Cookery Feature - Eggs for Anytime - Winning Ways with Eggs

Not only do eggs come in the neatest and most beautiful of packaging, but ‘Nature’s convenience food’ is also one of the most versatile ingredients in any cook’s armoury – and highlighting that simple fact was the main aim of the recent Bord Bia/Irish Egg Association ‘Eggs For Anytime’ recipe competition, which asked chefs to share a dish based on Bord Bia Quality Assured Eggs that could feature on their restaurant menu, outside of the more usual breakfast and brunch offerings.

Jess Murphy, of the much-loved Kai Restaurant in Galway city, was the overall winner for her Kai Restaurant Pork Ramen With Eggs, and four regional awards went to Café Rua in Castlebar (Scotch egg with Kelly’s black pudding); Viewmount House in Longford (Six-minute egg and Jerusalem artichoke); Lemon Tree Restaurant in Letterkenny (Confit Irish duck leg, soft egg, potato mousse and crisp fried onions); and The Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale (Shakshuka: eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce).

On receiving the news, Jess Murphy – who uses Galway Free Range Eggs produced locally at Claregalway – said, “We take great pride in our high-quality produce, that is sourced locally and cooked inventively, so when it’s comes to choosing eggs we always ensure we use Bord Bia’s Quality Assured Eggs.”

The five winning ‘Eggs For Anytime’ recipes:


Overall Winner: KAI -STYLE RAMEN
Jess Murphy: “Ramen is really just a hearty broth pimped up with noodles, toppings and garnishes, all served in a deep bowl. We cook our pork chops on the bone for flavour and to keep the meat from drying out. You will find kecap manis in any Asian supermarket. It is an Indonesian soy sauce, slightly thicker and sweeter than regular soy. A few spoons of soy mixed with a spoon of treacle will do in its place.” Serves 4

For the broth:

1,200ml chicken stock
3 garlic cloves, halved
A stick of lemongrass, crushed
4 ‘rounds’ of ginger, about the size of a chocolate coin, no need to peel
4 tbsp tamari
4 tbsp white miso paste
2 tsp dashi (or rice wine) vinegar
1 red chilli, finely sliced
2 tsp coconut sugar or regular brown sugar
For the ramen:
A couple of big pork chops (about 300g of meat when taken off the bone)
4 tbsp kecap manis
4 tbsp oyster sauce
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
300g dried ramen noodles, or four servings according to packet recommendation
2 tsp sesame oil
To garnish:
Sliced green spring onions and whatever is fresh, seasonal and funky. Try a few radishes, some pak choi, a grated carrot or a sprinkle of sesame seeds


1. Start with the pork chops. Put the kecap manis and oyster sauce in a zip lock plastic freezer bag with the chops, making sure the meat is well coated. Seal it and leave it in the fridge to marinade for at least a few hours and up to three days.

2. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F).

3. On a lightly oiled, hot ovenproof griddle pan, fry the pork chop for a few minutes over a high heat on each side until browned. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking through for 10-15 minutes – this will depend on the thickness of the chops. When cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and allow to rest for five minutes. Take the meat off the bone, slice it on the diagonal and set aside.

4. In a stockpot or large saucepan, place the chicken stock, garlic, lemongrass, slices of ginger, tamari, miso paste, vinegar, chilli and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for five minutes. Taste the stock and adjust to your liking. If it is too salty add a little more sugar; add more tamari if you prefer it saltier.

5. Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes until just tender, or according to the packet instructions. Drain and toss in the sesame oil to prevent them sticking together and divide between four bowls. You can fish out any large pieces of ginger, lemongrass or garlic if you prefer at this stage, then ladle the hot stock over the noodles.

6. Top each bowl with some of the sliced pork, spring onions and seasonal veggies if using, and crown it all off with the egg halves. Allow the veg to slightly wilt before serving.

This light main dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce is a regular on menus at Kinsale’s Blue Haven Hotel, where the eggs are supplied by the family-run Greenfield Foods, a member of the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association. Serves 2

4 eggs
6 tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
100ml red wine vinegar
100ml water
25g Demerara sugar
3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Pinch of Chinese five spice powder
1 bay leaf
50g wilted spinach leaves
50g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small crusty baguette, sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat an oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F).

2. Quarter the tomatoes, removing the v-shaped core. Place the tomatoes on a roasting tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with cracked black pepper and a little salt. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and slightly roasted.

3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for 6-8 minutes until softened.

