The versatility of chicken eggs

Eggs are very much like small boys. If you overheat them, or overbeat them, they will turn on you, and no amount of future love will right the wrong.

— Anonymous

Does news of the shortage of chicken egg production in the country worry you?

As consumers, we are faced with two choices; we either pay more now for our trays of eggs or we stop eating them and substitute the protein we usually get from our eggs with other forms of animal or plant proteins.

A shortage, in economic terms, happens when the quantity demanded is greater than the quantity supplied at the market price.

Increase in demand, decrease in supply, and government intervention are the three main causes of shortage. When there is a shortage in supply, the price of the item demanded will naturally go up.

If you are a housewife or have been taking care of the family meals, you will appreciate the versatility of chicken eggs.

They are so easy to cook and can be fried with vegetables and meats. Now, which Sarawakians have not heard of “chai poh egg?” (salted radish with eggs), fried long beans or French beans with eggs and fried manichai (Sauropus androgynus, also known as katuk, star gooseberry, or sweet leaf) with eggs?

Chicken eggs also make wonderful soups. Whisk together the eggs, sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then pour the eggs into the hot broth in a slow stream, whisking constantly to scatter the eggs as they cook. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with fried onions. That’s egg drop soup for you in a jiffy.

You can also steam chicken eggs with minced pork or chicken for a nutritious meal. One of my favourite dishes is fried rice with a bit of anchovies, chicken eggs and cubed long beans or mixed vegetables from the cold storage.

Eggs may also be soaked in mixtures to absorb flavour. For instance, tea eggs are a common snack in some parts of Malaysia. They are steeped in a brew from a mixture of various spices, soy sauce and black tea leaves to give flavour.

Hard-boiled eggs can also be added to braised duck (Lor Ark) to add variety to the popular Malaysian dish.

If you come from an ordinary family like me, you would have grown up eating just fried chicken eggs with a sprinkling of soya sauce and rice especially when your mother did not have time to shop for chicken or other forms of meat.

Because of their nutritional value, some doctors recommend hard-boiled chicken eggs as a good source of lean protein, at about 6 grams per egg.

Yes, hard- boiled eggs are low in calories and rich in many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. While the yolk provides nutrients, fat and protein, the white comprises mostly protein.

Chicken eggs also contain a complete range of amino acids, which means they are a complete protein source.

Hard-boiled eggs also offer various important nutrients, including vitamin D, zinc, calcium and all of the B vitamins. They’re a particularly good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B12.

No wonder chicken eggs are often presented as gifts to women during confinement. In traditional Chinese families, mothers who have just given birth are served mee sua (wheat vermicelli) noodles with chicken meat, egg and wine soup.

Although the prices of chicken eggs have gone up, personally I will continue to eat them because of their high nutritional value.

The cake makers also will continue to use eggs in their production. Items made with eggs include breaded and batter-fried foods; Caesar salad dressing; cream pies, fillings, and puffs; crepes and waffles; custards, puddings and ice cream; eggnog and eggrolls.

Chicken eggs are the most commonly consumed eggs on Planet Earth. Other poultry eggs including those of duck and quail also are eaten.

With the passage of time, will the prices of chicken eggs ever go down again? How much truth is there in the saying, ‘What goes up must come down’?

I guess we just have to wait and see, my friends. In the meantime, let us continue to eat our eggs.

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