One key food allowed that had me choose a pescetarian diet for losing weight are eggs. I LOVE eggs and would never make it on that diet, should it be forbidden.
While they’ve become notorious for the high amount of cholesterol in the yolk, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, being a great source of protein and numerous vitamins, including vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins such as folic acid, choline and biotin. Add to that their relatively cheap cost, diverse ways to use them, and of course, they’re delicious, it’s no wonder eggs are loved the world over.
Just about any way they’re cooked, and I’ll whack ’em. Sunny side up is, and always has been my favorite, as I think of the rich runny yolk as the ultimate “nature’s sauce”, eagerly anticipating mixing it into my rice or sopping over my toast. GOD do I love that! Next to that, I’ll take ’em over easy, and of course the other style still in the shell, soft boiled. As long as the yolk is runny or at least “loose”, hook me up.
When it comes to omelette stations as shown here by Chef Sean Priester of Soul Patrol, these are actually way too “heavy” for me. I’m not one for meats in my omelette, preferring just veggies such as bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and of course lots ‘n lots of MUSHROOMS! The only extra heavy stuff I like in my omelette is lots ‘n lots of ooey gooey melted CHEESE. Any cheese! So in that regard, this is slam-ah’ jam-ah’ for me.
No question the most infamous egg dish in Hawaii is the Loco Moco. Two eggs over two hamburger patties, smothered with brown gravy. And if they really get it right, also include sauteed onions (not included above). Served with 2 scoops rice and mac salad, of course. Enough comfort grub to keep any truck driver happy… as well their cardiologist’s bank account.
While we’re on local style comfort food, we can’t forget the always ono Portuguese Sausage, Eggs and Rice. In the example above, with SPAM, too, of course! Which is so popular for breakfast in the islands, the dish is a mainstay on McDonald’s of Hawaii’s breakfast menu. If I’m going to cheat on my diet for breakfast, that’s high on my list of onolicious decadence.
Kickin’ local style breakfast platters up a notch, we have Grandma G’s Portuguese Sweet Bread French Toast, sausage ‘n scrambled eggs platter. OK, wait a minute: is it Portuguese? Or is it French? I dunno. As long as it tastes good, who cares?! lol
Wailana Coffee House Eggs Benedict
Speaking of breakfast decadence, nothing can be more so than the classic Eggs Benedict. I swear, Hollandaise Sauce is another one of them “Food of the Gods”, it’s so rich and so delicious! Egg yolks incorporated with melted butter and seasoned with Nutmeg? You KNOW that’s gonna’ rock your world! And how I love a well-made poached egg or two!
If you’re new to this blog and haven’t come across the post on the subject yet, you should definitely check out my adventure sampling the Filipino egg specialty known as Balut. Balut is basically an egg that’s steamed or boiled when the chick has begun fetus development during an incubation period of no more than 18 days. Or somewhere around there. At that point, it’s already developed distinguishable features, including bone structure, organs, eyes, beak, and sometimes feathers. Albeit everything’s still very soft, so it’s easy to consume, tasting essentially like a hybrid of chicken “soup” and a hard boiled egg if you will. Mmmmmm, doesn’t that sound delicious?! lol For more information, see this very informative and graphic post on Balut.
On the more “normal” side of eggs cooked in their shell, I also love a good ‘ole hard boiled egg (or several!). With Easter Sunday right around the corner, many of you will probably be hitting Sam’s or “Costcos” lol to pick up eggs in bulk to hard boil, color dye, decorate and hide for the keiki to hunt. What I like is that my coworkers usually have a surplus of hard boiled colored Easter Eggs the next Monday, which they bring to share at work. Salt ‘n lots of pepper and I’m good.
If you ever watch Korean soaps and travelogues, you’ll notice boiled eggs are very popular there. What’s funny is, they’ll often pop the whole egg in their mouth. What’s up with that? Go easy, champ!
Still on the subject of boiled eggs, can’t forget Ajitama served in Japanese Ramen. A boiled egg that’s simmered in soy sauce and other seasonings, preferably where the yolk inside is still soft.
Uzuranotamago-yaki (Japanese grilled Quail Eggs). Image courtesy of numnums.com
Another FANTASTIC Japanese egg dish is Uzuranotamago-yaki. Yakitori style Quail Eggs, which are simply boiled quail eggs on a stick that are grilled over hot coals and coated generously with what is essentially Teriyaki sauce. Sugoi oishii-yo! There’s this popular restaurant/bar in the Ginza of Tokyo area called Torigin who are famous for them (been there, done that many times!).
My mom loves Chinese Salted Duck Egg, or as the Cantonese waitress at Kin Wah in Kaneohe used to say, “Duh Aye”. Get it? lol
Chinese Duck Egg is indeed quite salty, really punching out its unique “gamey” flavor, as compared to a chicken egg. The brownish-red yolk is also a lot more bold in flavor and “heavy” than a standard chicken egg. My experience eating Duck Egg is dipped in Shoyu mixed with Coleman’s Mustard, as is just about everything else served at a Chinese Restaurant. Duck Egg also goes great served with Lup Cheong and Rice. Oh yeah!
I’ve never tried Chinese “Century Egg” before, and must admit, its appearance makes me just as squeamish as that of Balut. I’m certainly up for trying it though.
Chinese Egg Drop Soup. Image courtesy of The Grub Files blog.
When I was a little boy, my grandmother “Mama” used to always make me Chinese Egg Drop Soup when I was sick, served with of all things, Poi! And you know what? It totally rocked with that combo’! Dang, I haven’t had that dish ever since I was a keiki, so I’m definitely going to try the recipe above soon!
A dish some folks may not think of as being “egg-centric” is Meat Jun and it’s “Flipper” cousin, Fish Jun. Most local places coat the beef or fish in flour then liberally dredge in an egg wash before cooking it on the flattop, while others also add Korean Pancake mix into the egg wash for a fuller body and more glutenous texture to the batter.
We’ll wrap up this Egg Fest on a sweet note with a slice of Custard Pie from Lee’s Bakery, known as one of the best on the island. In case you’re not familiar with the basic custard recipe, it’s essentially “congealed” eggs, including predominantly that, milk or cream, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg for flavor.
While I didn’t cover every ethnic take on eggs, the dishes above reflect an interesting variety.
I suppose you can figure out what I had for breakfast this morning. :-)
Are you an egg fanatic? Can’t stand the stuff? Allergic? Only if it’s organic and/or free-range? Use any egg substitutes, such as Egg Beaters®? Leave a comment and vote in the poll!