Eggs are perhaps one of the most versatile ingredients in the culinary world.Going by the numerous online videos explaining how to prepare eggs, it seems that some mastery and finesse is required in cooking this simple ingredient.
The recipe for today was taken from a viral YouTube video that has garnered over 18 million views.
Aptly titled tornado egg, the dish seems a cross between a fried egg and a scrambled egg, with the end product resembling a tornado's vortex.
Having watched my fill of eggs swirling action, I went through a few dry runs and practised the motion with a pair of chopsticks and an empty frying pan to get myself adequately prepared.
Ingredients for one serving:
- Three eggs
- Cooking oil
- A bowl of fried rice
- Optional: 30ml of milk
Scoop a serving of fried rice into a bowl. Pack and press the rice down such that it will be compact mound.
Place a plate over the bowl and, while sandwiching the bowl and plate firmly between both hands, flip the plate and bowl around.
Once done, remove the bowl to reveal a round mound of rice.
In a separate bowl, crack the three eggs and stir well such that no streaks of white can be seen. The addition of milk is optional.
Warm up the oil by pouring it into a frying pan that is on high heat, the amount of oil should be enough to coat the pan (amateur tip: use a non-stick coated pan).
Once the oil is hot enough (shimmering, in culinary speak), pour the egg slurry in. The eggs should sizzle and start cooking upon contact with the oil.
Allow the egg mixture to cook and set. This should take around seven to 10 seconds, where a firm bottom layer of cooked eggs is formed while some raw and runny egg mixture remains as the top layer.
Place each chopstick at the opposite points of the pan's diameter and start dragging each chopstick inwards, toward the middle of the pan.
At the same time, slowly rotate the frying pan (this requires some coordination).
Keep rotating the frying pan while holding on to the chopsticks. As the frying pan rotates, the raw and runny eggs mixture will flow downwards, come into contact with the pan, and get cooked.
Continue the motion until you see no more runny eggs. At this point, the entire egg mixture should be set and cooked through.
Drape the egg over the fried rice that was prepared earlier.
Here's what the finished product looks like:
Yes, we failed.
Unfortunately, the tornado egg broke in the process of plating, leaving a gaping hole in the centre (and in my confidence).
The process... again
Failure sure is a hard pill to swallow.
Determined to nail the dish, I bought a new tray of eggs to give the Tornado Egg another shot.
Second time's the charm and all that, right?
Here's my fourth (or something) attempt:
This tasted like... eggs.
The texture resembled a cross between an omelette, scrambled eggs, and fried eggs. Not overcooked, if you need reassurance.
For a serving for one person, it would cost a total of S$0.60 on three eggs.
However, considering that I went through a total of 12 eggs until I achieved relative success, I would put the total cost at S$2.40.
The fried rice was leftover from a previous meal.
Milk and oil were existing ingredients from my pantry.
A single serving of tornado egg took less than three minutes in total.
With regards to the time spent mastering the dish, it's safe to say that it took more than three minutes.
Level of difficulty
I would put the difficulty level for the Tornado Egg at an 8/10, due to my amateur chopsticks skills and poor coordination.
The dish's main difficulty is balancing between the fine line of being firm but gentle with the egg.
A steady grip on the egg has to be maintained while slowly rotating the pan and ensuring that the egg is not torn.
However, with enough patience, perseverance and practice, anyone can master the dish.
After the dish, there was little to no mess and all I had to clean up was a bowl, my chopsticks and the frying pan.
I would rate this dish as a 5/10. Like the rating suggests, I remain on the fence undecided.
Preparing a regular omelette would require less time and effort, induce less frustration, yet achieve similar results.
However, the level of satisfaction upon achieving some degree of success on my nth attempt was quite nice.
The worst case scenario is that you end up with some variation of cooked eggs that are still perfectly edible.
All in all, if you wish to try the dish for yourself, here are some tips:
- Use a wide, flat-bottom and non-stick frying pan.
- Use the longest pair of chopsticks that you have at your disposal.
- When bringing the chopsticks inwards, leave a gap between the chopsticks such that the chopsticks do not meet.
- Keep a firm grip on the chopsticks and ensure that they are constantly in contact with the bottom of the pan while you are rotating the pan.
- While rotating the pan, wiggle the pan back and forth slightly to allow the raw egg mixture to slide away from the center of the pan and cook.
Top image by Olivia Lin and Fiona Tan