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Eggs aren't just a breakfast staple — they're an incredibly versatile ingredient found in many global cuisines. So if you're getting a little sick of scrambled or sunny side up, use this time at home to expand your culinary horizons with these global egg-driven dishes that showcase their star ingredient as you've never tasted it before. Below are eight unique recipes to put those eggs in the fridge to good use.
Hong Kong Egg Tart
This European-Asian hybrid takes influence from a combination of the Portuguese pastéis de nata with a British custard tart. The Hong Kong egg tart features the creamy custard filling of the former and the glossy finish of the latter. Served hot, this pastry is often eaten in teahouses called cha chaan tengs as an accompaniment to tea, but you can also buy it from a bakery.
The base of the tart can be made easily with shortcrust puff pastry (you could even buy it to save time), but the more authentic version uses Chinese puff pastry, which has a less oily and more floury taste than its western counterpart. When cooked, the pastry filling should be just firm enough to support a toothpick, but still soft. Serve warm, so the pastry crumbles in your mouth.
The origins of shakshuka are disputed – it could have come from Ottoman Turkey, Morocco, or Yemen. But it's no question that this dish (whose name loosely translates to "all mixed up") has exploded in popularity, even well outside the Middle East and North Africa, where it has been a staple for centuries.
Similar in some respects to the Mexican dish huevos rancheros, shakshuka poaches the eggs atop a hearty sauce comprised of tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers and olive oil. The addition of spices like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and nutmeg adds a layered complexity of flavors. Cook and serve in a cast iron pan with bread for sopping up the sauce.
Did you know? Scotch eggs don’t actually come from Scotland. This tasty treat – an egg wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs – is thought to have originated in England. The Queen’s London-based grocer, Fortnum & Mason, claims to have invented this traveller’s snack for the wealthy – a more discreet version of a hard-boiled egg – in 1738. Another account says they were invented in the Yorkshire town of Whitby at a shop called William J Scott & Sons. Originally the called "Scotties," the eggs were covered in a creamy fish paste rather than sausage.
Though you can actually order readymade Scotch eggs delivered to your doorstep, the more adventurous can try this picnic snack at home. The trick to authenticity is to ensure the yolk is still a little soft.
This scrumptious, boozy dessert from Italy uses just three simple ingredients: raw egg yolks, sugar, and wine. It’s cooked slowly over a double boiler (if you don’t have one, you can easily make do with a heatproof glass bowl balanced over a saucepan), whipping the eggs and sugar together with a sweet fortified wine, typically Marsala. Pour the light custard creation into champagne or sorbet glass and serve it warm with berries – though there are endless variations to this Italian classic.
This dish may be lesser known in the U.S., but once you've tried brik, you can be sure you’ll want to go back for more. Originated in the Ottoman Empire, today brik is commonly found in Tunisia, but you’ll also see variations in neighboring Algeria, where it's called borek.
A triangular pocket is fashioned from paper-thin sheets of filo dough called Malsouka, which can be substituted for Chinese egg roll wrappers. A whole egg is tucked inside, held in place by a flavorsome and well-seasoned tuna, parsley, harissa and potato mixture. Ideally, the egg should still be runny when you bite into the golden, crisp pastry, but it’s fine to let it cook a little longer.
This savory steamed egg custard from Japan makes a tasty hot appetizer wiht a silky texture that is similar to flan. “Chawan” refers to the traditional rice bowl or tea cup in which the dish is served, while “mushi” translates to steamed.
The eggs take on their flavor from the blend of soy sauce, mirin (a tangy rice wine similar to sake), and dashi, a Japanese stock that is found in many dishes such as miso soup. You'll find it in powdered form to be infused or simmered in water, or save time and buy tsuyu, which combines the three ingredients in one ready-prepared liquid. Though delectable on its own, the custard is typically served with fillings such as prawns, steamed fish cake, shiitake mushrooms and spring onions.
Tortilla de Patatas
Tortilla de patatas is often referred to as a Spanish omelette, but it’s a little different than the one we're used to. Served warm or at room temperature rather than piping hot, this hearty dish is part egg and part potato – and occasionally there’s onion thrown in for good measure, though that’s somewhat controversial. The first written reference to the dish was probably made in Navarra in the north of Spain in 1817, and today it's one of the most popular dishes in Spanish cuisine.
The tortilla is flipped midway through cooking to create a creamy, dense center. A double-sided frying pan makes that a cinch, but you can also flip your pan upside over a dinner plate.
Don't worry, the Ugandan "Rolex" isn't as pricey as it sounds – it's a classic street food in the East African nation that consists of a flat omelette rolled inside a chapatti (flatbread) and stuffed with vegetables such as chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage and diced onion. Street vendors originally called the dish "rolled eggs," which sounded like "Rolex" to some visitors, and gradually the name stuck.
The delicious combination is nutritious, cheap and filling but best of all, it’s portable, making it the ideal breakfast food on the go. Now you can’t say that about a watch, can you?