip or for cooking. When I do not have appetite to take my meals or when the meals is not tastier, yucky, one scope of my chilli sauce will help me to finish the entire meals.

IMG_2634

This post will have 3 sections.

  • Section 1 – types of chilli that you can get in Singapore and Malaysia, and its spiciness.
  • Section 2 – my simple way of making the chilli sauce 
  • Section 3 – what will happen if you have a chilli burn!

IMG_2635
 


SECTION 1 – CHOOSING THE CHILLI

It is rather common to hear that people (particularly man)  comparing how well they can take the spiciness of a food. They will use the ability to take spiciness of a food as a measurement of “manliness”. However, pardon me, with no adequate knowledge on the objective measurement of the spiciness of chilli that they are eating, such argument usually ended up with boosting oneself without letting go individual own stands.

Chilli’s or pepper’s spiciness, in fact can be measured by  Scoville Heat Unit (“SHU”) that in turn measured by the capsaicin in a given species of the chilli. Lets learn some fundamentals of chillies as extracted from www.artofmanliness.com.

“Peppers, often known for their heat, or spiciness, are ranked according to the Scoville Scale. The Scoville Scale, created by Wilbur Scoville in the early 20th century, measures the amount of capsaicin in a given species of pepper. Capsaicin is the chemical within peppers that makes them spicy. The Scoville Heat Units (or SHU) of a pepper represent the number of times the capsaicin within the pepper would have to be diluted before it would be undetectable. For example, you would have to dilute the capsaicin found in your average jalapeno 2500 times before it would seemingly have no spiciness at all, giving it a SHU rating of 2500”  Http://www.artofmanliness.com/

The picture below will show you various types of chilli and its spiciness.

 

Source : http://chilibloggen.se/category/chili.html

 

So, from the above picture, the common chilli that was commonly consumed in Malaysia and Singapore were summarized below:

Bell Pepper/Capsicum/Red Pepper SHU = 0
Cayenne Pepper/Red Chilli SHU = 60,000
Thai Chilli/Bird Eye Chilli /Chilli Padi SHU = 150,000
Habanero/Red Savina SHU = 350,000

The spiciest chilli is called the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend,  endemic to the district of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago, is currently the world’s hottest chilli pepper cultivated. According to the New Mexico State University, the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend ranks as high as 2,009,231 SHU on the Scoville scale, making it the hottest chilli pepper in the world to date. Paul Bosland, a chilli pepper expert and director of the Institute, said that, “You take a bite. It doesn’t seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty.

 

 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinidad_Moruga_Scorpion 


 

SECTION 2 – MAKING THE CHILLI SAUCE

I usually prepare this chilli sauce in its base forms with minimal condiments or seasonings. Vinegar and some salt is used to preserve the chilli and prevent it from turning bad.

I have added different condiments with the base chilli sauce so that it can be used for dips for different dishes or for frying dishes. For example:

Chicken Rice Chilli Base chilli sauce + ginger + calamansi skin + garlic + seasonings
Popiah Chilli Nothing added
Sambal Belachan for frying Chinese water cress etc. Shrimp Paste (Belachan) or small prawns or anchovies + lemon grass + shallots
Dips for fish Kalamansi + sliced garlic + dark/light soya sauce
Fried rice Nothing added
Roast pork Base chilli sauce + sugar + garlic, ginger + fermented bean curd
Braised duck (Teochew) Chopped garlic + white vinegar


WHAT IS REQUIRED

IMG_5815

  •  Some chilli of your liking and tolerance : I have brought these 3 types of chilli from Kuching, Sarawak when I walked by the wet market in Kuching. I was extremely happy to find some Habanero chilli (SHU: 350,000 units) and I have bought all the stock that the stall owner had. These Habanero chilli are rather difficult to buy and it is more costly than the other types of chilli.  The other two types of chilli are Thai Chilli or Bird Eye Chilli (Chilli Padi in Malay Language) (SHU:150,000 units) and some rather common Cayenne pepper (SHU:60,000 units).
  • White Vinegar – adequate to cover the volume of blended chilli. White vinegar serves as a preservative in this recipe. As the blended chilli is not cooked, in order to avoid the chilli paste from turning bad, white vinegar is used.
  • Salt – to taste and its role is also act as a preservative agent.

