I think most Americans embrace being part of a demographic melting pot. It’s not always easy ‒ change rarely is. But making room for people from other cultures is part of what it means to be American, and a reward for that is being able to try cuisines others bring with them as they become part of that pot. Items like huevos rancheros have become common on menus everywhere, while many put Sriracha on their eggs and fish sauce on their breakfast bánh mì.
Considering the variety of ingredients specific to relatively small areas of the planet, it’s surprising how common the use of eggs is in diverse cuisines and applications. More interesting still is seeing Western-style eggs topping items like rice in Japan and fava beans in India, contrary to local tradition. Maybe we’re not the only melting pot after all.
Who would have imagined a few years ago that eggs poached in a stew of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions and cumin would land on American menus so quickly? It’s hardly a drive-thru item, but Shakshuka is found on menus across the country.
Which of these international uses of eggs will be next to influence U.S. morning menus?
- Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak: coconut rice, cucumber, anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard-cooked eggs and sambal
- Mexico’s Huevos Motuleños: two eggs on fried tostada with tomatoes, ham, peas or green beans, fried plantains, queso fresco and black beans
- Sri Lanka’s Appam: bowl-shaped pancakes (hoppers) made with fermented rice flour and served with a spicy sauce, eggs and coconut cream or honey
- Venezuela’s Arepas: corn cakes filled with butter and salty cheese, meats, eggs, chicken, avocado and/or beans
- Japan’s Tamagoyaki: omelet made by tightly rolling together thin layers of cooked egg, rice vinegar and sugar or soy sauce