Scotch eggs are a classic British dish that is very popular at pubs and picnics. They’re usually made with hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat, then crumbed and deep-fried. This recipe however, has a little more “wow factor”! We have included a runny yolk which sounds simple enough but can be a little tricky to get right. But don’t worry, we have included everything you need to know to impress your family and friends!
Crispy Scotch Eggs with Runny Yolk
There are a few hurdles to look out for when making scotch eggs with runny yolk:
- Soft boiling the eggs to just the right level of doneness.
- Peeling the eggs without them falling apart.
- Making sure the scotch eggs are the same size so you get consistent results when frying.
- Making sure the scotch eggs are the right size so the sausage meat and egg whites cook through, while leaving the eggs runny.
Phew! Sounds daunting but we will hold your hand every step of the way. Hopefully, the next time you cut through a scotch egg , you will have a beautiful golden yolk oozing from the center!
Choosing Your Eggs
We use the eggs that come in the 12-egg carton marked 700 grams (extra-large eggs). If you have a mix of older and fresher eggs, use the older ones for boiling as they will be easier to peel (further explained under “Peeling very soft boiled eggs” below).
Boiling Eggs For Scotch Eggs With Runny Yolk
The secret to runny yolks is very precise timing when boiling and frying.
Here’s how to do it;
- Place the eggs in cold water, then bring the water to a boil.
- Watch the eggs so that as soon as the water comes to the boil you can start your timer for 3.5 minutes. 30 seconds either way will make a difference.
- Towards the end of the boiling time prepare an ice bath. The later you prepare the ice bath the better because this will ensure the water is cold as possible.
- As soon as the eggs are done put them in the ice bath to prevent further cooking.
Peeling Very Soft Boiled Eggs
The most annoying thing that can happen when peeling eggs is to have half the egg white come off with the shell, and this is even more challenging when the eggs are soft boiled. The trick is to separate the thin white membrane from the egg white, then use the membrane to lift the shell. To do this:
- Use older eggs – older eggs are more likely to have air pockets already forming under the membrane.
- Crack the shell before putting them in the ice bath – seeping slightly cracked eggs in water will force water under the membrane.
- Peel under a fast running tap – this will further force water under the membrane, making it easier to lift off. The faster the flow of water the easier it is to peel.
What If I Want Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Boil the eggs for 8 minutes instead of 3.5 minutes, then follow the rest of the recipe as is.
Constructing the Scotch Eggs with Runny Yolk
Evenness is key if you are trying to get a perfect runny yolk. If you have some scotch eggs that are larger than others then you’ll end up with either raw meat, uncooked eggs whites or yolks that are over-done.
To ensure evenness:
- Use kitchen scales – once you’ve combined your sausage mixture with the herbs, weigh it out, then divide by the number of scotch eggs you’re making. This recipe uses 500 gm of sausage meat plus herbs for five eggs, which equates to about 105 gm sausage mixture per egg.
- Use a rolling pin when shaping – roll the meat into balls, then use your hands to flatten into a circle and place on a chopping board or other flat surface. Once you’ve done this for all five portions place some cling wrap over the top and use a rolling pin to roll to the required size.
Getting the Right Size
Roll the meat out so it’s just large enough to wrap around the egg – about 10 cm in diameter. You can also hold an egg over the mixture to eyeball if the meat is the right size.
Too large or too small then you will end up with meat that overlaps or is too thinly stretched out in places. This will make it harder to get consistent results when frying later, and it won’t look as nice once the scotch eggs are cut open.
Keeping Things Clean
As with anything that requires crumbing and a lot of manual handling, this recipe will be messy. To keep things as clean as possible:
- Use cling wrap between the sausage mixture and your work surface/rolling pin to reduce the amount of mess.
- Work with cold wet hands, and sprinkle water on your cling wrap. Water will prevent the sausage mixture from sticking.
- Use a small, deep bowl for the breadcrumbs, and make a well in the centre. Once you’ve dunked the eggs in the egg wash things start to get very messy, so you want to minimise the amount of handling when you get to the breadcrumb phase. If you use a deep bowl and make a well, the egg will get a decent coating when you first place it in, so it’s just a matter of throwing breadcrumbs over the remaining patches.
