What is a pickled egg? Long answer short, freaking awesome that’s what it is!
Alas, that will not honor the google gods, so let me explain about pickled eggs, and why they are so very wonderful, and British.
Pub culture has really changed in the UK, pubs are closing at an alarming rate (with the exception of the microbrewery phenomenon), and it is rare to find a “classic” pub that doesn’t serve food, but back in the day food in a pub was crisps, and pickled eggs. That was it, and yes for many years I did live on these two foods alone, except for pool night, or Sunday when they’d have bar snacks. Like normal, I digress……
So, the pickled egg. First, you boil a bunch of eggs and then peel them. Easy enough. With said peeled eggs you then basically throw them into a bowl of vinegar, and ideally, at least, wait. Apparently the best quality eggs are left from 3-4 months.
Aside from vinegar, you can also add stuff like salt, pepper, and if you really want to be sexy monkey, pepper! Spicy pickled eggs are frankly amazing.
Traditionally eggs were pickled to preserve them, but nowadays it has been worked out that they just go really really well with drinking, and are popular in bars and taverns the world over (not just in the UK).
Sadly as the world has gone all hipster you rarely see them in the bars of the UK now, although I did spot them in the micro pub on Sheppey, and of course, they are still a firm favorite in our fish and chip shops.
Funnily enough what I find hardest about pickled eggs is not getting drunk and eating them before they are ready. But, with coronavirus having us housebound I’ve decided to do my own pickled eggs.
Pickled egg recipes
Lots of vinegar – personally I use white vinegar, it doesn’t matter what you use just get a shit ton of it. Traditionally you don’t need to add other stuff, but for batch one I’ve decided to add a ton of garlic. The bonus? You end up with pickled garlic, and garlic tasting pickles. I’ve also added some chilli just to give it a real kick.
Spicy pickled eggs
As above, but you also add garlic hot sauce (a lot of it) as well as lots and lots of peppers. I’ve tried one so far, and my word does it have a kick.
Soy/pickled eggs recipe
In China I’m used to eating eggs cured in Soy sauce, but I kinda ran out of soy, so did half and half with vinegar. This blackens the egg, with the soy coming out as the dominant flavour, but with the vinegar tang. Therefore still very much of the pickled egg family.
Cambodian Pickled Eggs
As we have discussed pickling or curing of eggs is not just done in the UK, and as I am in Cambodia we had a crack at using local ingredients. The original plan had been to make a Korean style pickled egg, but we ended up substituting the Korean bits we did not have, with some Khmer bits.
So we filled a jar with soy sauce, Khmer fish sauce, chili, garlic, spring onion, and of course a tiny bit of vinegar. The shocking ingredient though was sugar. With this you mildly under cook the egg, so it remains yokey. Who knew? A Khmer pickled egg!
Eggs cured in brine
Eggs pickled in brine – I guess this doesn’t count as pickled, but certainly as cured. You make a salt water mixture and throw in the eggs without anything else. The eggs obviously come out quite salty! 4/4 when compared to my other pickles, but a welcome change. !
Eggs cured in piss?
OK, so we are not completely sure if this counts as pickling, but it does involve an egg that is boiled and then placed in a liquid! There is a certain part of China where young boys are sourced for their urine. Yep you read that one right! Eggs are then placed in said urine and cured. Of course that now makes it a “delicacy”. You can read more about this weird habbit here!
And that’s our expanded blog on the humble pickled egg, with a few recipes thrown in for good measure