Eggs are widely enjoyed as breakfast entrée. Some would like their egg poached to perfection. Others would prefer plain scrambled egg or with vegetable, meat, seafood or a combination of a whole lot more. Still others would like a simple hard cooked egg where the eggshell is intact and without crack, the yolk and the white are solid and firm.
Others would like a soft cooked egg almost coagulated yet it has the ability to “quiver” a bit. While the optimistic who faithfully wakes up in the morning to see the bright side of life would positively desire the sunny side up.
But can we eat egg every day? Egg is high in cholesterol and it has been blamed as the culprit that causes the accumulation of plaques in the arteries resulting to constricting blood flow, reducing the elasticity of the arteries, and consequently elevating the blood pressure.
On the other hand, egg contains essential minerals and vitamins except vitamin C needed by the body. It is a good source of quality protein, meaning egg contains the right quality of essential amino acid to build tissues. Chicken egg is readily available in the market and the cost is cheap.
Weighing the good side and the bad side of egg consumption, doctors and dietitians agreed to recommend eating 2-3 pieces of eggs per week.
In the study, “The Effects of Egg Consumption on Lipid Profile Among Selected 30–60 Year-Old Filipino Adults” headed by Dr. Celeste C. Tanchoco, Scientist III, of the DOST-FNRI, she suggested that, “eating one egg a day is unlikely to have substantial increase in blood lipid.” Dr. Tanchoco advocates a stronger message regarding other aspects of lifestyle such as weight maintenance, regular exercise and support the necessity of dietary guidelines and lifestyle approach to disease risk reduction as lifelong endeavor.
If we can eat egg everyday, how can we make its preparation exciting? How do we cook eggs right? Here are some practical steps to cook eggs to perfection.
An excellent poached egg guarantees that it is made from fresh eggs. Start off by using only fresh eggs. Poached egg is cooked in water at a simmering temperature, about 85-98OC, the temperature below boiling point, when bubbles form slowly and collapse below the surface. The eggshell is carefully broken with caution, keeping the yolk whole. Slowly glide the egg into the simmering water. Allow the egg white to set at a desired degree. When done, remove eggs using a slotted ladle. Drain and serve at once.
Hard cooked eggs and soft cooked eggs may be cooked in the same saucepan. Remove eggs from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. It is important to have the eggs at room temperature because the sudden extreme change in temperature will cause the eggshells to break. It is also important to have all the eggs in saucepan immersed in water. Cook the eggs at simmering temperature. Soft cooked egg is done after simmering for 5 minutes while hard cooked egg needs 15 minutes. To achieve the desired results, cooked eggs must be dip in cold water to prevent over cooking. A fast egg spin distinguishes the hard cooked egg from the soft cooked one.
Sunny side-up and over easy are fried eggs. Eggs are broken out of the shell then pan fried in cooking oil. Cook the egg until the white is set and the yolk thickens but not hard. The yolk may be baste with hot oil to have an over easy fried egg.
The scrambled egg is prepared by whipping the whole egg. Milk is oftentimes added to achieve a softer product. A good scrambled egg is evenly coagulated but not tough nor burned. Scrambled eggs easily turn into omelets by adding sliced tomatoes, onions, mushroom, cheese, bacon, red or green pepper, meat, sea foods and endless combination. This fun-filled omelet is what my grandmother fondly calls “torta”.
For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/ Fax Nos: 837-2934 or 837-3164; Direct Line:839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071-82 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/FNRI.DOST or follow our Twitter account at twitter.com/FNRI_DOST. (Czarina Teresita S. Martinez, DOST-FNRI S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)