A Scotch egg, also known as an egg devil, consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but they may have been inspired by the Moghul dish Nargisi Kofta. The earliest printed recipe is the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell — and later 19th-century authors — served them hot, with gravy.
Scotch eggs are usually a picnic food and home-made. Miniature versions of Scotch eggs are also widely available in supermarkets, and are sold under the name “savoury eggs”, “picnic eggs”, “party eggs”, “snack eggs” or similar.
In West Africa and Nigeria, some fast-food restaurants offer Scotch eggs alongside their other menu items.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, Scotch eggs may also be called vogelnestje (“little bird’s nest”) because they contain an egg.
In the Philippines, quail eggs with orange breading are sold as street food dipped in vinegar, sweet and sour sauce or gravy. It is called kwek-kwek or tukneneng. Boiled duck eggs are also sold with orange breading.
In Brazil they are sold in many botecos and called bolovo.
Variations and similar foodstuffs
Several local variations exist, such as the “Manchester egg” which uses a pickled egg wrapped in a mixture of pork meat and Lancashire black pudding, and the Worcester Egg, where the egg is first pickled in Worcestershire Sauce and then clad in a mixture of local sausage-meat and white pudding.
In the Netherlands a similar snack item called an eierbal is served hot at greasy spoon (“snackbar”) type establishments, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Netherlands.
- 4 - 6 eggs, boiled for 7 minutes only
- 225 g pork sausage meat
- 1 shallot, finely chopped and lightly cooked in a teaspoon butter
- zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 4 - 5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch mace
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
- Combine all of the sausage mixture ingredients thoroughly
- Divide the mixture into 4 - 6 equal portions
- Lightly flour your hands and roll a portion of the sausage mixture into a ball
- Flatten each ball between slices of plastic wrap
- Place a boiled egg in the centre
- Fold plastic wrap to encase the egg with the sausage mix
- Coat each sausage covered egg with beaten egg and then roll in breadcrumbs to coat. This may be done twice to get a thicker coating.
- Deep-fry the scotch eggs in 180°C oil for 5 - 7 minutes
Video – How to make Scotch Eggs
Gary Rhodes shares his recipe for sumptuous home-made scotch eggs, ideal for a special picnic treat.