PSA: You can get free Sriracha at Starbucks now
If you're the kind of person who prefers eating a protein-packed breakfast or orders a breakfast sandwich only to throw away the bun because it's got too many carbs, you're in luck. Starting on January 10, Starbucks stores across the United States and Canada will be serving new Sous Vide Egg Bites. Yes, you read that right. These bite-size egg tarts are cooked using the sous vide method, a technique more familiar to Michelin-starred kitchens than a coffee company with over 25,000 stores. But sous vide is one of the best ways to cook eggs, especially soft, tender eggs that just melt in your mouth.
To cook something using the sous vide method, you need to put ingredients into a vacuum-sealed bag, then place that into a temperature-controlled water bath, and let the whole thing cook. Given how challenging it can be to precisely control the temperature of a regular-sized pot of water, it's hard to image sous vide happening on a scale large enough to make all of these individual bites. But Starbucks did it, after years of experimentation and collaboration with Cuisine Solutions, a food company that is known for helping award-winning chefs master the sous vide technique.
The actual Egg Bites come to the store fully cooked, and like Starbucks' other hot breakfast offerings, are warmed up in the oven, which browns them slightly—in a good way. They are served in packs of two, in a little fluted cardboard container that's reminiscent of a quiche pan, making it easy to take the bites to-go.
The first of two flavors is Bacon and Gruyère, which is basically a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich without the bun. In addition to the nutty Gruyère, there's also Monterey Jack cheese for some heat. The second flavor is Egg White and Roasted Red Pepper, and it's in these egg bites that the sous vide method of preparation really shines. Egg whites, if cooked incorrectly, can be kind of tough and tasteless, but these bites are best described as velvety. The addition of cottage cheese doesn't hurt, and the roasted red pepper is paired with a zesty Monterey Jack cheese. There's also spinach cooked into the egg bites, for a bit of green.
If you're really into spice, you can also get Starbucks' own Sriracha for free with any food order. This, I think, is the real game changer, but a brand new protein-packed, relatively healthy breakfast option isn't a bad way for Starbucks to start the year, either.