When I was a scrappy youth growing up in New Jersey, it always surprised me when friends would chuckle at my descriptions of having egg-centric meals for dinner. Apparently, “eggs were for breakfast.” But to me, they were one of the best dinner options, and there was no way anyone would to taunt me out of eating my favorite dishes. Even as an adult in New York City, a place where you can find a great variety of foods, I find that eggs are still restricted to brunch menus, and occasionally found on a burger (that’s a start, I guess). By limiting eggs this way, we’re missing out on several protein-packed opportunities. Eggs are a legit evening protein – just as legitimate as chicken or ground beef.
I would never say the humble egg shouldn’t shine during the morning hours – I’m the first person who’ll opt for eggs and toast over pancakes and fruit – but this understated orb possesses a notable amount of protein, and is way more versatile than meat. Eggs don’t beat meat in the protein department when it comes to grams per serving (roughly 12 grams versus 18 grams, respectively), but they take home the gold in regards to complete, well-rounded nutrient-dense impact for your body, and that’s a wonderful thing to have in any meal. They’re also complimentary to a wide range of flavors, from sweet to savory, depending on the preparation.
Eggs have comic-book-level superhero powers. They have potent binding and thickening abilities, they can be foamed up into double or triple their original size, manipulated to make thin tortilla-like wraps, dried to a crisp cracker-like consistency, and can be pickled or cured. Eggs are shape-shifters. Use them to your advantage.
Inspirational egg dishes
Compared to regions around the world, it seems like America is lagging in non-breakfast egg usage (“breakfast for dinner” theme nights aren’t exactly what I mean, but I commend the effort). Let’s take cues from some beloved dishes from around the world to inspire our next meals. As I mentioned before, some of my childhood comfort meals are egg-forward. If you’re looking to explore different meal options to end your day, Thai cuisine embraces the egg in its various forms. Kai pa-lo is an earthy, deeply savory, braised dish with three main players: pork, whole boiled eggs, and puffy tofu. In kai yad sai, eggs are used as a wrapping for other savory ingredients; in kai jiao crispy meets fluffy in a semi-deep-fried egg scramble. The high heat from the screaming oil causes the egg to fluff into a craggy cloud that is perfect for cupping a splash of fish sauce.
Eggs have a home in soups, too. Japanese ramen is synonymous with cozy comfort, cradling a gem-like soft-boiled egg on top. Chinese egg drop soup spotlights our hero with hundreds of wispy egg bits swirling throughout. Greek avgolemono uses eggs as a thickening agent for this lemony chicken soup. If you’re looking for a dinner that easily feeds a crowd, there’s the tortilla de patatas, or Spanish tortilla, that combines eggs with potato and onion in a fluffy but hearty construction that I find myself day-dreaming about from time to time.
All of these are fantastic options for lunch or dinner, and maybe even breakfast, too. There are many more inspiring meals with which you can end your day strong (check out this list of 25 egg dishes from around the globe), and you can experiment with your own recipes with eggs. Try poaching a couple of eggs in your next batch of soup, or make thin crepe-like wraps to cradle crunchy salad bites. The next time you open the fridge pondering your dinner materials, don’t count out the superheroes in the carton right in front of you.
This article was written by Allie Chanthorn Reinmann from Lifehacker and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.