Thursday, 12 July 2012

Cooking & Health: How To Cook Perfect Scrambled Eggs with Healthy Oil and Good Wok


Locky's healthy creamy scrambled eggs
Image from Locky's English Playground

Hello all Playground players, this is my first article on cooking, and our target dish today is scrambled eggs.

A lot of people know how to cook, but many will say one truly knows how to cook if one can cook an egg. Well, I'm not sure about that, but I do think cooking eggs can get really advanced if you want. For me, I choose scrambled eggs.


Now it would be easy to cook scrambled eggs with bucket-load of oil, but that is really unhealthy and will ruin the taste of the eggs. Then how can we cook scrambled eggs with minimal amount of oil?

First, you need to choose oil that is thick enough, like olive oil.
Olive and oil
Image from insearchofsimplicitytoday
Facts:
Saturated fatty acids (lower better): 13.808%
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (higher better): 72.961%
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (higher better): 10.523%

  • omega-3 fatty acid / linolenic acid: 1%
  • omega-6 fatty acid / linoleic acid: 10%

Oleic acid (higher better): 71%



Canola oil is even more healthier, but might be slightly more watery.
Canola and oil
Image from vanessaruns

Facts:
Saturated fatty acids (lower better): 7.365%
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (higher better): 63.276%
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (higher better): 28.142%

  • omega-3 fatty acid / linolenic acid: 10%
  • omega-6 fatty acid / linoleic acid: 22%

Oleic acid (higher better): 62%


Benefits:
Saturated fatty acids is associated with heart diseases and caners.
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids protects against heart diseases.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids lowers risk of heart attacks and breast cancer, and is critical to fetal development (baby development during pregnancy). omega-6 fatty acids lowers the risk of heart diseases.
Oleic acid helps the absorption of omega-3 and prevent the effects of bad cholestrol.



My scrambled eggs in multi-layer stainless metal-alloy wok
Image from Locky's English Playground
 After choosing the right kind of oil, you need to understand your wok.

Teflon pans and wok are out of my considerations because they are well-known to cause cancer. Traditional Chinese iron wok is good as it is recommended by the World Health Organization as it helps to prevent iron deficiency, especially for pregnant women, but it usually requires to use of excessive oil. The wok I have at home is a multi-layer stainless metal-alloy wok, it's good as it is scratch-resistant and loses heat very slowly but it's bad as it heats up real slowly, gets overheated later causing the food to get stuck onto it easily, thus lots of work in cleaning afterwards.


Whatever your concerns are, if you know a little physics or the properties of your wok, you can achieve better results in cooking.




Recap:
Alloys, which consists of different elements, conducts heat poorer than elements as the electrons are bouncing off irregularly in different atoms, which explains why the alloy wok heats up more slowly but also loses heat more slowly than iron wok.

Super clean wok even after cooking eggs
Image from Locky's English Playground
Cooking Procedures:

Finally, if you also want to cook great scrambled eggs with metal alloy wok, here are the steps:
  1. heat wok for 2 minutes
  2. add just enough olive oil to moist the wok
  3. wait for the oil to start smoking
  4. off the fire
  5. pour whisked eggs into the wok
  6. draw "S" (almost immediately after pouring) while the egg starts to coagulate
  7. remove scrambled eggs from wok
  8. enjoy!
Following my method, you won't be having a tough time washing up your wok after cooking, and your scrambled eggs is as creamy as it gets!



Vocabulary:
scrambled egg -- (n)[C] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambled_eggs
-load -- (adj) all the people or goods in the stated type of vehicle or container
olive oil -- (n) [U] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil
canola oil -- (n) [U] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola_oil

Saturated fat -- (n) [C] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fatty_acids
Monounsaturated fat -- (n) [C] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monounsaturated_fat
Polyunsaturated fat -- (n) [C] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyunsaturated_fat#Benefits
Oleic acid -- (n) [C] see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleic_acid#Health_effects

fetal -- (adj) a young human being or animal before birth, after the organs have started to develop
Teflon -- (n) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene
deficiency -- (n)[C] (a) state of not having, or not having enough, of something that is needed
scratch-resistant -- (adj) uneasy to be scratched
metal-alloy -- (n)[C] a metal that is made by mixing two or more metals, or a metal and another substance
coagulate -- (vb) [I or T] to change from liquid to a more solid state, or to cause something to do this


Resources:
Scrambled eggs @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambled_eggs

Olive Oil @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil

Canola Oil @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola_oil

Saturated fat  @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fatty_acids

Monounsaturated fat @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monounsaturated_fat

Polyunsaturated fat @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyunsaturated_fat#Benefits

Oleic acid @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleic_acid#Health_effects

Teflon @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene

Origins of Chinese Food Culture @ Google Books
http://books.google.com.hk/books?id=ZWggUMKeU6UC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=world+health+organisation+chinese+iron+wok&source=bl&ots=VqpxTP4Pjc&sig=ZoG98QLSJNpvM4ckvFoW_FtzwXc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Jhr9T-yELKO5iQf_t5zLBg&ved=0CHkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=world%20health%20organisation%20chinese%20iron%20wok&f=false

Women and Health @ World Health Organization
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2000/WHO_WKC_W&H_00_women.pdf

Q & A: How Different Metals Conduct Heat | Department of Physics @ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1854

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/load_5
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/foetus
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/deficiency?q=deficiency+
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/alloy_1?q=alloy
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/coagulate?q=coagulate