Scotch eggs aren’t, in fact, Scottish. Depending on which source you consult they either originate from India, Yorkshire, North Africa, or Fortnum and Mason. Scotch eggs have now become popular in gastropubs the length and breadth of the country, where you can get ripped off £4 for a ‘posh egg’. In Minnesota you can apparently get them on a stick. Scotch eggs are also commonly thrown at crowds by Japanese gabba producer DJ Scotch Egg… I think that’s all my Scotch egg trivia so here’s how to make a tasty vegetarian equivalent.
I’ve done these a couple of times now, adapting the flavours and ingredients as I go. They can be a bit tricky so do be patient but it’s definitely worth it! Once you’ve done the first one you should get the hang of it. I use chickpeas for the casing, but these could be substituted for any other beans. I’ve also read recipes using mashed up veggie sausage which I haven’t tried but would work quite well. My next experiment is to try and make vegan Scotch eggs. I’m thinking tofu instead of egg might work. I’ll report back once I give it a go! I did these ones quite spicy so do adapt the flavours and ingredients based on personal preference. Again, you could change the vegetables used – mushrooms would work well but I’m not a huge fan of those. Equally, you could omit the veg. I also decided to bake, not fry, them which did work but didn’t give them as even a cooking and they began to crack a little, which didn’t happen when I’ve previously fried them. But baking is a good option if you want something a bit healthier. For any London residents that are too busy/lazy to make their own I highly recommend Ethos restaurant in central London which does some super delicious, spicy potato Scotch eggs.
vegetarian Scotch eggs
Inspired by Felicity Cloake over at The Guardian.
- 5 eggs (4 boiled, 1 beaten for coating)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 carrot, grated
- ¼ red pepper, finely chopped
- ½ courgette, finely chopped
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 tsp crushed chilli
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley
- 50g of flour
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 500ml vegetable oil (if deep frying)
- Preheat the oven to 180°c if you want to bake them.
- Hard boil four eggs (5-10 minutes) then cool them in cold water before peeling.
- Fry the onion, garlic and mustard seeds until the onion is soft. Add the carrot, red pepper and courgette and cook until soft.
4. Mash the chickpeas lightly in a bowl then add to the pan. Add in the spices, salt and pepper. Combine and crush more. You want the chickpeas quite crushed so the mixture sticks to the eggs better. Add the fresh parsley once cooked.
- Let the mixture cool a little whilst you cut a 20cm square of cling film.
- Split the mixture into four balls. Coat the first ball in flour, put it on the piece of cling film and roll it out. It should be big enough to coat the egg.
- Here’s the tricky bit… Put the egg on top then use the edges of the cling film to pull the mixture up and over the egg. Mine looks a bit pouch-like to begin with. Then slowly remove the cling film and use your hands to even out the mixture.
- Dip the Scotch egg in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs. I mix the breadcrumbs with sesame seeds but you could add nuts, spices or keep them plain. You can also repeat the egg and breadcrumb mix to coat it better.
- Repeat with the other eggs then put on a tray in the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes or more. You could leave them overnight if prepping ahead for something. When ready to cook, place them on an oiled baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Check on them regularly, and turn if required.
- If frying, heat enough oil to cover the Scotch eggs. Have on a medium heat and cook one at a time until golden brown. Drain on kitchen roll.
I served these ones with roasted broccoli (just put broccoli, lemon juice, lemon slices, almonds, garlic and olive oil on a tray then roast for 15 minutes until broccoli is cripsy and slightly browned) and sautéed potatoes. They’re also great with salads for lunches, picnics and BBQs.