. . . But Not Too Close

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
In nearly every egg dish we make, we want to bond a liquid—the egg alone or a mixture of eggs and other liquids—into a moist, delicate solid. Overcooking either gives the dish a rubbery texture or else curdles it into a mixture of hard lumps and watery liquid. Why? Because it bonds the proteins too exclusively to each other and squeezes out the water from the protein network. This is why it is that boiled or fried eggs lose water in the form of steam and get rubbery, while mixtures of eggs and other liquids separate into two phases, the added water and the solid lumps of protein.