British cuisine sometimes gets a bad rep but they’ve certainly nailed it when it comes to snack food. There’s no denying that scones and sausages rolls are pretty delicious. But when I was in the UK last year I discovered my new favourite savoury treat – the Scotch egg. Although the name certainly implies that the Scots invented this sausage-meat encased egg, its origin is a bit obscure. A London department store Fortum & Mason claims to have invented the Scotch egg in 1738, but another theory is that it evolved from Nargisi Kofta, an Indian dish that also uses minced meat and a boiled egg. Well, wherever it originated, it’s surely a great little snack.
It’s a boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat, coated with breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. While countless variations exist, the best one that I’ve had was at a classic British pub in Kensington. Regular sausage meat was swapped with black pudding, and the results were delicious.
I know that black pudding isn’t for everyone, so I went with a safer route and used minced pork. Also instead of regular eggs I used quail eggs, simply because I can never finish a whole Scotch egg by myself without feeling uncomfortably full. Plus they just look so much cuter! And of course I seasoned the meat with a variety of Asian spices for an added twist.
- 250 g of lean ground pork
- 12 quail eggs
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp Schichimi (or Nanami) Togarashi (7 Spiced Japanese powder)
- ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup olive oil (or enough to submerge the eggs)
- Boil water using a large pot. Make sure that a large amount of water is boiling vigorously and will continue boiling when you add the quail eggs. This will help when peeling the eggshells.
- Boil quail eggs for 2 minutes and then immediately plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Carefully peel the eggs and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Sauté garlic and onions over medium-high heat until slightly browned. Set aside to cool. When cooled, add to the pork along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, schichimi togarashi, salt, and pepper. Let marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Take a small handful of the pork mixture and flatten into a circular shape. Place one quail egg in the middle and wrap. Ensure that the entire egg is covered but not in a thick layer. Cooking will be easiest with a thinner layer. Roll in Panko crumbs to coat sufficiently.
- Heat olive oil to between 320°F and 340°F. Place eggs, one at a time, into the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until brown and crispy. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce or ketchup.