We’re willing to go out on a limb and suggest there isn’t a piece of dry land on this planet of ours that chickens don’t peck and scratch. From Alaska to Sri Lanka and most everywhere in between, gallus domesticus is at home. A flashy early form of chicken—gallus lafayettii or jungle fowl—strutted out of the Southeast Asian jungle thousands of years ago and quickly made its way (with our help, of course) around the world. It’s no surprise then, that egg recipes feature in just about every cuisine of the world.
Eggs are an endlessly versatile, perfect food that comes in its own package, with a delicious but accommodatingly neutral flavor that allows the cook to pair them up with all sorts of other ingredients. And their composition of fat and protein allows for myriad cooking techniques.
Here are seven recipes for delicious egg dishes from India, France, Columbia, Finland, Japan, Spain and China.
Healthy-ish Curried Deviled Eggs (India)
Instead of lashings of mayo, this recipe (pictured above) calls for yogurt and the fresh, exciting flavors of tropical aromatics and spices. Any leftover filling can be kept in the fridge for later use as a sandwich filling, dip or to top a simple green salad.
Yield: 12 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped tomato (about 1 medium)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup plain, whole-fat yogurt
- 6 eggs, hardboiled, cooled to room temperature and peeled
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Add cumin seeds, and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds or until the seeds are dark brown but not black. Add onion and jalapeño (if using), and sauté for 4 minutes or until light golden. Add garlic, and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly golden.
Stir in tomato, salt, cayenne (if using), ground cumin or garam masala, fenugreek seeds (if using) and black pepper. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place yogurt in a small bowl to temper it. To prevent curdling, spoon 1 tablespoon of the hot onion mixture into the yogurt. Add another tablespoon, stir well, then pour the tempered yogurt into the skillet with the onion and tomato. Cook for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring continuously, then remove from the heat.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise and carefully scoop the yolks into a medium bowl. Place whites on a devilled egg tray or lettuce-lined plate so they don’t slide around. Mash yolks with a fork until smooth.
Add the warm onion and tomato mixture to yolks and mix well. Using a teaspoon, stuff egg white halves with the filling. Garnish with a sprinkling of cayenne or more finely diced jalapeño.
Serve warm or chilled.
Huevos Rotos (Spain)
What is it about recipes that combine egg with potato? The bland starchiness of potato is the perfect backdrop for rich, buttery eggs. This recipe is flexible, and any cut or type of potato will do: fries, round slices, wedges, halved fingerlings or baby. We’ve added spicy chorizo, but it can be left out for a vegetarian version.
“Roto” means “broken” in Spanish, so remember to break the egg yolks right before serving to let the yolks run into the potatoes.
Tip: Always crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then transfer to the skillet. That way, if one is bad or a little bloody, it won’t ruin the whole recipe!
Yield: 4 servings
- 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus a pinch more for finishing
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup water, plus more if needed
- 4 cups potatoes, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 chorizo or other sausage, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 4 eggs
Into large skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil, smoked paprika, chili pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and water. Add the potatoes, stir, spread out as evenly as possible and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender when poked with a fork—about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Remove cover, and if too dry or sticking, add a drop more oil and water and scrape to loosen. Add onion, chorizo, garlic and parsley, combine and spread out. Replace lid and cook until onions are soft—about 15 to 20 minutes. Check on the potatoes again. If sticking, add more oil, stir in, then make four little bowls in the potatoes and add an egg into each.
Sprinkle the top of each egg with a pinch more salt and pepper. Cover again and continue to cook over medium-low heat until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny—about 3 to 4 minutes. Bring the skillet to the table and poke each yolk to let it run free into the potatoes. A final sprinkling of parsley is nice.
Herbed Finnish Egg Butter (Finland)
This rich dish of still-warm hard-cooked eggs mashed with indulgent amounts of butter, fresh dill and chives is a Finnish tradition. Spread it on dark rye or rye crisps as is, or with a few bits of smoked fish or radish sprouts on top.
One of the more versatile egg recipes, you can make this dish rustic or superfine and sophisticated. For a more homespun spread, simply mash as instructed, but for a delicate smoothness, blend the eggs, butter, salt and pepper in a food processor until creamy, then stir in the herbs.
Yield: 3 cups
- 8 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon room-temperature butter;
cut into small chunks
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill; reserve a sprig to garnish
Cover eggs with cold water, and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside in the pot with the hot water, until cool enough to handle. Peel eggs and set aside.
Into a large bowl, add butter, salt and pepper, and still-warm peeled eggs.
Using a pastry knife, potato masher or fork, mash butter and eggs together. The warmth of the eggs will soften the butter and let it blend beautifully. Stir in the chives. Taste, then adjust with salt and pepper.
Serve warm, or keep covered and chill before serving. Garnish with a sprig of dill or more chives.
Egg Yolk Won Ton Soup (China)
This is a great soup in so many ways: It’s cozy comfort for the common cold, it’s easy but really pretty, and it’s a great way to use those first little eggs from a flock of young hens. Peewee yolks are the perfect size for store-bought wonton wrappers.
Yield: 2 servings
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, or more to taste
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and very finely
julienned or minced
- 2 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1/4 cup chopped button mushrooms or whole enoki,
or torn oyster mushrooms
- a few sprigs fresh coriander, finely minced, plus extra for garnish (optional)
- 6 small egg yolks, each in a separate dish
- 12 wonton wrappers
- 6 whole coriander leaves (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or another hot sauce, or to taste
- 1 cup shredded napa cabbage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, ginger, white parts of the green onion, mushrooms, and coriander (if using). Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low, just to keep the broth hot. Cover.