Panko vs Normal Breadcrumbs
We’ve tried both panko and normal breadcrumbs, and panko is definitely better. Nothing wrong with normal breadcrumbs, they just don’t crisp up as much.
Single vs Double Crumbing for Scotch Eggs With Runny Yolk
Double crumbing definitely produces a crisper, crunchier outer coating. However, we found double crumbing made the eggs significantly bigger, and we just could not get the meat to cook through when they were so large. The double crumbing also created a white/yellow ring around the eggs which we did not look appetising. In the end we went with single crumbing. Our recipe uses a relatively long deep-frying time which still achieves a crispy outer coating.
Deep Frying Scotch Eggs With Runny Yolk
To deep fry, fill a large deep frying pan with vegetable oil. You want to add enough oil to come about halfway up the scotch eggs.
You’ll know the oil is hot enough when:
- the oil surface starts to shimmer;
- a wooden chopstick when inserted releases little bubbles; and
- as you drop the scotch egg in it starts to sizzle straight away.
Fry for 8.5 minutes, using a timer. Again, 30 seconds either way will make a difference. Turn the eggs regularly, fry in batches if needed, then leave to drain on a cooling rack allowing plenty of air to circulate around each egg.
Getting a Clean Cut
To ensure the scotch eggs cut cleanly:
- Cut the herbs very finely, especially the spring onion. Larger pieces of herbs can catch on the knife as you cut, then drag off bits of sausage meat resulting in an uneven surface.
- Use a see-saw motion with the knife to make the first small, initial cut, then press down in one motion.
- Wipe the knife clean after each cut.
Serving Scotch Eggs
These scotch eggs can be turned into a meal by pairing with salad and a sauce, for example:
- Sour cream and horseradish (included in recipe below)
- Tomato sauce
- Aioli / mayonnaise
- Sweet chilli sauce
They can also be served as part of a selection of other foods, e.g. other canapes, cheese, crackers, pickles, cured meats etc.
Storing Scotch Eggs
Scotch eggs with runny yolk are best consumed immediately as the yolk will set quickly.
The hard boiled version will store quite well. Once they are completely cool place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days. They can be eaten cold from the fridge.
Other Excellent Resources for Scotch Eggs with Runny Yolk
My two main sources for developing this recipe were:
- Renowned English cook Delia Smith, and her classic recipe for scotch eggs. Her recipe uses hard boiled eggs.
- the food blog Nerds with Knives, and their blog post Scotch Eggs with A Perfect Runny Yolk.
Other Recipes You May Like
- Steak and Guinness Pot Pies in the Pressure Cooker
- Bacon and Egg Breakfast Pastries
- Super Soft Cheese and Bacon Milk Bread Rolls
- Cream of Mushroom Soup with Sausage and Pearl Barley
- Tender Beef Stroganoff in Pressure Cooker
Scruff & Steph
Crispy Scotch Eggs with Runny Yolk
- 7 eggs (5 for boiling, 2 for the egg wash) (Note 1)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 2 stalks spring onion
- 1 sprig thyme (leaves only)
- 500 gm pork sausages
- 2 tbsp plain white flour
- 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil for deep frying
Sour cream and horseradish sauce
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp horseradish
- Place five of the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3.5 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time prepare an ice bath (Note 2).
- As soon as the eggs are done crack the shells slightly then put in an ice bath (Note 3)
- While the eggs are boiling, finely slice the parsley and spring onion, and remove the thyme leaves. Place in a medium sized bowl.
- Squeeze the sausage meat from its casing, and place the meat in the bowl with the herbs.
- Use cold wet hands to combine the meat and herbs. Divide into five equal portions (Note 4), then roll out into a round flat shape (Note 5).
- Get your breading ingredients ready by placing the flour, remaining two eggs and breadcrumbs into separate bowls (Note 6). Beat the eggs.
- Shell the eggs under cold running water (Note 7), then dust with the flour.
- Heat the oil over high heat in a deep frying pan. Use enough to come about halfway up the eggs.
- While the oil is heating, use cold wet hands to wrap the meat around each egg, smoothing the edges to ensure the egg is fully enclosed.
