Eggs are big in the food world. Whether it’s a hot trend in brunch, meticulously-plated, ultra-likeable eggs on Instagram (always remember to hashtag #putaneggonit, people) or a new restaurant dedicated solely to the fine art of the oeuf (see Bad Egg, The Good Egg – yes, they coexist in the same city – and Yolk London), staying on top of egg trends is ever more challenging. They’re always a big hit on bbcgoodfood.com, too – two of our most popular pages are our boiled egg infographic and poached egg video. But dippy eggs and toast soldiers have made way for more unusual serving methods. Discover 10 contemporary ways of dishing up everybody’s favourite breakfast ingredient with super-cool twists.
This social media-friendly breakfast butty involves cutting a hole into a pan-fried sandwich in which to crack an egg. Sound complicated? It really isn’t. The trick is to use a lidded frying pan to help the egg set perfectly. If bacon isn’t your thing, you could fill your sourdough with modish avocado instead.
Poaching eggs in sauce is a rather clever concept that’s best demonstrated by shakshuka. This breakfast dish – thought to originate in Tunisia – contains peppers, tomatoes, onions and spices, although it exists in many iterations across the Middle East. We like it with a dollop of thick, creamy yogurt and some tasty flatbreads for dunking, and our green shakshuka is a herby, spicy sensation.
Turkish cuisine is a carnival of amazing flavours, and thanks to restaurants like Selin Kiazim’s Oklava we’re becoming better-versed in how to cook it at home. Behold our Turkish eggs – a brunch-friendly dish with yogurt, garlic, melted chilli butter and all-authentic sumac. Copious bread for dipping is absolutely essential.
Sri Lankan-style egg hoppers – thin pancakes made from fermented rice flour, cooked over a kind of upturned wok to create a bowl shape – have made waves on the UK eating out scene (check out the very appropriately-named Hoppers) and we’ve been trying our hand at making our own since. Food writer Rosie Birkett has created a recipe for us using a standard household wok. She swirls the hopper batter up the sides of the wok, then cracks an egg in the middle, as per the Asian tradition.
Turmeric is a big deal in the health world thanks to its positive nutritional qualities. It also happens to be one of the more versatile spices and an incredibly handsome colour to cook with. Our turmeric scrambled eggs are made with coconut milk, garlic and spinach and the result is a mellow yellow brunch that’ll be on the table by the time your cafetiere is ready to plunge…
We often look to our friends across the Atlantic for foodie inspiration, and when we heard that American restaurants are serving super Seventies devilled eggs, we were flooded with happy visions of cocktail dresses, Abigail’s Party and serving platters with doilies. But the modern devilled egg is a bit posher than your standard buffet offering. Our up-to-date version is filled with chicken liver pâté (which we’re pleased to report is piped in, in true retro style) and served with an ultra chic (and ultra trendy) shard of chicken crackling on the side. Now all we need is a glass of Babycham and a slice of Black Forest gâteau for afters.
Taiwanese-influenced restaurant Bao London might be best known for its fluffy steamed buns and long queues, but another thing it’s famed for is its blood pudding topped with a shiny whole egg yolk. But golden yolks aren’t just made for dipping – they also add a silky richness to dishes. No better way is this demonstrated than in a traditional, vibrant yellow saffron risotto. The egg yolk is stirred in right at the end, a technique that can be applied to other Italian dishes. Spaghetti carbonara, for instance, can be made without egg whites, using yolk only to give it an extra luxe finish.
We’re massive fans of eggs Benedict and rank it as one of the finest breakfast inventions of all time. But just when we thought the mighty combination of English muffin, hollandaise, egg and ham couldn’t be beaten, we came across extra special Benedicts. Tom Kerridge’s lobster muffins are so luxurious it’s almost obscene, while sky-high restaurant Duck & Waffle serve an ox cheek Benedict that we think is best enjoyed with a stiff cocktail.
Asian food just keeps mushrooming in popularity in the UK, and brunch-friendly congee – a rice porridge topped with spring onions, herbs and other flavourings – is super modish. Our version is made even cooler by the addition of a soy egg. The method for making them is simple. Hard boil your eggs before submerging them in a soy, sugar and water bath for a few hours. The egg will gain a light soy colouration on the outside, and the umami flavour for which soy is so cherished. You can serve soy eggs on ramen, stir-fries, rice noodle salads, curries – you name it.
Eggs and chilli are perfect partners – there’s something about the heat of the chilli with the creaminess of the egg – and if we’re not dousing our avocado & poached egg with hot sauce like sriracha, peppery Mexican chilli sauce or Korean gochujang sauce, we’re adding fresh, sliced chilli to our brunches. Our cornbread with ‘devilled’ eggs and avocado ticks several trend boxes in one fell swoop.
Words can’t describe our enduring love for soft boiled eggs and buttery toast, but once you’ve souped up your soldiers you might never look back. Our 10 fancy dippers include toast with anchovy butter, rarebits, candied bacon and chorizo soldiers. Just make sure you achieve the perfect boil courtesy of our aforementioned infographic and you’ll be skipping your way into the day after one of the finest breakfasts money can buy…
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Do you welcome avant garde eggs with open arms? Discover more egg recipes to start your day in style…