Intro: Dorky Biologist Pink Eggs
My dad used to make these for me all the time when I was a kid. Always kind of freaked me out how egg yolks could go from yellow to pink like that. And yet, I always went back for more!
Now having been through high school biology courses, I can say that I understand the mechanism of this phenomenon.
Hang on to your hats, we're getting dorky!
Proteins are complicated and intricate molecules that surround the "Central Dogma" of all life. They are composed of amino acids, which form chains called polypeptides, which then form the ultimate protein. Depicted above is a hemoglobin protein, which coats the surfaces of red blood cells and help carry oxygen (fun fact: the remaining oxygen is absorbed in the plasma). Like hemoglobin, proteins of various functions require certain environmental constants for optimal functionality. Temperature, pH, and salinity are all naturally occurring biological factors that must be accounted for in protein functionality. If the specific conditions are not met for the protein, the protein is subject to denaturation. This means that the protein could change its shape and thus lose its function. But what does all this have to do with eggs?
Eggs are rich in protein!
If you've ever fried an egg, you'll notice the "egg white" actually turns white. This is the effect that heat from the pan has on the albumin protein. You're witnessing denaturation at it's finest!
I'm hungry, enough talk. Let's see if we can use the same principles to denature the proteins in the yolk.
Step 1: Materials
For this Instructable, you'll need:
-Butter or oil
-Pot cover--Just large enough to sit on, not on top of, the frying pan
-Condiments of choice
Step 2: Prep Work
Prepare your egg as you normally would. Melt your butter or spread your oil, then crack your egg into the pan.
Step 3: Apply the Cover
Remember how heat denatures proteins? You're going to use the pot cover to trap the heat from the pan so that it can denatures the proteins within the yolk.
Step 4: Denature the Deutoplasm
Next time you go to a dinner party, refer to the yolk of a deviled egg as the deutoplasm. See how many people lose their appetite!
This is just the waiting game. Depending on the flame setting on your stove, times will vary.
Step 5: Serve
Once you're happy with the color of your yolk, you're ready to serve it (or keep it for yourself)! Add some condiments and enjoy!
Step 6: Final Thoughts
Cooking meats always reminds me of the intricacy of molecular interactions in proteins. Of course we can't observe the denaturing process on a molecular level, but we sure can see it from where we are.
Ah... The things one can think over breakfast eggs!