Anthony Bourdain’s Secrets for Perfect Scrambled Eggs Focus on Simplicity: ‘People Find a Way to Overcomplicate Them’

Scrambled eggs aren’t the most challenging breakfast to make, but many people struggle with getting the dish just right. Anthony Bourdain once shared his easy tips for perfect scrambled eggs — including advice not to complicate the simple dish.

Anthony Bourdain wears a black suit on the red carpet for 'Build Presents'
Anthony Bourdain | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

In a 2016 interview with Tech Insider, Bourdain shared his easy method for making scrambled eggs. “It’s a love-hate relationship but it’s something that I have, over time, necessarily become good at,” he said of his perfect scrambled eggs.

Bourdain doesn’t fuss with adding anything to the eggs or making the process too complicated. “I’m old school,” he explained. “I believe that a scrambled egg or an omelet, for that matter, is principally about the egg.”

He continued, “So, I use a hot pan — not too terribly hot, but hot. I crack my eggs on a flat surface, put them into an intermediate vessel, like a little cup, where I can make sure there’s no shells involved, so no shells get into the actual mix.”

The cook shared that he does beat the eggs with a fork but there’s a balance you have to strike. “You do want to sort of have a ripple of white and yellow throughout,” he noted. “You just don’t want to make it a complete, sort of, homogenous yellow.”

Bourdain offered up another tip — use fresh eggs. “You want a good fresh egg and you want to do this — meaning you want to beat your egg just prior to putting them in the pan,” he explained. “You don’t want to do that ahead of time and let it sit.” According to the chef, allowing an egg to sit around leads to “an odd graying, stippling effect that you probably recognize from greasy spoons. You don’t want that.”

As for other ingredients, Bourdain said scrambled eggs just require salt and pepper. “I don’t add water. I don’t add cream,” he explained. “I just don’t feel that milk or cream adds anything. Again, it’s about the egg. You know, you’re not making a quiche here. You’re making scrambled eggs.”

Once the pan is preheated “with plenty of hot, foaming whole butter,” Bourdain pours the egg into the pan and gives it a moment to “form up a little bit” before scrambling. “And then push them around, using sort of a figure-eight pattern to … sort of, fold,” the chef explained. “You don’t want tiny little bits of egg as your final product. You want something fluffy, airy, rippled, with a nice textural note when you taste the egg.”

In short, Bourdain keeps it simple. “Very, very simple dish, but like a lot of really good simple things, more often than not, people find a way to overcomplicate them and screw them up,” he said.

In a 2017 interview with Business Insider, Bourdain shared a similar technique for making omelets and scrambled eggs. “Look, I go with the Jacques Pepin platonic ideal,” he explained. “Eggs, salt, pepper, cooked in butter. Not overbeaten. You want a little rippling in there — texture.”

The chef continued, “And cooked baveuse, meaning a little wet. And just in a pan, figure-eight pattern. Don’t over-scramble, don’t overbeat. Pull them off the heat just before they’re done. Finish as they sigh onto the plate, and serve.”

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