Photography: Stacey Brandford | Recipe: Korean-Style Rice Bowl
Our food director Soo Kim says eggs can amplify any meal. Here's why.
Eggs are one of the most versatile food items and an essential ingredient in a plethora of dishes from breakfast favourites to extravagant desserts. They can be one essential element of a complicated recipe or the star of the show—but they can also be used to enhance a lacklustre meal, or make a flavour-packed dish even better.
Canadian Living food director Soo Kim says "the egg is a chameleon in everyday cookery!" She has encouraged all of us staffers (and our dear readers!) to use an egg to top off more of our dishes and has thereby turned us into much better cooks (thank you, Soo!). Read on, and you'll too be inspired to "just put an egg on it!"
Canadian Living: Where did your love for eggs come from?
Soo Kim: My father was a chicken farmer in Korea, so I grew up eating eggs with every meal since they were so plentiful. To this day, I still eat about 3 or 4 of them a week. I love their versatility. I like to have a hard-cooked egg in the morning if I'm looking for a satisfying and filling breakfast on the go. Sometimes I make a 3-cheese omelet with a salad for my son for an easy weeknight supper. The humble egg is happy to be a garnish or the star player of any dish!
CL: Why do you tell us to put an egg on everything? Does it have to do with us being bad cooks? Be honest, Soo!
SK: Haha! No! Topping a dish with an egg adds a quick and easy protein, it's economical (ideal for students!) and it's easy for a novice cook. Adding a sunny-side up, soft-boiled or poached egg to a salad or grain bowl gives the dish a luxuriously rich binder, creating a natural sauce.
CL: What's a typical dish we could enhance by topping with an egg?
SK: A grain bowl, a salad, steak and sandwiches are greatly enhanced with an egg on top. Also, any pasta, waffles, pizza, French fries, hummus, salsa, black beans, savoury oatmeal, polenta, a burger, roasted veggies, the list goes on and on!
CL: Name a dish that's better topped with an egg that no one would think of so we can impress our next guests!
SK: Nachos, risotto, chili and lentils—not typical, but insanely delicious.
CL: Okay, let's say we're not the best at preparing sunny-side up eggs. Any tips?
SK: Okay! Heat 2 tsp of a neutral oil or butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat (I use a small cast iron pan). Crack an egg into the pan (or into a ramekin and then the pan if you're not so confident in your cracking skills); reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the whites are set and the edges are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. That's it! But keep in mind that if you're using butter, it will brown quickly. And don't forget the salt and pepper!
CL: Which recent Canadian Living recipes would you top with an egg?
SK: For breakfast, try Gravlax (on top of bread or a bagel), for lunch, Winter Greens Salad or Mexican Black Bean Soup and for dinner, Butter Chickpeas or Hasselback Potato and Cheese Casserole.
If you take Soo's advice and top one of our recipes with an egg, take a snap of it and post it on Instagram with #clgetcooking!