What’s so great about the humble egg?October 11, 2019
The humble egg is one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods.
It’s packed full of protein, choline, omega-3s and antioxidants. Plus, 11 different vitamins and minerals, including iron, selenium, iodine, vitamins A, D, E, folate and B12.
In celebration of World Egg Day this Fry-day, we’ve put together a handy egg-cyclopedia, where you’ll find fun facts, favourite recipes and top tips for cooking the perfect poached egg.
- Smashing world records. You may have heard of the global phenomenon better known as the ‘Instagram egg’. The egg image was posted on Instagram by the account @world_record_egg, and accumulated over 53 million likes, earning it the world record for the most-liked Instagram post.
- Why are some shells brown and others white? Think the colour of an egg’s shell is about the quality of the egg? Think again! In fact, the colour of the shell is determined by the breed of the hen that laid it. Hens with white feathers tend to lay white eggs, while hens with red feathers tend to lay brown eggs.
- The float test. If you’re unsure whether an egg is still good to eat, pop it in a wide glass of water. If it sinks horizontally to the bottom, it’s good to eat. If it floats, it’s gone bad.
- Smelly eggshells. Did you know eggshells are porous? This means they can absorb the odours of other foods, so store them away from things like fish.
Top tips for the perfectly poached egg
- The fresher the better. Fresher eggs not only taste better, they hold their shape better too. If you can afford them, it’s best to use organic, free-range eggs.
- A dash of vinegar. Adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water will help the egg white to hold its shape.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl first. This helps to ensure the yolk remains unbroken and that there’s no shell in the egg. You can tip it into the pan in one swift motion. Top tip: Go one step further and crack the egg into a fine mesh sieve above the small bowl. This will separate the firmer white from the really liquidy white, and will hold a rounder shape when cooked.
- Get the boil right. Bring the water to a simmering boil, not a rapid boil. Then cook for anywhere between 3-5 minutes, depending on how well done you like your eggs.
- Drain excess moisture. Always use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked egg, and drain it on a paper towel to soak up the excess water.
Tasty serving and topping ideas
- A classic favourite – butter or smashed avo on toast with a sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Chilli flakes
- Chutneys (anything with pumpkin, beetroot or onion)
- Smokey BBQ sauce, aioli or hollandaise sauce
- Mustard vinaigrette (the acidic kick cuts through the richness of the egg)
- Chives or thinly cut shallots