Egg and Cheese Toast

Eggs, cheese, and bread are common breakfast items. But how they are served can be both a gastronomic and visual feast. Inspired by a reader’s comment which, if I remember correctly, mentioned cheese-topped fried eggs on toasted waffles, I made my version using plain toasted loaf bread (sometime soon I intend to make the waffle version too!). But whether using plain bread or waffle, the great thing about this toast is how the egg yolk oozes out.

Best eaten on a plate with a knife and fork. Well, unless you don’t mind the dripping egg yolk which makes the experience more fun. For best results, use a variety of cheese that melts well and serve right out of the oven. Place the bread slices side by side on the oven rack. Toast until lightly browned, about three minutes. Take out of the oven but do not turn off the oven.

In a non-stick pan, melt the butter and fry the eggs, sunny side up, one at a time, just until set and with the yolks still runny. Using a non-stick pan is not necessary but useful to ensure that the eggs will have very little oil in them. Place one egg on top of each slice of bread. Lay a slice (or two) of cheese over each egg. Sprinkle with toasted garlic onion bits. Return to the oven and toast just until the cheese melts, about 20 seconds.

Oyster Omelet

At the Shih Lin night market in Taiwan, single-serve oyster omelets were cooked side by side on large round skillets. This delectable egg and seafood dish that originated in China is also a popular street food in Singapore and Malaysia. The secret to this simple dish is proportion. Too many oysters and too little egg will result in a soggy omelet. The oysters will release their liquid during cooking and unless you have enough eggs to contain the liquid, the omelet will not hold its shape. It might be tempting to cook the oysters until most of the liquid has evaporated but overcooked oysters are never as succulent as those barely cooked ones that still have the smell of taste of the sea in them. As a guide, 20 medium-sized oysters are good with four large eggs.

Separate the larger oysters from the smaller ones. Toss the smaller oysters with the oyster sauce. Heat the cooking oil in pan. Cook the garlic and chili pepper until fragrant, about a minute. Add the large oysters and cook over high heat for about a minute. Pour in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the eggs are partially set, add the remaining oysters on top. Drizzle with chili oil. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook until the eggs are fully set. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or onion leaves before serving.