The Uncommon Ingredient That Gives Scrambled Eggs A Boost

Scrambled eggs are a stalwart of the culinary world. Whether served alongside toast for breakfast, enjoyed at a greasy spoon with some hash browns, or consumed at a fine dining restaurant, they are a near perfect test of a cook's acumen. A wide range in end results — soft and custardy like Gordon Ramsay's recipe, browned and cheesy from a diner, or full of custardy layers like Cantonese-style scrambled eggs — shows that the humble dish is endlessly customizable.

For many home cooks, mastering their own perfect version of the breakfast staple is a worthwhile effort. Some experiment with the internet's many scrambled egg hacks, determined to make their eggs creamier, fluffier, and so on. For some, the secret is in the technique, such as infrequent folds with a spatula or near constant stirring over a low flame. Others swear by secret ingredients, like crème fraîche, a cornstarch slurry, and even a splash of sparkling wine. Another add-in that does amazing things for scrambled eggs, though, may surprise you. 

All about mirin

Claire Lower of Lifehacker swears by mirin as a scrambled egg necessity, along with the requisite salt. That's it! Eggs + mirin + salt, and voila — no cream, water, or butter necessary. "I've used mirin in custardy slow-scrambled eggs and fluffy quick-scrambled eggs, and both were the better for it," Lower assures, saying that the ingredient gives the finished dish a subtle Japanese-inspired flavor when simply stirred into the raw eggs and salt.

Unfamiliar with mirin? The Japanese rice wine has a high sugar content, around 14% alcohol, and a thick consistency that means it works as a seasoning or ingredient in a sauce or glaze (via Just One Cookbook). It's both sweet and umami. There are different types of mirin and mirin-adjacent condiments on the market, but the "true" version is made with glutinous rice, a rice-based fungus called koji, and shochu liquor. Considering mirin's role in Japanese tamagoyaki, a rolled omelet, the concept of adding mirin to eggs for a deeper, more balanced flavor is tried and true.

Herbs provide a refreshing take on classic scrambled eggs

In addition to adding mirin to your scrambled eggs to give them a delicious boost, you can take things to the next level with the addition of a few essential herbs. Famed celebrity chef Jamie Oliver suggests incorporating chives, basil, parmesan cheese, and other ingredients to your egg mixture prior to cooking (per Insider). "You can always add some chopped chives or basil, a few shavings of Parmesan cheese or some chopped red chili to the beaten egg mixture before pouring it into the pan," Oliver said. While you can certainly try each ingredient one at a time to see which you prefer, the addition of all these ingredients plus the mirin may make for one truly unforgettable plate of scrambled eggs.

If all else fails, you can always cook your bacon first and leave a small amount of grease in the pan before pouring in your scrambled eggs for a decadent twist — or you can add a small amount of pesto for something totally different (via My Recipes).