Monday, May 20, 2019

Turkish Eggs | 土耳其式水煮蛋

The first time I have ever tried Turkish eggs was, strangely, not in Turkey, but in Brisbane, Australia, at a cozy, two-storied cafe overlooking a sunny suburban street lined with boutiques and bakeries. To anyone who has never had Turkish eggs, or Çılbır, pronounced as "chulburr", the idea of laying a poached egg on Greek yogurt may raise an eyebrow or two. Add on top a drizzle of chili-infused melted butter, the concept seems to take "odd" farther up a notch. Creamy, tart, oozy, savory, then spicy, too? The idea of Turkish eggs appears to throw our notion of a familiar brunch into shambles.

But before you resort to the comfort zone with the likes of Eggs Benedict, I urge you to give this dish a try. Because with just one try it had got me hooked. The soft poached egg, with its silky egg whites, melds beautifully into a thick and creamy and slightly tart Greek yoghurt that is laced with garlic and sometimes dill. Butter is then melted and infused with chili then drizzled over the dish, imparting an extraordinary depth of flavor and giving a luxurious, aromatic kick. As you poke into the egg, luscious yolk oozes out like liquid gold, bringing the heavenly sensation to the next level. To scoop and soak up every last smear of yolk and yoghurt, thick, crusty, griddled sourdough or even warm naan would most certainly do the trick.

Word is that Çılbır originated as a breakfast staple in Eastern Turkey. I do not recall seeing this dish on menus around town in the iconic Istanbul (but then it was nearly a decade ago when I visited and I was mostly staying at budget guesthouses), but it is definitely making an increasing appearance at brunch restaurants around the world. A small breakfast cafe in West London easily charges this dish for £9, but you can just as easily prepare this dish at a fraction of the cost at home.

Aleppo (a mild Turkish red pepper flake) is traditionally used in making the chili-infused butter for this dish, but if unavailable, substitute paprika and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for no less a bang in flavor. While dill is not required on Turkish eggs, I personally find using some fresh or dried dill adds an uplifting herbaceous note and complexity to the dish.

After all, creamy, tart, oozy, savory, and spicy isn't just incredible; it is - in Nigella Lawson's words - "a revelation and a complete sensation."

What you'll need... (serves 2)
200 g Greek yoghurt
1/2 clove garlic
A few fronds of fresh dill, or a pinch of dried dill
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Thick sourdough toast, to serve

1. Using a fine grater, grate half a garlic clove and whisk into the Greek yoghurt with a small pinch of dried dill, if using. Set aside and allow the yoghurt to come to room temperature.

2. Gently melt butter in a small pan until it begins to turn into an aromatic, nutty brown. Stir in the olive oil, then add paprika and red pepper flakes and leave to infuse over a low heat. Turn heat off and set aside to cool.

3. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Add the vinegar and make a swirl with a large spoon. Break cold egg into a small dish or saucer. Holding dish just above the simmering water, gently slip egg into the water. Poach for 3 mins until set, transfer egg with a slotted spoon to some kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the other egg.

4. To serve, divide the yoghurt into two warm bowls, top each with a poached egg, then drizzle over the chili-infused butter. Season and scatter over some dill and crushed red pepper flakes and dig in with thick slices of crusty bread!

Note: I prefer grating the garlic here over finely chopped garlic as the flavor melds more readily into the yoghurt and it also reduces the chances of biting into pieces of raw garlic.

【 土耳其式水煮蛋 】

多年來眾人熟悉的 Eggs Benedict 一直被視為悠閒週末 brunch 之首選,是時候跳出框框了!話說有次在外國試過 Turkish eggs,嫩嫩的 poached egg 配上綿綿的香草乳酪再淋上香辣牛油,跟厚厚的吐司一起吃,味道配搭新奇刺激、口感一流,有別於傳統早餐菜式,可說是一見鍾情啊~ 急不及待回家研製、同大家分享食譜啊!

希臘乳酪                 200 克
蒜頭                         半瓣
刁草                         適量
牛油                         2 湯匙
橄欖油                     1 湯匙
紅椒粉 (paprika)    1 茶匙
乾辣椒碎                 適量
雞蛋                          2 隻
白醋                          1 湯匙

1. 把蒜瓣磨成蓉。將乳酪、蒜蓉和少量刁草拌勻備用,待其回到室溫。
2. 牛油用慢火煮溶,期間會起泡。煮至牛油開始呈現咖啡色及聞到焦香後加入橄欖油、紅椒粉和乾辣椒碎。熄火,晾涼備用。
3. 大鍋燒滾水後轉慢火,加入白醋拌勻,用筷子輕輕攪出漩渦。小碗打入一隻雞蛋,小心把蛋倒入漩渦裡,煮約 3 分鐘後把水煮蛋盛起並放到廚房紙上吸乾水份
4. 把乳酪平均分配到兩個碗子裡後各放上一隻水波蛋。淋上辣椒牛油,再撒上刁草和乾辣椒碎,最後拌上厚切酸種麵包吐司即成!

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