 IMG_8366


PREPARATION STEPS

The steps are rather simple and basic. But one important point to note is that ALL INGREDIENTS, PREPARATION EQUIPMENT AND CONTAINERS MUST BE CLEAN. If possible, sterile your container with hot water but make sure that it is dry before you place the chilli sauce in it. This is to prevent the growing of bacteria in your uncooked chilli sauce.

IMG_5833

  • Wash all chilli and if possible, dry it under the sun. Otherwise, pat dry using a dry cloth. 
  • Place all dry chilli into a food processor and processed it until the smallest chunks possible.
  • Note: If your blender is able to cut the chilli until the size that you want, you can by pass the use of food processor. Food processor is used here because Habanero chilli is quite big and it take quite it a while to cut it small, therefore, I opt to use a food processor and transfer into the cut chilli into the blender.

IMG_5835

  • Transfer the chilli chunks into a clean blender. Add some salt and white vinegar. The amount of white vinegar shall be at least adequate to cover the chilli chunks.
  • Blend at high speed until fine.
  • Carefully scope out the chilli sauce and place in a clean sterilized container . Add more vinegar if desired. Wait for the chilli to cool until room temperature, close the lid and keep in the fridge. (Note: when you grind the chilli, the temperature will increase, therefore, in order to avoid any unwanted water vapour in your chilli sauce, it is best that you let them cool until room temperature before you store them.)

IMG_2665

If you do not want the chilli to be that spicy, you can tone down the spiciness by de-seeding the chilli. You will need to cut open the chilli and take away all the seeds before you proceed to the grinding. However, do be careful not to touch the chilli seeds as it can be rather difficult to get rid of the chilli heat. So, it is advisable to use a glove before you proceed with the cutting.

This chilli sauce can be stored for at least half a year. But you have to make sure that every time you scoop out the chilli sauce, a clean dry spoon is used. Otherwise, the dirty spoon will introduce bacteria to the container and it will spoilt the chilli sauce.

IMG_2657


Preparing Base chilli from dry chillies

IMG_8348

At times, you may not be able to get hold of lots of fresh chillies or when chillies are not in the season and become costly, I have used the dried chillies to prepare the sauce. The preparation is slightly different but the taste is not the same as fresh chilli sauce. But the colour of the chilli sauce will be more attractive. For this version, I usually cooked with the chilli sauce so that it can be kept longer.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • Soak the chilli until soft (about 30 minutes). Use a food processor to blend the chilli until as fine as you can. For food processor, it is impossible to blend the chilli seeds, therefore, you will need to transfer the blended chilli to a blender. Add water just adequate to cover the chilli.

IMG_8326

  • Blend the chilli until the seeds are well blended. In a pot with a few tablespoon of cooking oil, stir fry the chilli sauce under medium heat.

IMG_8332

  • Stir fry until oil starts to sip out of the chilli paste, it become dry and aroma of cooked chilli starts to permeates the house. Add sugar and salt to taste. Off heat, transfer to sterilized container for cooling. Cool completely at room temperature before store in fridge.

IMG_8352

Notes:

  • Variations of this chilli sauce are many. However, I like my chilli sauce to be as basic as possible. In the process of stir frying, you can add in the following ingredients to make it become chilli sauce for nasi lemak or etc. : shallots, garlics, lemon grass, shrimp paste (belachan), buah keras. All this should be blend well and stir fry together with the base chilli sauce. If you want it to be even spicier, you can add some chilli padi .

IMG_2637

  • Uses of this chilli sauce: Can be used for stir frying kangkong or even petai as follow, cooking curry, as a dip (put belachan and calamansi), diluted with vinegar to go with Kuih Chap or oyster omelette etc.. Curry cooked with this chilli sauce will be beautifully coloured.

