Boiling eggs seems pretty simple. Step 1: boil eggs in water. Step 2: Eat the eggs. However, anyone who’s attempted a perfect poached or soft-boiled egg knows from experience that a lot can go wrong in the pot. The eggshell can crack if the egg is too cold when it goes into the water; a poached egg can fizzle into a mess of stringy whites in the water; the yolk can quickly overcook yielding a decidedly unpleasant sulfur odor. It’s not uncommon to be so burned by boiled eggs that you’ve turned to fluffy, reliable scrambled eggs for breakfast.
While I’d encourage you not to give up on boiling eggs, scrambling is foolproof and always satisfying. However, if you’re getting bored of making scrambled eggs in the same pan every morning, you should try this trick.
Daniel Patterson of Coi, Alta, and LocoL, and author (along with Mandy Aftel) of the new book The Art of Flavor: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food, is a longtime proponent of making scrambled eggs in boiling water.
“The intense heat of the water causes the air bubbles in the eggs to expand and simultaneously sets the proteins, making the eggs light and delicate, but fully cooked,” Patterson says.
To make Patterson’s boiled scrambled eggs, crack 2 very fresh eggs into a bowl and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds, ensuring that the yolk and white are fully incorporated.
Although you can make boiled scrambled eggs with just boiled water and salt, Patterson recommends adding a bit of fat at this point to enrich the eggs—a splash of olive oil or melted butter will do the trick.
Place a fine mesh sieve in the sink. Fill a medium saucepan at least 4 inches deep with water and add a few generous pinches of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then stir to create a whirlpool, (similar to the way come folks make poached eggs) which keeps the eggs from sinking and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Pour the eggs into the pot, lower the heat to medium, and cover the pot. Count to 20, then uncover the pan to find fluffy ribbons of egg floating in the water.
Let the eggs drain in the sieve for about 1 minute, then serve with whatever you like with scrambled eggs—Patterson recommends a classic dollop of creme fraiche and chives or hash browns a grilled onions.