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#1
Old 03-25-2015, 01:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Yucatan, Mexico
Posts: 2,397
How to order eggs in Spanish

Hola. As many of you know, I teach English and Maya in the Yucatan. I have been asked to teach a ESP* course for waiters.

Eggs are very complicated. So many variations, styles. I would appreciate Spanish words (that people would use in Mexico) on the following styles of eggs.

1. Sunny side up
2. Over easy
3. Over medium
4. Poached
5. Hard boiled

Thank you for your insight and help.

* English for Specific Purposes
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#2
Old 03-25-2015, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,032
Based on living in central Mexico for several years:

In general, fried eggs come in revueltos (scrambled) or estrellado (not scrambled). Boiled eggs are hervido or cocido. I've never seen a poached egg on a menu in Mexico except in the type of restaurant where the menu is in English, but my dictionary suggests "escalfado", which I suspect most non-restaurant-staff people would not understand.

Usually that's about as specific as a small restaurant (the kind run by the cook's family) will typically get. If you want to try to specify "over" vs. "sunnyside up", you can use volteado (turned) or cocinado por los dos lados (cooked on both sides) vs. no volteado (not turned) or cocinado por un lado solamente (cooked on only one side); results may vary.

Over easy vs. over medium (and for that matter softboiled vs. hardboiled) is best specified by saying you want the yolk runny (yema blanda, yema muy tierno or yema liquida), soft (yema suave, yema tierna) or hard (yema duro); in theory a softboiled egg is a "huevo pasado por agua", but softboiled eggs don't seem to be popular and most cooks don't seem to have a lot of experience with them unless they cater to tourists, so in a fonda or "cocina familiar" this can get you anything from almost-raw to hardboiled.

These terms are from the point of view of what's useful to an English-speaking diner; it looks like you want to go the other way (so a Spanish-speaking waiter can take orders from an English-speaker), but I guess you could compile them into phrases, e.g.:

over easy = huevo estrellado cocinado por ambos lados, con la yema muy blanda
#3
Old 03-25-2015, 05:58 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 5,405
In English English you could ask for

1. Fried
2. Boiled
3. Poached
4. Scrambled

You could also ask for an omelette.

Last edited by bob++; 03-25-2015 at 05:59 PM.
#4
Old 03-25-2015, 05:58 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,822
Whichever way you order then, don't ask the chef "Tienes huevos?"

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 03-25-2015 at 05:59 PM.
#5
Old 03-25-2015, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR Brown View Post
Boiled eggs are hervido or cocido.
If it's hardboiled, duro. Softboiled is a medio cocer. If you don't specify it can be anywhere from runny to overcooked.

I'm still trying to understand all those variations on frying, normally we ask for a huevo frito; if you want the white runny then you want it medio frito, lo blanco sin acabar de freir. And if you want the yolk solid, you want it al plato or la yema también sólida. The most I've had a Spanish speaking cook ask, if he wanted details, was ¿con o sin puntilla? (puntilla, lace, being the brown flakey stuff), but ISTR that isn't used in Mexico.

Yema is f, so don't make it duro, blando or líquido: it's dura, blanda or líquida.

All those except the puntilla were understood when I was in Mexico. My Mexican coworkers were as frustrated by American egg menus as I was, ¿pero cómo se consigue aquí un huevo frito? was one of the things that would come up in conversation.

Last edited by Nava; 03-25-2015 at 10:18 PM.
#6
Old 03-25-2015, 10:21 PM
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OOT: If you can actually cook the variations, or at least simulate the cooking so people know what you're talking about, it might be helpful. I didn't encounter the idea of flipping eggs over while frying them until I was in the US, in my late 20s; that will produce different results depending on when you do it...
#7
Old 03-25-2015, 10:33 PM
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Location: Arizona
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1. Sunny side up
"Huevo estrellado". The idea in Spanish is not that the egg yolk looks like the sun but it implies that the whole egg was smashed to the surface of the pan (we are talking a soft crash, not at fast speed)

2. Over easy
"Huevo frito" This is usually what I understand as fried egg, both sides of a sunny side up egg are fried.

3. Over medium
This is also what I remember as a "huevo frito". As other mentioned it is not an exact science and how well it is cooked will depend on the cook and the taste of the person.

4. Poached
I remember that in the Americas we call it "Huevo Tibio", literally a warm egg, not fried, but cooked in boiling water.

5. Hard boiled
The "Huevo duro" it does mean hard egg.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 03-25-2015 at 10:34 PM.
#8
Old 03-26-2015, 09:34 AM
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Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIGObuster View Post
4. Poached
I remember that in the Americas we call it "Huevo Tibio", literally a warm egg, not fried, but cooked in boiling water.
I forgot that one! But where I've been it means softboiled, not poached.
#9
Old 03-26-2015, 02:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 38,098
I can tell you that it's absolutely NOT "dos jueves frias" (two cold Thursdays), as a colleague of mine told the waitress in Guatemala. Hilarity ensued.

Last edited by Chefguy; 03-26-2015 at 02:23 PM.
#10
Old 03-26-2015, 02:27 PM
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Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 20,956
Yeah? I got yer huevos right here, pal.
#11
Old 03-26-2015, 04:01 PM
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Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 19,692
Los huevos mas grande in todo el mundo!!

That was a great movie. I still use that line.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 03-26-2015 at 04:01 PM.
#12
Old 03-27-2015, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Dolores de San Goloteo
Posts: 634
Mexican Spanish, at least for Central Mexico, a huevo:

1. Sunny side up - Huevos estrellados
2. Over easy - Huevos estrellados volteados
3. Over medium - Huevos estrellados, volteados bien cocidos
4. Poached - Huevos pochados / huevos escalfados
5. Hard boiled - Huevos cocidos
#13
Old 03-27-2015, 07:58 AM
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Gracias por la ayuda, Compadre...



(The previous poster's name means "don't help me, mate"; I said "thanks for your help, mate")

Last edited by Nava; 03-27-2015 at 07:59 AM.
#14
Old 03-27-2015, 11:34 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Yucatan, Mexico
Posts: 2,397
And thank you all for your help.

I now realize that the extrañeros here are more particular about their eggs than the locals.

I have heard "media termina" for eggs with a cooked white and a runny yolk. Anyone else hear that?
#15
Old 03-27-2015, 12:54 PM
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"Heuvos como los de eso gringo loco "

The extent of my Spanish.
#16
Old 03-27-2015, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonicamoon View Post
I now realize that the extrañeros here are more particular about their eggs than the locals.
Extranjeros, and no. All those people complaining that if you ask for a fried egg in the US you don't get a huevo frito are very particular about their fried eggs, we all want them a very specific way which doesn't match the American version (it does match the English version).

This kind of variation is about what is considered important enough to receive a label vs a description. Another example: you guys have a lot of different names for what we'd call "varieties of poker"; we know that if we're going to play a popular game such as dominoes or ludo/parcheesi with someone with whom we haven't played it before, we need to check some details about the rules and which rules need checking, but those rules combinations don't get names.

Last edited by Nava; 03-27-2015 at 10:33 PM.
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