Eggs, and more specifically omelet making, is one of the cardinal tests of a chef. (The other is roasting a chicken.) And while everyone will agree that you need eggs to make an omelet, that’s where many chefs draw the line.

One who fits this category is Daniel Patterson, chef of Coi in San Francisco. In his new cookbook, published this August, Patterson delivers a wake-up call to home cooks making breakfast. His recommendation for making omelets or scrambled eggs (which according to his formula amount to essentially the same recipe)? Boil ’em!

According to Bloomberg, Patterson began searching for an alternative to cooking eggs after his wife complained about certain hormone-disrupting problems associated with the non-stick pan he preferred to use. His search, which was largely introspective, led him to a question:

Why not try cooking the beaten eggs in boiling water? Eggs are poached all the time; these would just be beaten first. Experimentation taught him that eggs wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pan if you add them to a mini-whirlpool of simmering water.

Tasting is believing, and I am here to tell you that eggs scrambled in this manner are fabulous. They’re fluffy and creamy — as good as any scrambled eggs (aka, omelets) I’ve ever tasted. As one added advantage, these eggs can be done totally fat-free, though a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil adds richness.

“Boiled” Scrambled Eggs


  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter or olive oil (optional)
  • Chopped chives (optional)


  1. In a bowl, beat the eggs until well-blended, about 30 seconds.
  2. Fill a medium-sized saucepan halfway up with cold water. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Add a few pinches of salt.
  3. Stir the water to create a whirlpool, then slowly pour in the eggs. Cover and count to 20. Uncover. The eggs should be floating on the surface in ribbons.
  4. Carefully pour the eggs into a strainer and allow them to drain, tapping gently the side of the strainer to shake off any extra water.
  5. Divide the eggs between two plates. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter or oil, and/or sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

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