The perfect summer picnic food, snack or light dinner, homemade scotch eggs are an extremely tasty combo of boiled egg wrapped in a layer of good-quality sausage meat, minced pork or chicken covered in crispy breadcrumbs. I love scotch eggs and miss having them here in Barcelona. Whenever I visit mum in London I immediately run to the shopping area at Heathrow airport to buy some and happily chomp away on a platform as I wait for the train. But now I can make them at home! Oh joy. And so can you. They’re so easy. In fact what inspired me to finally give them a go was a recipe in the Ella’s Kitchen Yellow Big Baking Book for kids, perfect since they’re baked not fried. I adapted the method, quantities and flavours adding my current favourite spice blends with chili peppers or citrus notes: Japanese shichimi togarashi and Middle-Eastern sumac. Instead of wholemeal I use homemade sourdough bread crumbs. They take about 20 to 30 minutes to make and as many converts online have exclaimed, once you’ve tasted homemade scotch eggs you’ll never go back to buying them! They aren’t exactly cakes or found in pâtisseries but these savoury treats are so amazing I wanted to share them with you. Wouldn’t you like some really yummy healthier spiced scotch eggs?
Like togarashi and coriander chicken ones?
Maybe wrapped in minced pork with Chinese 5-spice powder and spring onion?
Or sausage meat scotch eggs with togarashi and sumac spices?
I adore them all but the minced chicken and pork ones do feel lighter and healthier plus I love the addition of chopped coriander or spring onion.
I’ve recently discovered Shichimi Togarashi, also known as Japanese 7 spices, typically red chili flakes, dried citrus peel, sichuan peppercorns, black or white sesame seeds, flaked nori, poppy seeds and ground ginger. Love the spicy citrus notes. There’s more information and a recipe at the Daring Gourmet website here. Sumac is a popular middle-eastern spice with a tangy lemony flavour – more info at the Kitchn website here. And there’s the lovely Chinese 5-spice powder, a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and sichuan peppercorns.
THE RECIPE – for 4 scotch eggs
When visiting my brother, sister-in-law and their kids up in Birmingham a favourite activity is going to the friendly monthly farmer’s market at Moseley. One stall has an amazing selection of scotch eggs with unusual flavours like Thai spices, hoisin duck, black pudding or lime and chilli. So you can really be creative with your scotch eggs! This is a basic recipe – change up the spices as you like.
The sourdough bread crumbs are not too fine, providing a great flavoursome crunchy coating. Use any bread or ready-made panko crumbs for a really easy life. A little beaten egg is added in the minced meat and to roll the scotch eggs as this apparently helps prevent cracking.
For later prototypes the eggs were boiled about 6 minutes so the yolks were softer (it was 7 minutes for earlier prototypes). It’s a little harder to manipulate delicate eggs with softer yolks so handle them gently.
When frying scotch eggs you can get runny yolks, which is really difficult when baking them because they’re cooking longer. Attempts have been made and some results are in Emy Cooks’ article here. You could try boiling the egg just 4 minutes as she suggests but don’t worry, the 6-minute softer yolk is lovely and yummy.
- 4 medium-sized eggs, free-range
- 100g/3.5oz (2-3 slices) sourdough, wholemeal or other bread
- 360g/1 and 2/3 cup/12.7oz good-quality minced pork, chicken or sausage meat (I originally used the meat from 6 Cumberland sausages)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp shichimi togarashi, to taste
- A few pinches sumac, to taste
- Pinch of fine sea salt and optional pepper
- Optional: about 1-2 tbsp finely-chopped herbs like spring onions, sage or coriander, to taste
- A little beaten egg for the sausage meat and rolling
Chinese 5 spices minced pork scotch eggs (x2): 180g/6.3oz/scant cup good-quality minced pork; scant 1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spices powder, 1/2 tsp oyster sauce; 1/2 tsp light soya sauce; 1/4 tsp sesame oil; 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onions; pinch of fine sea salt.
Chilli and coriander minced chicken scotch eggs (x2): 180g/6.3oz/scant cup good-quality minced chicken; 1/4-1/2 tsp sichimi togarashi spices, to taste; 1 and 1/2 tbsp chopped coriander; 1/2 tsp concentrated yuzu juice, optional; pinch of fine sea salt.
Method (printable illustrated recipe)
Check under them to see if they look fully done. I baked some 40 minutes to brown a little more underneath. Don’t worry if a little liquid leaks out during baking – it dries and pulls off later.
Eating and storing
Eat warm, at room temperature or cold. Store in the fridge. Best eaten the same day but also okay the day after. Perfect for parties, picnics, snacks and light suppers! Provide different kinds for everyone then make light conversation about scotch eggs…
So are scotch eggs Scottish? Apparently not. There’s a lot of debate and potential furious waving of fists about their origin, covered by an interesting Culture Trip article. One theory is they were invented by Fortnum & Mason as a luxury snack for the very rich. Another is that they originated in Whitby where they were originally enrobed in fish paste. Some say they have their roots in North African cuisine or Indian meatballs. Or were they invented as a cheap portable snack for the working class like cornish pasties?
Who knows. But apparently scotch eggs are no longer the scorned second-class snack of the 90s and are now a respected gourmet treat! Yay! I can eat them without people sniggering around me but will I have to share them?! Oh okay then… here are some healthier baked homemade scotch eggs just for you. 😉
Hope you’ve enjoyed our little savoury trip with this gourmet treat! Byeee for now dears and have a lovely yummy week, with some happy baking, no-baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x