4. In a small separate saucepan mix the red wine vinegar with the water and sugar. Add the garlic, a little pinch of Chinese five spice and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, dissolving the sugar, then set aside to infuse.

5. When the tomatoes are cooked, throw them into the pan with the onions. On a low heat, stir them in and start to break them up. Add the spice liquid to the tomatoes, mix and allow to cook, stirring now and again.

6. To serve: Line three heat proof bowls with the tomato chutney mix. Throw in a little wilted spinach and sprinkle over a few chickpeas. Make two pockets for the eggs in the chutney/spinach and crack two eggs into each dish.

7. Place in the oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the eggs are starting to bubble. While they are cooking, heat a griddle pan over a high heat, brush the baguette slices on each side with olive oil and toast on the heated griddle pan for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until charred, and serve alongside the shakshuka.


Owner-chef Christopher Molloy says this is a favourite dish at the family-owned Lemon Tree Restaurant in Letterkenny, where it is also made using chicken legs. Eggs are supplied to the Lemon Tree by the Patton family of Ballyshannon, who produce Castle Free Range Eggs and run the Castle Open Adventure Farm. Serves 2

2 Irish confit duck legs
300g mashed potato
150ml cream
50g butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
25g plain flour
3 tbsps olive oil
2 eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F).

2. Place the duck legs onto a baking tray and into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes

3. To make the potato mousse, beat the mashed potato, cream and butter together until soft and smooth.

4. Heat two inches of cooking oil to 180°C in the base of a medium saucepan. Toss the onion in the flour and season ensuring to separate the onion pieces and that they are evenly coated. Once the oil has come up to temperature gently fry the onion in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden and then remove with a slotted spoon to plate lined with kitchen paper.

5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan, one at a time and fry for 3-4 minutes on a gentle heat until cooked to your liking.

6. To serve: on each plate, place the potato mousse in the centre, top with a fried egg followed by a duck leg and the crispy onions.

Cooking at the original Café Rua on New Antrim Street in Castlebar, Chef Javier Serrantes makes the house variation on ever-popular scotch eggs using Claremorris Free Range Eggs – and those other vital ingredients, black pudding and sausage meat from the famous Mayo butchers, Kelly’s of Newport. Serves 4

6 eggs
400g sausage meat – Kelly’s breakfast sausages
130g Kelly’s black pudding, crumbled
2 tbsps chopped mixed herbs (chives, sage, parsley and thyme, rosemary are all good)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Splash of milk
100g flour
100g breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, to cook
4 slices brown bread
50g mixed leaves

1. Put four of the eggs into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes, then put straight into a large bowl of iced water for at least 10 minutes.

2. Put the meat, pudding, herbs, and mustard into a bowl – you’ll need to add very little seasoning, as the sausage meat will already contain salt. Mix well with your hands. Divide into four.

3. Carefully peel the eggs.

4. Beat the two raw eggs together in a bowl with a splash of milk. Put the flour in a second bowl and season it with salt and pepper, then tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Arrange in an assembly line.

5. Lightly flour an egg, pat out some meat mix on a lightly floured board and carefully encase the egg in it. Repeat the process for all the eggs. Dip each meat-covered egg in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs.

6. Fill a deep saucepan pan a third full of vegetable oil, and heat to 170°C (or when a crumb of bread sizzles and turns golden, but does not burn, when dropped in it). Keep the heat under the oil moderate throughout cooking, so the crumbs achieve nice dark golden colour, yet the meat is cooked thoroughly. Cook the eggs, a couple at a time, for eight minutes, until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper before serving.

7. Serve with mixed leaves and some brown bread.

Eggs from the O'Halleran Family Farm at Kenagh, Co Longford feature in this delicious dish created by Head Chef Marcio Laan for the renowned VM Restaurant at Viewmount House. Serves 4

6 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
1 tbsp dashi (or rice wine) vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 eggs
4 slices wholemeal sourdough
1 tbsp olive oil
50g mixed leaves
2 tbsp basil pesto
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat slightly and place the artichokes into the water and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the water and dice into half centimetre pieces.

2. Place in a small bowl along with the vinegar, sugar, sea salt and coriander seeds and leave to pickle for at least two hours or overnight.

3. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the eggs for six minutes. Cool the eggs down in ice water to prevent further cooking, then peel them then they are cold.

4. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat, brush the sourdough on each side with the olive oil and toast on the heated griddle pan for 1-2 minutes on each side or until charred.

5. Place a slice of sourdough onto each plate. Top with some mixed leaves, an egg, the pickled Jerusalem artichokes and a drizzle of pesto.


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