How I learned to cook: Eggs Part 1

Hello reader,

My name is Kevin Chau and I never considered myself a cook until the past year, when people informed me that I  could cook food. I think I can cook, but I don’t consider myself a chef. To me, a chef is a cook that can make an original creation with what they have at their disposal. If you’re looking to be a chef, this probably isn’t the blog for you. If you’re just curious as how people start their cooking journey, than keep reading.

 


 

Cooking was as a necessity for me. In high school, I needed to diversify my breakfast from cereal and pop tarts. I learned how to cook eggs and maybe hash browns. (Thank you Mom and Dad for letting me waste food.)

For both eggs and hash browns, I knew what the final product was, I knew what I was looking for. My dad taught me how to make scrambled eggs by using salt, butter, and milk. I beat the eggs using chopsticks because, since I grew up in a Chinese household, chopsticks were a utility tool. Then I would add salt and just a drop of milk. If I used the heat correctly, this would always make the fluffiest eggs (at the time, I know how to make even fluffier ones now. TY RAMSEY.)

Heat is the key word in the last paragraph. It seems pretty negligible in the grand scheme of cooking food, but through eggs, I learned that heat is one of the most important factors in cooking. When I first cooked eggs on my own, without parental guidance, I burned the eggs to a crisp. The scrambled eggs would shrivel up into little burnt balls of egg protein because I would always cook the eggs on high heat. My brain said, heat + eggs = food.

In the age of instant gratification, learning how to cook an egg was mind numbing for a 15-year old. I also didn’t want to make any mistakes so I actually switched to hard boiling eggs for a long time because I was scared to make scrambled eggs. Even during my time hard boiling eggs, I made mistakes, but I was more forgiving towards myself than scrambled eggs.

My issue with hard boiling eggs was that I always boiled the eggs straight from a cold fridge. To me, that seemed pretty normal, but half the time I would boiled it from the fridge, the shell would crack, and I simply thought that was because I cracking it myself, instead of from temperature shock.

After a time of watching my mom how to cook eggs, I learned to use room temperature eggs whenever I cooked eggs. I also learned how to gauge a pan’s temperature using water. Water will sizzle off if the pan is too hot in a time that you think is normal. If it was too hot, I’d shut off the heat until it was a temperature I wanted, then I would proceed to cook the eggs and switch the temp to a low heat to keep the temperature consistent. I inadvertently learned how temperature was important for cooking by watching my parents cook.

That’s about it though. The rest of my cooking was learned from cook books, YouTube videos, and the Spendid Table. Cooking was a necessity because I wanted to save money, but more on that later in this series.

Next, hash browns…I never learned how to cook hash browns and I still don’t know how to cook hash browns. Its not on the list either so :-/