- One by one, dunk into the egg wash, then dip into the breadcrumbs. Ensure each egg is fully coated.
- Once the oil is hot (Note 8), place the balls into the frying pan, cook over medium-high heat for 8.5 minutes, turning regularly. Cook in batches if necessary. Remove the cooked scotch eggs from oil and drain on crumpled paper towels.
- Make the sauce by mixing the sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl.
- To serve, cut the scotch eggs in halves or quarters, then eat with the sour cream and horseradish sauce.
- I use the eggs that come in the carton marked 700 grams. If you have a mix of older eggs and fresher eggs, use the older ones for boiling as they will be easier to peel.
- This whole step needs to be done fairly precisely if you’re intent on getting a runny yolk. Watch the eggs while you’re waiting for the water to come to the boil, then once it does set the timer straight away. Prepare the ice bath right before you need to remove the eggs to ensure it’s as cold as possible.
- Cracking the shells slightly will allow water from the ice bath to seep in and start to lift the membrane off from the egg white. This is to help with peeling the eggs later on.
- It’s worth weighing the mixture to ensure you end up with five equal portions. If they’re too uneven you may end up with uncooked meat.
- The best way to roll is to place a bit of cling wrap on a surface, sprinkle with a bit of cold water, place the meat on the cling wrap then use cold wet hands to shape into a flat-ish ball. Cover with another piece of cling wrap, then use a rolling pin to roll into a flat disk. The cling wrap will keep things clean, the cold water will prevent the meat from sticking, and the rolling pin helps ensure an even thickness which reduces the risk of the eggs not cooking evenly. If you’re not sure if your mixture is the right size, hold one of your eggs over it – it should be just big enough to wrap around the egg (about 10 cm in diametre).
- If you can, use a small, deep mixing bowl for the breadcrumbs, and make a well in the centre. Once you’ve dunked the eggs in the egg wash things start to get very messy, so you want to minimise the amount of handling when you get to the breadcrumb phase. If you use a deep bowl and make a well, the egg will get a decent coating when you first place it in, so it’s just a matter of throwing breadcrumbs over the remaining patches.
- Shelling the eggs under cold running water will help the shell come off more easily.
- My main tests are: a) the oil surface starts to shimmer; b) a wooden chopstick when inserted releases little bubbles; and c) as I slowly drop the scotch egg the breadcrumbs start to sizzle straight away.
16 thoughts on “Crispy Scotch Eggs with Runny Yolk”
I love your commitment to getting the egg yolk just right Andrew.
Gary I wish I could take the credit but it was Steph who worked on the recipe. My role was largely in the area of quality assurance!
Haha, husbandly quality assurance is a critical component to any couple’s cooking endeavours 😃
Great unpacking of a classic recipe!
Thank you! And yes there are so many elements to this recipe, how you approach each part makes a difference to the end result. Thanks for stopping by! – Steph
Brilliant tips! Thanks for persevering with so many takes. I’ve only ever made Scotch Eggs once and boy are they tricky!
Thank you Kirsty! And yes they are hard to get exactly right. Luckily I just love them so I still enjoy eating my many failed attempts. Thanks so much for visiting our blog 🙂 Steph
it looks yummy!! thanks for sharing and giving tips
Thank you Jess and my pleasure! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment! – Steph
Wow, what a lesson in persistence! They look fabulous.
Thank you Serina! Now I just need to apply this persistence to something a bit more beneficial…. like exercise haha. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting! – Steph
This is aesthetically pleasant to the eye! I love how everything looks perfect. Also, this is one of the recipes where in you’ll have that ratatouille moments when you eat it.
Hi Steph, a wonderfully explained recipe with great results. You’re effort is much appreciated!
I’m preparing to do mine in a few days so wish me luck.
Thank you for the kind words Susan! These are very much worth the effort. I hope your scotch eggs go well 🙂 Steph
Hi Steph and Andrew – so glad our article was useful! Your Scotch eggs look perfect and I bet they were super tasty! All the best – Matt and Emily, Nerds with Knives
Thanks Matt! Yes, your post was so helpful and we are so happy to now have this recipe in our collection!