The egg, particularly the chicken egg, has a storied history. In medicine, its shell is punctured and injected with the flu virus to make vaccines. In winemaking, albumin is used as an effective fining agent to clarify the wine and soften the tannins. In art, egg tempered the colors of Italian Renaissance paintings.
But throughout the world, the egg is perhaps most loved in the edible form. Its ability to become so many things, as whole or in its distinct white and yellow parts, makes this ancient source of protein a beloved food. For example, egg whites alone can be whipped into meringue or can add richness to a whiskey sour; yolks make luxurious mayonnaise and aïoli.
Southeast Asian history indicates that the chickens that we eat today appear to have all descended from the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). Almost 200 breeds and varieties of chickens have been established worldwide. Eggs from chickens and other birds such as duck and quail reside in every culture in infinite preparations. Consider the U.K.’s Scotch eggs and eggnog, China’s century eggs, India’s egg curry and Japan’s tamagoyaki.
The following pages highlight some delicious and modern egg dishes from San Francisco to the Dalmatian Coast.
Blackship, a vision of chef Keiichi Kurobe, features a menu that melds two of the world’s most beloved culinary cultures — Italian and Japanese. The T.K.G Arancini, which stands for tamago kake gohan, is a Japanese egg and rice dish that’s fried and served with soy sauce and presented to guest in a “nest.” Once the rice ball is broken open, guests enjoy a perfectly cooked, slightly jammy egg. The flavors combine beautifully together as the ultimate comfort food.
Blackship, West Hollywood, California
Štacija is a beachfront hotel in Kaštel Lukšić in Dalmatia, Croatia, on the Dalmatian coast that offers a superb a la carte restaurant with seafront bar. In addition to traditional Croatian favorites, chef Jurica (Jure) Patrlj offers local and modern international cuisine. Shakshuka is prepared in a number of ways, but the most common combines eggs and tomatoes, a preparation that hails from Shakshuka’s Israel origins. Patrlj creates Shakshuka with eggs, tomato salsa, fresh spice herbs, jalapeño pepper, garlic, onion. It is one of the most popular warm dish options on the breakfast menu.
Štacija, Kaštel Lukšić, Croatia
Tamari Deviled Eggs
Executive chef Hansen Lee at District in Los Angeles likes deviled eggs. “It reminds me of a traditional egg dish in Korea, ‘soy-marinated egg,’ and I had the idea to combine the two.” The egg is marinated in tamari soy sauce and incorporates a kimchi tomato puree in the filling. He uses gluten-free tamari soy sauce because it is less salty and a touch sweeter than regular soy sauce. “It is my favorite soy sauce, and it’s great for those who are allergic to gluten.”
District, Los Angeles
Low Country Crab Cake Benedict
Not all eggs Benedict are created equal; the world offers an abundance of variations on this brunch staple. Yardbird employs the Southern touch on this soul-healin’ crab cake showpiece, with a fried green tomato, poached farmer’s eggs, Allan Benton’s smoky bacon and charred lemon hollandaise sauce.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Miami Beach, Florida
Caviar “Fried Egg”
“Guests who say they don’t like caviar tell me that they love the caviar fried egg, which brings me great pleasure,” says executive chef Jamaal Taherzadeh of Libertine Social. He wanted to create a dish that was fun and approachable. It has become a hallmark starter at this next- generation gastropub in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “The salinity of the caviar is balanced by the surprising sweetness of the corn pudding. With the rich layers of egg in the shell, it creates a perfect bite.”
Libertine Social, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
Slow-Poached Farm Fresh Egg, Salsify Bouillon, Shaved Black Truffle
Spectacular views from the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange is the panoramic backdrop for elevated dining at Everest, where sumptuous slow-poached eggs with shaved black truffles are dinner starters. Executive chef Jean Joho commands the world-renowned French cuisine dining room, which features the finest seasonal fare and a superb wine collection.
Cured Egg Yolk on Tartare of Roasted Peppers
Amid the Mexican jungle where candles light the way, ARCA is the place of progressive food, thanks to chef Jose Luis Hinostroza. Formerly of Copenhagen’s famed Noma, Hinostroza expresses bold and explosive energy with surprising dishes honed from hard work, discipline and love. They include the tartare of roasted peppers with cured egg yolk, toasted almonds, pepper ash salt, morita chile oil and house-grilled bread.
ARCA, Tulum, Mexico
Spam Musubi (with Quail Egg)
The true aloha spirit at Michael Mina’s Trailblazer Tavern is led by chef Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, who say Spam musubi is one of Hawaii’s most iconic snacks. When creating this dish, they reinterpreted the classic with a smoked pork arabiki meatloaf crusted with mochi and served with a nori tsukudani and quail egg.
Trailblazer Tavern, San Francisco