Why It Works
- Pre-salting helps eggs retain moisture and tenderness.
- A small proportion of milk provides a sense of creamy richness, without going overboard.
- Adding eggs to a cold plan, cooking over low heat, and whisking constantly prevents curd formation and keeps the eggs thick and custardy.
Making the perfect scrambled eggs is dependent on some key techniques (should you pre-salt your eggs?), and also the preference of the diner. There is American-diner style, with big, fluffy curds (this recipe includes lots of detailed information on cooking techniques, adding liquids, and more). I love soft-scrambled eggs with delicate, small curds. Then there are these French-style, almost pourable scrambled eggs. These are the scrambled eggs made famous by the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the trick to making them yourself is using incredibly low heat and a whisk.
Start by adding the beaten eggs and a pat of butter to a cold saucepan.
Then set it over very low heat (you can also use a double boiler, but it's not required), and cook the eggs, whisking gently the entire time.
The goal of the constant whisking is to break up the curds as soon as they form; the whisk's multiple wires help with this, slicing through the eggs over and over as they cook. If done properly, it's a slow, boring process, at times leaving you to wonder if the eggs are cooking at all.
The whisking has another effect: It makes the eggs less fluffy. The fluffiness in scrambled eggs (and also soufflés) comes from the expansion of heated gas and water vapor that's trapped in bubbles within the eggs. Through whisking, those bubbles are repeatedly broken and disturbed, allowing the gas and water vapor to escape. The low heat of this method also reduces fluffiness, since the eggs never get hot enough for the gas and water vapor to expand the way they would under high heat.
Eventually, the eggs thicken to a custardy texture with tiny curds. They're not just spoonable; they're actually still pourable—the overall effect is very luxurious, though, I have to admit, this isn't a style of scrambled eggs I'd want to eat in large doses, or on a plate, like in the photo below. This is the kind of scrambled egg that's better suited to being delicately spooned in small dollops onto toasts, then topped with things like caviar or lobster.
How to Make French-Style Soft-Scrambled Eggs
6 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons (60ml) cream or milk (optional; see notes)
Freshly ground white or black pepper
In a small saucepan, combine eggs, salt, butter, and milk or cream, if using. Set over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until eggs thicken to a custardy consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with pepper, and serve right away.
Small saucepan, whisk
Cream or milk will make slightly richer, moister eggs, but is not required.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 2 to 3|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||23%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||41%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|