Monday, August 10, 2009

Soft-Cooked Eggs with Onion Soubise, Caviar, and Potato Chips

This recipe is a little hard core but you can sub some stuff to make it a little more approachable. If you're looking for a challenge, here you go.

Let's start off with talking about David Chang. For those of you that have not been to Momofuku Noddle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar or Momofuko Ko in NYC, I suggest you make it a priority. I remember waiting in line on a rainy Thursday night when Momofuku Noddle Bar had just opened, sharing an umbrella with two friends waiting to see what all the hype was about. (Remember Friedman?) Once we had our first bite of Chang's famous pork buns, we all looked at each other and thought 'who is this guy'?

David Chang is a decorated chef with Michelin stars, James Beard awards, F&W Best New Chef titles and more. After positions at hot spots in NYC and cooking and living in Tokyo, Chang developed a concept that is true to his Korean roots and quickly grew an empire.

To cut some corners in this recipe, you can use store bought potato chips and skip the liquid smoke. To save you some serious cash, sub for store-bought whitefish caviar or fresh salmon roe.

Soft-Cooked Eggs with Onion Soubise, Caviar, and Potato Chips

Recipe by Momofuku Ko


* 12 ounces onions (about 2 medium), halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


* 8 large eggs, room temperature
* 3 cups water
* 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke*


* 4 3x3/4-inch fingerling potatoes (about 4 ounces), scrubbed
* Grapeseed oil (for frying)
* Coarse kosher salt
* 1/2 cup mixed herb leaves (such as 1/4 cup chervil or tarragon, 2 tablespoons parsley, and 2 tablespoons 1-inch pieces fresh chives)
* 2 ounces American hackleback caviar or paddlefish caviar
* Smoked salt or Maldon sea salt
* 4 teaspoons purple sweet potato vinegar (see Ingredient Tip) or Sherry wine vinegar

*A smoke-flavored liquid seasoning; available at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Chef Chang uses Benímosu, a purple sweet potato vinegar, in this dish. The potatoes have deep-purple flesh, but the vinegar is a stunning strawberry red color. The vinegar has an aroma similar to that of Sherry wine vinegar, which makes a good substitute.


Place all ingredients in small saucepan. Simmer uncovered over lowest possible heat until onions are very tender, and butter and water are reduced to silky sauce, stirring often, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm before serving.


Bring large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Add eggs to water gently to prevent cracking. Cook 5 minutes. Transfer eggs to large bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, crack eggs gently all over on flat surface. Return to ice water and peel carefully. (Do not break eggs; yolks will be runny.)

Mix 3 cups water and 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke in large saucepan. Add peeled eggs to water. Cover and chill overnight.


Using V-slicer or mandoline, thinly slice potatoes crosswise. Rinse potato slices in small bowl of water. Drain. Rinse until water runs clear, 1 or 2 times more. Drain well. Place on kitchen towel; pat dry.

Pour enough oil into large deep saucepan to measure depth of 1 inch. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of pan. Heat oil to 360°F. Working in 3 batches, fry potatoes until beginning to brown and crisp, stirring frequently to prevent slices from sticking together, about 1 minute per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Cool. Transfer to clean paper towels.

Using slotted spoon, gently transfer eggs to medium bowl. Bring smoked water to gentle simmer over medium heat. Carefully slide eggs from bowl into water. Cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. Rewarm soubise. Mix herbs together in small bowl.

Spoon generous 2 tablespoons soubise onto each plate, using back of spoon to create small indentation for egg. Divide potato chips among plates, creating small mound alongside soubise. Spoon small pile of herb salad alongside chips and soubise. Place 1 egg atop soubise on each plate. Using small sharp knife, cut 1-inch-long slit in each egg (yolk will spill out). Spoon small dollop of caviar atop yolks, dividing equally. Sprinkle with small pinch smoked salt. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon vinegar alongside soubise.

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