|Place of origin||worldwide|
|Ingredients generally used||Salt, pepper, butter|
Scrambled eggs is a dish made from eggs (usually chicken eggs) stirred, whipped, or beaten together typically with salt, butter, oil, and sometimes other ingredients, and heated so that they form into curds.
The scrambling of eggs is an ancient technique. The earliest documented recipe for scrambled eggs was in the 14th-century Italian cookbook Libro della cucina.
Only eggs are necessary to make scrambled eggs, but salt, water, chives, cream, crème fraîche, sour cream, grated cheese and other ingredients may be added. Recipes vary as to which, if any, ought to be included.
The eggs are cracked into a bowl with some salt and pepper, and the mixture is stirred or whisked: alternatively, the eggs are cracked directly into a hot pan or skillet, and the whites and yolks stirred together as they cook. In Food in England (1954) Dorothy Hartley comments, "There are two main schools: one (which I believe to be correct) breaks in the eggs direct, so that particles of clear white and clear yellow remain in the creamy mass. The other school beats the eggs together first, maintaining it gives a smoother texture". Elizabeth David (1960) takes the latter view: "For scrambled eggs, unlike those for an omelette, the eggs should be very well beaten".
The mixture can be poured into a hot pan containing melted butter or oil, where it starts coagulating. The heat is turned down and the eggs are stirred as they cook. This creates small, soft curds of egg. A thin pan is preferable to prevent browning. With continuous stirring, and not allowing the eggs to stick to the pan, the eggs themselves will maintain the pan temperature at about the boiling point of water, until they coagulate. In their Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child write, "Scrambled eggs in French style are creamy soft curds that just hold their shape from fork to mouth. Their preparation is entirely a matter of stirring the eggs over gentle heat until they slowly thicken as a mass into a custard."
Alternatively, Escoffier describes using a double boiler as the heating source, which does not need adjustment as the direct heating method does. The eggs are directly placed in the cooker and mixed during the heating and not before. Cooking by this method prevents the eggs from browning while being cooked and gives aerated and creamy scrambled eggs. This method was used in the "old classical kitchen" and guarantees the eggs are always cooked perfectly; it is, however, more time-consuming than the modern skillet method, taking up to 40 minutes to ensure perfect quality.
Once the liquid has mostly set, additional ingredients such as ham, herbs, cheese, or cream may be folded in over low heat until incorporated. The eggs are usually slightly undercooked when removed from heat since the eggs will continue to set. If any liquid is seeping from the eggs (syneresis), this is a sign of undercooking, overcooking, or adding undercooked high-moisture vegetables.
Scrambled eggs can be cooked in a microwave oven, and can also be prepared using sous-vide cooking, which gives the traditional smooth creamy texture and requires only occasionally mixing during cooking. Another technique for cooking creamy scrambled eggs is to pipe steam into eggs with butter via a steam wand (as found on an espresso machine).
David records an Italian version of scrambled eggs: Uova stracciate al formaggio. In addition to the eggs and butter, cream is added, and when the eggs are cooked, grated Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on the top.
Eaton 1822, Mrs. B. &c