Most Easter eggs are brightly dyed, made of chocolate, or hollow plastic and filled with jelly beans, but we took the Easter egg idea in a different direction: Scotch eggs—a classic British pub snack of breaded and deep-fried hard-boiled eggs encased in sausage.
The original version of this post actually dates back to 2012, when Amy Wisniewski first wrote about our ingenious (if we may say so) Easter project.
The idea for these Scotch eggs came from then-Chowhound photographer Chris Rochelle. He’d long been obsessed with them, but they also happened to be really trendy at the time: New York CHOW Report contributor Liza de Guia spotted them at Rye by the hundreds; Bon Appétit tagged them hot for 2012; and hey, so did we!
Rye may have closed a couple years ago, and 2012 may be a long way behind us, but these Scotch eggs are so fun—and delicious—we just had to resurrect them. Luckily, we took a lot of notes when we first created them so you’ll know exactly what to do.
Presto Fry Daddy Electric Deep Fryer, $27.99 on Amazon
Because in this case, an air fryer is just not gonna cut it.
Our original plan was to stick to the basic structure of a Scotch egg but switch up the coatings. We settled on three variations: pumpkin and panko, inspired by something our editors found in a Vancouver izakaya; a “breakfast” egg, coated in breakfast sausage and corn flakes; and a Mexican-inspired one covered in chorizo and crushed corn chips.
How to Make Scotch Eggs (Learn From Our Misakes)
Two big challenges: getting the timing just right so the yolks would end up slightly runny, and getting the coatings to stick.
For timing, we used our own basic hard-boiled egg recipe but dialed the cooking time back to three minutes—long enough so the eggs were firm enough to peel, but could stand up to deep-frying without turning dry.
Getting the coatings to stick was a bigger challenge. Most recipes recommend “palming” the sausage around the egg while it’s in your hand, but for us it yielded a lumpy, uneven coating that didn’t stick. So then-associate food editor Christine Gallary busted out a rolling pin and a sheet of plastic wrap to turn the chorizo into thin, even layers easy to drape over an egg, a method way better than the free-form approach.
(Later, we learned via a tweet from a Chowhound follower that this just happens to be Heston Blumenthal’s preferred method.) A quick dip in flour, egg, and crushed chips, cereal, or breadcrumbs, two and a half minutes in the fryer, and success!
But our izakaya-style pumpkin eggs were a total fail—the coating fried right off. The problem: We thought we could skip the egg wash for breading and the panko would adhere. Wrong! As soon as we added an egg wash and did a panko-egg-panko double dip, they stayed together. Turns out that when making Scotch eggs, you just can’t skimp on egg.
Scotch Egg Recipes
So make these Scotch egg recipes for Easter brunch, or just earmark them as a way to use up your leftover hard-boiled eggs once the holiday’s over!
It’s a fully portable breakfast feast! Drizzle with maple syrup for the full effect. Get our Breakfast Sausage and Cornflake Scotch Eggs recipe.
Add some spice with chorizo and extra crunchy texture with corn chips (don’t forget the avocado crema on the side for dipping). Get our Chorizo Scotch Eggs recipe.
Or make them slightly healthier (and vegetarian!) by swapping in squash for the usual meaty layer, with a little miso for extra flavor, and panko for a crisp crust. Get our Kabocha Squash Scotch Eggs recipe.
Photos by Chris Rochelle