Most people believe that scrambled eggs are
one dish that is best in its simplest state — just eggs, cooked in butter, seasoned
with a little salt and pepper. Perfection, right? “If you have really good eggs, you don’t need
anything in the eggs at all.” Sure, you can always dress them up with cheese
or sour cream or even mayonnaise, but with too many add-ins, you may wind up with an
over-the-top omelet instead of the pristine perfection of pure scrambled eggs. For instance, there’s really no need to add
that splash of milk or cream when you’re mixing your eggs. It’s not going to make them fluffier. In fact, according to Southern Living, it
just dilutes the flavor and makes them tough. And that’s not the only potential problem
trying to cook scrambled eggs. Even when you keep them simple, they necessarily
the easiest thing to cook, as they are prone to drying out or going all rubbery if you
don’t treat them just right. There is, however, one secret ingredient that
won’t do anything to detract from your eggs’ delightful simplicity and will, in fact, boost
the flavor profile through the roof. And it’s a recipe hack that has been endorsed
by everyone from Real Simple magazine to cookbook author Joy Wilson and Top Chef alums Stephanie
Izard and Shirley Chung. So what is this magical mystery ingredient? Soy sauce! Yes, soy sauce. Why? Well, soy sauce has actually long been touted
as a salt substitute. 1 teaspoon of soy sauce provides approximately
the same seasoning power as 1 tablespoon of salt, yet it provides far less sodium than
would the salt: according to the USDA, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce has 291 milligrams, while 1 teaspoon
of table salt has 2,360 milligrams. Don Pringle, who served as executive chef
at the Camano Island, Washington restaurant Renee’s on Camano, told Chinatown Connection
that soy sauce was the secret ingredient he used on his roasted meats and in many of his
sauces and marinades in place of salt. Many contestants in national barbecue competitions
also use the salty seasoning in their sauces and marinades. Barbara Tropp, former chef/owner at San Francisco’s
China Moon Cafe and another fan of using soy sauce in place of salt, advised Chinatown
Connection that not all soy sauces are created equal. She highly recommends brewed sauces, which
include the popular Kikkoman brand, as their color, flavor, and aroma come from the fermentation
process. Synthetic soy sauces, which may include some
bargain brands as well as the kind of soy sauce that comes in plastic single serve packets,
gets its color and flavor from hydrolyzed vegetable protein and corn syrup, and may
have a somewhat harsh flavor. Soy sauce also comes in different varieties,
including lighter Japanese varieties and darker Chinese ones. The latter will add more of an earthy flavor,
and perhaps aren’t the best choice for a delicate dish like eggs, being better suited to heartier
dishes like stew. Black soy sauce should definitely be avoided
when subtle flavoring is called for, as it’s made with molasses and has a very strong taste. For a salty taste with very little added sodium,
Tropp recommends Kikkoman Lite, a reduced-sodium soy sauce. But won’t using soy sauce in your scrambled
eggs make them taste like they should be in a stir-fry? Nope! While Real Simple has previously expressed
the sentiment that scrambled eggs need little more than butter, salt, and pepper —and
maybe a little grated cheddar, if you absolutely must gild the lily — they urge home cooks
to try substituting soy sauce for salt, as it allows the seasoning to be more evenly
dispersed prior to cooking. Salt, it seems, can sink to the bottom or
even clump up, whereas soy sauce just dissolves right into those whisked-up eggs. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be many readily-available
liquid substitutes for black pepper, which would also be prone to clumping or sinking,
but you could always try whisking in a splash of hot sauce instead. And here’s some good news for the gluten-intolerant:
You can always substitute the entirely wheat-free Tamari style soy sauce. It is a bit thicker and less salty than regular
soy sauce, so you may need to use a bit more, and its slightly more intense flavor may be
more noticeable in your eggs, but it still makes a decent clump-free, unsinkable scrambled
egg seasoner. In fact, it’s so exciting, you might just
completely lose control. “I’m excited about scrambled eggs, but right
now I’m f—ing sh—ing myself.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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