The idea for these Japanese-influenced Scotch eggs came from the kobucha korokke that CHOW Senior Content Manager Lessley Anderson ate while researching her story on the izakayas of Vancouver. In this version, roasted sweet potato and kabocha squash are mashed with miso and rolled out into patties to encase boiled eggs. After a coating of flour and beaten egg, the eggs are covered in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Give these vegetarian Scotch eggs a generous squirt of spicy Sriracha and serve for happy hour with beer, sake, or your favorite cocktail.
What to buy: Miso is a Japanese culinary staple made by fermenting rice, barley, or, most commonly, soy. The two main types are white (or shiro) miso, which has a sweet, mild flavor, and red (or aka) miso, which is aged and has a salty, umami flavor. You can find miso paste refrigerated at most grocery stores.
Panko is coarse Japanese-style breadcrumbs. It’s available in the international section of most supermarkets.
Special equipment: You’ll need a deep-frying/candy thermometer for this recipe.
Game plan: Make sure to peel the squash thoroughly, removing all of the green skin until you reach the pale orange flesh.
- Yield: 6 eggs
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: 1 hr 50 mins
- 1 medium kabocha squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 quarts vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons red miso
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- Sriracha hot sauce, for serving
- Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Arrange the squash and sweet potato pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season generously with salt and toss to combine.
- Roast for 10 minutes. Using a flat metal spatula, stir the vegetables, scraping them up from the pan and spreading them back into an even layer. Continue roasting until the pieces are just fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes more (do not overcook).
- Transfer to a large bowl, add the miso, and mash with a potato masher until completely smooth. (You should have about 4 cups of squash mixture.) Stir to evenly combine and set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, boil the eggs.
- Place 6 of the eggs in a medium saucepan (they should fit in a single layer). Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then remove the pan from the heat. Cover it with a tightfitting lid and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water.
- When the eggs are ready, transfer them to the ice water bath using a slotted spoon. Let the eggs sit until they’re cold, about 10 minutes. Carefully crack and peel each egg. (It’s OK if your eggs aren’t perfectly peeled.) Rinse the eggs under cold water to remove any residual shell pieces and pat them dry with paper towels. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- Crack the remaining 2 eggs into a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and lightly whisk with a fork to break them up; set aside. Place the flour in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine; set aside. Place the panko in a second shallow dish; set aside.
- Divide the cooled squash mixture into 6 even portions, roll each into a ball, and place on the baking sheet with the eggs.
- Line a work surface with plastic wrap and have a second sheet of plastic wrap ready. Place 1 ball of squash mixture in the middle of the plastic wrap on the work surface and cover with the second sheet of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the squash mixture into an oval patty about 6 by 4 1/2 inches in size.
- Peel off the top sheet of plastic wrap and set it aside. Place a boiled egg in the center of the patty. Gently pull the edges of the bottom plastic wrap up to enclose the egg in the squash patty. Pick up the squash-wrapped egg and use your hands to gently smooth out the surface and patch any holes, making sure the egg is completely and tightly encased in the squash mixture. Return the egg to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining squash and boiled eggs.
- Dredge 1 squash-enclosed egg in the flour. Next, dip it in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip off. Finally, roll it in the panko until well coated, then gently press to adhere the coating. Return the egg to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet; set aside.
- When the oil is ready, add 2 of the eggs. Fry, turning occasionally, until they’re golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
- To serve, cut each egg in half and season the cut sides with salt. Serve warm with Sriracha drizzled over the top.