Cuisines in which dishes are often taken to the next level with the simple addition of an egg: Korea’s, France’s, Italy’s, Seattle’s.
Try an egg …
1. in bibimbap
This Korean “mixed meal” starts with bowl of rice. On top of that: vegetables, chili pepper paste, maybe some sliced meats, and a raw or cooked egg in the center, which you stir all around.
Fremont sensation Revel — a restaurant from the Joule chefs that’s inspired by Korean street food — has an incredible take on bibimbap with short rib, sambal daikon, and mustard greens over rice. Equally amazing, maybe even better, is a vegetarian version with shitake mushrooms, greens, and walnuts muddied with the house’s seven-spice blend. Go get one! No kidding. Do it.
2. on a croque madame
A croque monsieur is a French cafe snack in which a hot ham and cheese sandwich is covered in bechamel. Add a fried egg on top and you’ve got a croque madame. People rave about the version at Café Presse, but I’ve had a pretty great one with black forest ham while brunching at Tilth also.
3. cracked over Korean soft-tofu stew
The first time I ate soondubu at Korean Tofu House, I was surprised when a woman came to the table and held an egg in front of my eyes inquisitively. I nodded, she deftly cracked that egg over my bubbling bowl and then walked away without a word. That was a memorable lunch.
4. to dress up veggies
In Spinasse’s straccato di verdure preparation, an egg yolk is sieved — that is to say pushed through a strainer so that it spills out in an even consistency — over braised greens. Pickled cayenne peppers are then added, lending zing.
Joule chef Rachel Yang’s recipe for asparagus with green garlic and duck egg, meanwhile, is at once extremely elegant and stupidly simple, an excellent way to start a dinner party.
Finally, one of my lunchtime favorites — the house green salad at Lecosho — gets heft and flavor from a lovely soft-boiled egg.
5. on pizza
Do not think too hard on the implications of this one. Dinner companions have psyched themselves out of eating pizza with an egg on top before my very eyes. But if you’ve never tried it, you really should! Serious Pie’s guanciale (unsmoked bacon), soft egg, and arugula pizza is an excellent gateway ’za.