Cooking Ostrich Eggs: A Report From the Front Lines

Cooking Ostrich Eggs: A Report From the Front Lines

We've always been curious about cooking with ostrich eggs, but after hearing about one Chicago chef's experience preparing these massive eggs that are the size of 24 chicken eggs, with translucent gray whites and sulfurous yolks...well, we're not so sure.

Justin White of Chicago's Small Bar was given the challenge of preparing a dish with ostrich eggs, an ingredient he had never used before. He decided to hard boil them — which took 2 hours per egg — and devil the yolks. He ended up having to cook the yolks a second time in an attempt to get rid of their overpowering sulfur odor, and cut the whites into cubes, as they were quite gelatinous even when fully cooked.

The finished dish, a sort of deviled egg crostini with pancetta and kale, was "surprisingly fantastic," but White says he could have done the same dish with chicken eggs. His final thoughts? "I say just let the ostrich grow."

The article and its accompanying video are part of the Chicago Reader's Key Ingredient series, which asks chefs to come up with a dish using an unusual ingredient assigned to them by other chefs. We're a bit addicted to this series, which is a fascinating glimpse into the process of recipe development in professional kitchens.

Check it out: Key Ingredient: Ostrich Egg at Chicago Reader
Read the series: Key Ingredient

Have you ever cooked with ostrich eggs?

Related: Look! Local Ostrich and Emu Eggs at Whole Foods

(Image: Flickr member f_mafra licensed under Creative Commons)

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