IMG_2667

  •  For dipping purposes: Just have a tablespoon of vinegar or lime juice, add additional salt or light soya sauce, shallot oil and it will be good as a dip for fried fish and etc.

IMG_8362

I have used the base chilli to stir fry with some petai. Put some cooking oil, sauté onions, belachan and baby shrimps until fragrance, add petai and followed by 2-3 tablespoons of this homemade chilli sauce, add additional seasonings and the sambal petai is ready.

IMG_8364


SECTION 3 – TAKING CARE OF YOUR HANDS   

It may be unfair for me to share with you how to make chilli sauce without sharing with you how to take care of you hand.

In my previous attempt to make chilli sauce,  I have a very bad experience whereby my hand was “burn” for one whole night by the chilli residue while I was washing the blender and food processor. That day, as I was out of time, I have forgot to wear a glove or “plastic bag” when I washed the food processor. To make the matter worse, I use the same sponge to clean the other dishes for dinner. Almost immediately, my whole palm was feeling extremely hot and when I accidentally scratched my face, my face got the hot feeling too. I have used many methods but none was able to stop the heat immediately. It really make me panic as I never have such an encounter before. As I am extremely tired that night, I just cut a stem of aloe vera and applied to the “injured part”, and that make my hand felt slightly better. I fell asleep when I was waiting for the heat to subside and when I woke up, the hand is getting normal again.

So, be careful with your hands. In the internet, there are many ways of reducing the heat arising from touching the chilli (or more specifically, capsaicin) and I have selected 5 ways for your consideration. Some methods can be applied if you accidentally ate some extremely hot chilli and the heat remained in your mouth:

  • Wash your hand using cold milk  – Milk have a protein called casein which is a natural “enemy” to capsaicin. The colder the milk, the better it is. This however, can be a wastage as you will constantly need to wash with new milks when the effect is less. Therefore, quite a lot of milks will be required. However, if you accidentally eat something spicy, this is a good way to reduce the chilli burn in your mouth. My kids can testify this, haha!!
  • Wash your hand with hard liquor or any other types of alcohol. Capsaicin do not dissolve in water but dissolve in alcohol. Drink some alcohol may help with the burning sensation in your mouth.
  • Rub your hand with salt and slightly some water. The salt will scrap away the capsaicin that is in your hand. Alternatively, sugar can also be used. Finish off with a rinse of milk and soap.
  • Wash your hand with oil. Capsaicin also dissolve in vegetable oil beside alcohol and casein.
  • Wash your hand with vinegar (or some form of acidic solutions) and soaps.

IMG_8350


CONCLUSIONS

  • Bird eye chilli is not the spiciest chilli as what most Malaysian and Singaporean thought. The spiciest chilli now on Guinness World of Records is in Trinidad called Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend. It is about 13 times spicier than the Chilli padi and 33 times spicier than the normal cayenne chilli that we used for our normal cooking.
  • Making chilli sauce is not difficult. It is advisable to make chilli sauce in its very basic form. Add relevant seasonings and condiments for different type of dishes. This will save your time in preparing different chilli for different dish.
  • There is no one fixed way of getting rids of chilli burn in your skin or your mouth. The above 5 methods are common solvents (milk, vinegar, alcohol, sugar, oil)  for the active ingredients in chilli, capsaicin. Dealing with chilli have to be careful, wear gloves if possible. Washing of utensils used in the preparation of chilli sauce have to be extra careful. Capsaicin vapour will rush out when water was flush to the equipment. You may start to cough or your tears may flow when capsaicin reach your eyes and throats. Therefore, washing have be careful using slow water avoid touching the capsaicin.
  • To reduce the spiciness of the chilli, de-seeding will help.

Lastly, thanks for reading this interesting cooking ingredient commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore.

IMG_8360

Hope you LIKE the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

IMG_8354

 

 


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

IMG_8358