According to chefs and professional cooks, there are over 100 ways to cook eggs. While many require certain expertise or the use of specialized utensils or ingredients, there are also numerous ways to cook eggs that the average person can try at home any day. The simplest ways to fix eggs can be divided into four categories: frying, scrambling, boiling, and baking.
To cook eggs in a frying pan, you need little more than oil. Fried eggs can be done in any of the following ways:
- Sunny-side up: cooked on one side only; the top part, containing the yellow, usually stays slightly liquid.
- Basted: basically a sunny-side up in which oil is poured over the top rather than at the bottom of the pan.
- Steam-basted: a variation of basted in which water is added to produce steam.
- Over-easy: cooked on one side and then turned over for only a few seconds.
- Over-hard: cooked on one side and then turned over until both sides are evenly cooked.
You can also cook eggs by scrambling them. This is done prior to cooking, using a bowl and adding salt and pepper, herbs, and sometimes milk before placing the eggs on a frying pan. Basic scrambled eggs require you to keep stirring as the eggs cook, so the result is a slightly jellied mix. Scrambled eggs can be easily tuned into omelets by adding vegetables or cheese, and avoiding the constant stirring. The result is a tight mass with a bread-like consistency than can be easily rolled or put into sandwiches.
Another common way to cook eggs is to boil them. Boiled eggs can be hard-cooked or soft-cooked. The difference is basically the consistency of the yolk; in soft-cooked eggs, the yolk is still runny. Poaching is the action of cooking a broken egg, rather than one with the shell intact, in water. Eggs can also be baked, especially when made into omelets or frittatas, a version of an omelet containing hearty fillings such as vegetables, large pieces of meat, mushrooms, and cheese.
There are many other ways to preparing eggs, such as microwaving, deep-frying, custards, and quiches. Eggs can also be used to make sauces and dressings, and to prepare all kinds of soufflés.