Asian Eggs Food Recipes

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The most commonly used eggs in cooking are chicken eggs, although duck eggs may also be used. In comparison, duck eggs are larger and have yolks that are richer in color and texture. Eggs are high in protein, fat, calcium, iron and vitamins. They should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated place and eaten as fresh as possible. To test the freshness of an egg, place it, horizontally, in a bowl of cold water. If it stays horizontal, it is fresh. The more it rises to the vertical, the staler it is. Your sense of smell will also tell you if an egg is bad. For this reason, always break each egg into a small container before tipping it into the main mixing bowl or cooking pan.

Eggs may be prepared in so many ways that they need not become boring. They can be boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, baked or made into novelettes. Eggs are sometimes also eaten raw or cracked into a beverage and swallowed. Eggs are also a vital ingredient in many different recipes. Cakes, batter puddings and pancakes depend on the protein in eggs coagulating as they cook, and sauces, custards and tarts can be thickened by adding egg yolks. When vigorously whisked, egg whites hold large amounts of air and this increases their volume considerably. It is the air trapped in egg whites that give soufflés, sponges and mousses their light, airy texture, and that plays a vital role in the making of meringues.

If using eggs that have been refrigerated, allow them to return to room temperature before use. To get soft-boiled eggs, place eggs in a pan of boiling water and leave for a minute, then turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave for 5 minutes. Alternatively, place eggs into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size of the eggs.

For hard-boiled eggs, place eggs in a pan of hot water and return the water to the boil. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. It is believed that stirring the eggs around in the water will cause the yolks to be centrally positioned, and thus be more aesthetically pleasing when sliced for serving. Remove the eggs from the pan and place into a basin of cold water to prevent the yolks from discoloring. Cooling the eggs this way will also make them easier to shell.

Besides chicken and duck eggs, quail eggs are also commonly available. They are about a third the size of chicken eggs. On the other end of the scale are ostrich eggs, which are about 20 times bigger than chicken eggs.

Salted eggs are made from duck eggs. The fresh eggs are first coated with a paste made from clay, salt and water and then left for a few weeks. Salted eggs are usually sold still coated with the paste. Scrape it off and wash eggs well before using. If eaten whole, the salted eggs are hard-boiled. Salted egg yolks are also used as filling for Chinese pastries.

Century eggs are also made from duck eggs. Fresh duck eggs are covered in a paste of leaves, ash, lime, salt and water and then left to cure for a few weeks. Scrape off the paste and wash the eggs before using. The eggs can simply be shelled and eaten as an appetizer.


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