Yotam Ottolenghi Serves Fried Boiled Eggs In Chili Sauce For A Unique, Spicy Breakfast

Successful chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi thrives on experimentation, exploration, and collaboration. Through this open-minded, inclusive, and playful philosophy, Ottolenghi has managed to transform even the most ubiquitous ingredients and unimaginative meals into unique and creative recipes. For example, in a contribution to The Guardian, Ottolenghi triumphantly takes on the challenge of converting plain old boiled eggs into a culinary novelty.

The chef boils eggs until medium hard, for about six minutes, then shells them, rolls them in corn flour, and fries them. The savory corn-crusted eggs provide a rich flavor and a wonderful crunch that cedes into a buttery, soft, slightly jammy egg. After frying the boiled eggs, Ottolenghi uses the flavorful, corn and seasoning-infused frying oil as the foundation for a vibrant chili sauce made with tomato paste, garlic, onions, rehydrated chilies, chili flakes, and a blend of Middle Eastern spices.

The sauce then becomes a bright and spicy flavor bath into which he places the crispy fried hard-boiled eggs. This novel twist on hard-boiled eggs shows how a routine dish has the potential to inspire a beautifully presented, texturally exciting, and tastily complex breakfast dish. In the true spirit of experimentation, you can use Ottolenghi's recipe as a set of methodological guidelines, leaving flavors up for further exploration in your own kitchen.

Fried boiled egg tips and flavor pairings

Yotam Ottolenghi has done the legwork on the methodology for frying boiled eggs into a crisp and decadent version of themselves, but his flavors and ingredients are open to a range of culinary whims. His chili sauce uses Turkish chili flakes and ancho chilies. However, you can personalize the sauce with your favorite spices and ingredients, drawing inspiration from other global flavors.

Corn flour is a common ingredient in Southern cooking, so you could create a Cajun-spiced chili sauce by using the frying oil to saute a mirepoix, tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper. You could even throw in ham hocks and collard greens to bubble away before adding the fried eggs.

Another twist for the dish comes from Mexico, the birthplace of chilies and corn. You can create green chili sauce using diced cilantro, tomatillos, garlic, fresh jalapenos, and Tajin. A sweet and spicy red sauce using chipotles, crushed tomatoes, ancho chilies, onions, and agave nectar would also taste delicious.

In an exclusive Tasting Table interview with Ottolenghi and his test kitchen manager Noor Murad, the two share insights on making the most of every ingredient. They do just that with spices by frying them in oil to release their aromas and maximize their flavor. In fact, they use this trick in their turmeric-fried egg dish as well as in this boiled egg in chili sauce recipe by frying the aromatics and whole spices before adding chilies or other ingredients.