Set up a production line for the wontons with the open package of wonton wrappers, a parchment paper-covered plate, and a little dish of water for dipping your finger into when gluing the wonton wrappers shut.
Working with one wonton at a time, use your finger to wipe a bit of water around all four edges of the wrapper. Don’t miss any or it won’t seal and will fall apart in the soup.
Place one coriander leaf (if using) in the center of the wonton wrapper, then slide a yolk gently onto the leaf in the center of the wonton wrapper. Onto the yolk, squeeze a tiny drop of sriracha or another favorite Asian chili or hot sauce, then lay another won ton wrapper on top and press the edges together. Make sure there are no gaps where the broth can seep in.
Repeat these steps with all 6 yolks, then set aside on the parchment-covered plate until ready to add to the soup, which should be immediately. If not, cover with plastic wrap until ready.
Increase heat under the soup pot to medium, and bring back up to a simmer. Add cabbage and green parts of the green onion; stir. Add the wontons while the soup is still gently swirling.
The wontons will sink, so try to keep them from sticking to the bottom by gently moving them in the soup. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, garnish with more fresh coriander (if desired) and serve.
Lore has it this soup is cooked up by doting wives and mothers when their kids—or husbands—have had a little too much fun the night before, and we can see why. All that fatty, milky goodness is soothing to an overworked tummy.
Some folks just can’t abide the flavor of cilantro. If that’s the case for you, use flat leaf (Italian) parsley instead, and serve with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil, or 1 teaspoon of each
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups diced potato
- 4 finely chopped green onions, divided
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups whole milk (Do not use low-fat milk or the soup will curdle.)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper,
or more to taste
- 4 eggs
Into a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and/or oil, garlic, potatoes and about 3 of the chopped green onions. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the stock first, then the milk, and bring up to a very gentle boil. If you boil too aggressively, the soup will curdle, so watch the heat and reduce as needed. Simmer gently until a potato piece tested with a fork comes out almost tender, not quite done.
Add salt, pepper and cilantro. Stir, then add the eggs to poach for about 3 minutes or until the yolks are done to your liking.
Sprinkle with more cilantro and the remaining chopped green onions, and bring the pot to the table with a ladle for dishing it up.
Sweet Jam Omelet (France)
Somewhere between an omelet and a soufflé, omelette soufflée à la confiture, en Francais, is sweet and light, and only requires a bit more effort than any other omelet. Use any jam, preserve, fruit spread or fruit purée you like, and enjoy this any time of day, as the main course or dessert.
Yield: 2 servings
- 1/4 cup jelly, jam, or fruit spread
- 1⁄3 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons super-fine vanilla sugar, divided pinch fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 teaspoons icing sugar for garnish (optional)
In a medium bowl, add the jam, mascarpone and lemon juice. Stir well to fully combine. Set aside.
Place egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until pale, creamy and beginning to thicken. Set aside.
Place egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped out with a drop of lemon juice. Add the remaining tablespoon of vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt, and using electric beaters or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the whites until stiff peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the yolks until well combined, being careful not to collapse the whites too much.
Place a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Nonstick or cast iron work best. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, melt and swirl around the skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and spread out to the edges, patting it down a bit. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the eggs look just set. Do not let the omelet brown!
Using either an offset spatula or egg flipper, slide around the edges and underneath to make sure there are no stuck bits.
When sure it’s loose, set a large plate on top of the skillet and flip. The omelet should drop onto the plate. Wait a second and listen for the soft “plunk.”
Return skillet to the heat and add the remaining butter. Melt and swirl the butter, then slip the omelet back into the skillet. Continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the egg looks just set.
Reduce heat to low, and while the second side is cooking, spoon the jam-mascarpone filling over one half of the omelet. Tip the skillet, and with the help of a spatula, slip the omelet onto a serving platter, then fold the omelet in half. It won’t be perfect. It shouldn’t be perfect—the filling should be peeking out suggestively! Or, skip this last, somewhat stressful step and eat it right out of the pan, tête-à-tête style.
Dust with icing sugar if desired and serve immediately.
Omurice (Japan/South Korea)
Its origins may be Japanese, but this modern dish is also popular in South Korean cuisine. Savory, salty, and a little sweet, it’s the sort of meal—breakfast, lunch or dinner—the kids will love. We’ve used ham (which can be omitted for a vegetarian version), but any leftover cooked meat will do.
Yield: 1 adult serving or 2 kid servings
for the filling
- 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil; divided
- 2 green onions, finely chopped; a few pieces reserved for garnishing
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 small carrot finely diced
- 6 button mushrooms, finely diced
- 1/2 cup diced ham
- 1 cup cooked rice; day-old is best
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
for the omelet
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
Into a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, green onion, shallot, carrot, mushroom. Cook, stirring often until just becoming fragrant—about 3 minutes—then add ham and cook for another 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, add rice, soy sauce, ketchup and stir to combine and evenly coat the rice. Transfer rice mixture to a small bowl and press it down into the mold. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs and milk.
Into a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add remaining oil and egg mixture. Gently pull eggs into the center of the pan as they congeal. Stop when almost cooked—it should still be very wet on top—then remove from heat and set aside.
To serve, place a dinner plate over the rice bowl and flip. Carefully remove the bowl, leaving a nice round mound of rice. Transfer the omelet from the skillet to drape over the rice mound, wet egg side down.
Finish with a drizzle of ketchup, a few bits of green onion, perhaps a pinch of toasted sesame seeds, or even a squeeze of mayo.
We hope you enjoy these egg recipes from across the globe!
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2023 issue of Chickens magazine.