Bittman Basics

11 Things to Add to Scrambled Eggs

The most versatile of dishes

Mark Bittman
Published in
2 min readMar 23, 2020


Photo: Romulo Yanes

Here’s a foolproof way to make sure the texture of your scrambled eggs is exactly how you like it.

Crack the eggs on a flat, hard service and open them into a bowl. You can add a little milk or cream to make the scrambled eggs silkier and less eggy tasting. But don’t add too much or they might get watery. Figure 1 tablespoon for every 2 eggs.

Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and whisk until the yolks and whites are just combined.

Put the butter or oil in a medium skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add the eggs when the butter is foaming, but not yet changing color, or the oil thins a bit and just begins to shimmer.

Pour the eggs into the pan. Let the eggs cook for just a few seconds to heat up, then begin stirring frequently and scraping the sides of the pan. The more you stir — and the lower the heat — the silkier the eggs. Moving the pan on and off the burner is the fastest way to control the temperature. If you’re going to add anything, like chopped herbs or grated cheese, wait until the eggs just start to set.

As the eggs begin to curdle, some parts may look like they’re drying out; whenever you see that, remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring until the cooking slows down a bit. Then return the pan to the heat and continue cooking.

The eggs are done when they’re creamy, soft and still a bit runny; do not overcook or the eggs will become tough. (If you like them that way, go ahead.) Serve right away.

11 things to add to eggs

  1. A teaspoon of chopped, fresh stronger herbs like oregano, tarragon, or thyme
  2. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh milder herbs like parsley, chives, chervil, basil, or mint
  3. Tabasco, Worcestershire, or other prepared sauce, to taste
  4. A quarter cup grated or crumbled cheddar, goat, or other melting cheese
  5. 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  7. A half-cup chopped cooked mushrooms, spinach, or other vegetables
  8. A half-cup chopped smoked salmon or other smoked fish
  9. A half-cup chopped cooked shrimp, crab, lobster, or oysters
  10. 1 or 2 chopped tomatoes
  11. Any cooked salsa, drained if it’s watery

— All text and recipes come from “How to Cook Everything: The Basics.”



Mark Bittman

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at