I can say with certainty that almost everyone in the world has a favorite way to eat eggs. They are so cost-effective, full of protein and I think really delicious. It seems like every day of the year is a food holiday, so I wasn’t surprised to find out that there is a whole day dedicated to my favourite little protein sources. However, I was definitely excited to do some research about some dishes from around the world that are new to me or that might be new to you.
1. The first dish that came to mind was 番茄炒蛋, Chinese tomato scrambled eggs.
This is a really simple accompaniment to rice or noodles and only has two main ingredients. I think many cultures have some version of this dish and it is something that I make a version of in my shared student kitchen. Eggs are stir-fried in a wok with salt and sugar, tomatoes are sliced into juicy wedges and fried separately, and then the two are combined with green onions and served with steamed rice. You can make a saucy version with stewed tomatoes that is perfect to spoon over fresh noodles, add more or less sugar to change the balance of sweet and savoury, or cook the eggs more slowly for a completely different experience. However you make it, this dish is a quick and delicious meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner that you should definitely add to your repertoire.
2. Arepas de huevo (egg arepas)
I have never had an arepa, a corn-based handheld pocket native to Venezuela and Colombia that can be filled with anything from cheese to meat, beans, and eggs, but I hope to get to try one someday. They are iconic to both Colombia and Venezuela and are thought to have been around for thousands of years. A dough is made using a special arepa cornmeal and portions are flattened and cooked on a griddle or fried in oil. One preparation, arepa de huevo, is simply filled with an egg (a task that numerous food blogs cite the difficulty of) and fried until the egg is cooked. They are a simple street food from the coast of Colombia and are eaten with coffee in the morning or as snacks throughout the day.
3. Chipsi mayai (chips and eggs)
This is a street food dish from Tanzania that I have never heard of, and I don’t know why because it makes a lot of sense. In the UK, we sometimes eat egg and chips, and this is basically combining the two. In its most basic form, eggs are beaten with salt and poured over chips which have been arranged in a round pan. The whole thing is cooked on both sides until the eggs are done, leaving you with an omelet just waiting to be dipped in tomato sauce. It is often accompanied by kachumbari, an East African tomato and chili salad. Jikonimagic.com gives some ideas on how to spice up this relatively simple dish, like frying your own chips and adding peppers or tomatoes as well as spices of your choice.
Eggs are such an easy ingredient to cook with that even though some dishes are more complicated or difficult to pull off with the ingredients available to us, we can always take inspiration from these dishes. Incorporating flavours and techniques from cultures outside your own is a great way to make meals more exciting, especially right now when we can’t properly travel. There are so many other delicious ideas out there on how to make the most of simple things like eggs, so hopefully this Friday (and every day!) we will all be inspired to do something creative!