The Simple Perfection of Fried Eggs and White Rice

Every two weeks, Christina Dang buys a carton of 18 eggs from the Costco close to her residence in San Diego. Most of these eggs go right into a snack she makes for herself when she comes residence from work: egg rice. She fries a single egg sunny-side up and locations it on a small plate of leftover jasmine rice. Then, over the yolk, she pours a little bit Maggi sauce, a darkish, savory potion of wheat protein. For Dang, who’s a pharmacist, there’s a ritual to consuming this easy however potent dish, one she has upheld since she was younger. She breaks the yolk and mixes the Maggi into it, making a makeshift gravy that drapes the rice in eggy gold. She pierces her fork straight down into the meals, so she has a fair distribution of Maggi-tinged yolk, crisp-edged egg white and steamed white rice, fluffy as a fresh-raked pile of leaves, on her tines. “I eat this at least once a day,” she instructed me.

The beauty of egg rice is that it’s hardly cooking. If you may fry an egg, then you can also make egg rice. And it’s filling however not too filling, excellent for that bizarre in-between pause after work and earlier than dinner, once you’re so hungry you may’t think about the way you’ll even make it to dinner, not to mention cook dinner it.

Growing up, Dang by no means thought a lot of this snack. It was simply one thing her mom whipped up for her and her child sister on busy mornings. But when she left her residence in Orange County, Calif., for grad college in Baltimore, she began to overlook it. “It’s one of the first things I learned to make on my own,” she says. Eggs and rice had been already grocery staples for her, so all she needed to do was find the Maggi, that slim-necked dream of a bottle with an iconic pink cap, which she discovered at a small retailer within the metropolis. “The store didn’t even have a name — it just said ‘Asian Mart,’” Dang says. Finding this bottle was an enormous consolation to her, a style of residence, and her mom’s Vietnamese cooking.

It’s excellent for that bizarre in-between pause after work and earlier than dinner.

Many cultures have some variation of egg rice. It’s one of these dishes that you just don’t actually discuss as a result of it’s so fundamental: fried eggs, white rice and one thing for seasoning. In South Korea, it’s referred to as gyeran bap, which interprets to “egg rice,” that includes soy sauce, sesame oil and typically a contact of butter. In Japan, it’s tamago kake gohan (“egg over rice”), however in that model, the egg is cracked uncooked right into a bowl of contemporary, sizzling white rice, then fluffed with chopsticks right into a creamy, comforting marvel. An Indonesian variation, nasi telur ceplok (“fried egg served over rice”), makes use of kecap manis, a molasses-​thick candy soy sauce. Puerto Rican arroz a caballo (“rice on horseback”) typically options corned beef. Egg rice is form of like a espresso order; everybody does it a little bit totally different. Some say they prime theirs with furikake, scallions or chile crisp. The novelist Alexander Chee instructed me that his father used to make egg rice for him with the fried egg on the underside and the contemporary rice, straight out of the rice cooker, on prime. “It was the only thing he could cook,” Chee mentioned. That and fried vienna sausages.

Patrick Faloon, a scientist in Cambridge, Mass., cooks two eggs over straightforward and eats them with Kokuho Rose sushi rice sprinkled with everything-bagel seasoning. “As a single guy, I’d always have leftover rice, and cooking up a couple of eggs was quick for a weeknight meal,” he mentioned. The inclusion of the seasoning occurred naturally: “I figured it had sesame seeds so it should work, but the dried onion and salt definitely added more flavor than I expected. Also, adding it at the last minute gave a little texture.” It was about 5 years in the past when Faloon found the combo, slowly constructing on it over time, relying on what he had in his pantry and fridge. These days, he piles on kimchi and roasted greens.

My mom used to fry the eggs in vegetable oil, cracking the yolk and flipping the egg so all the pieces cooked by way of. Glistening white on matte yellow, fried eggs in our home at all times went with rice. But egg rice is one of these dishes that grows with you. As I obtained older and began making it for myself, I discovered that frying the eggs sunny-side up in a little bit butter meant that the butter had an opportunity to brown, including that attribute nuttiness, and the yolks stayed wealthy and runny, which I now desire. Later, I realized that a dribble of soy sauce added on to the pan gave the sauce an opportunity to bubble up and caramelize, making a salty pool for the eggs to cook dinner in, the whites puffing up and staining at their edges. You can fry eggs in nearly something, like sesame oil, ghee and even cream, however butter and soy sauce is a divine mixture. A last bathe of gim — roasted seaweed — amps up the umami in every chunk. A single five-gram packet will do.

When Dang was pregnant, her physician instructed her she needed to cease consuming runny egg yolks. This was harder for her than giving up caffeine and even carrying the newborn, who’s now 5 months previous. “I thought about it every day,” she says. “It was the first thing I made for myself when I came home from the hospital. I was like, ‘I need a runny yolk, and I need it now.’”

Recipe: Gyeran Bap (Egg Rice)