What do you do with an ostrich egg?
August 24, 2009 4:08 PM   Subscribe

What do you do with an ostrich egg?

Other than making a really huge fried egg? Whole Foods around here sells ostrich, goose & duck eggs. So what do you do with these really large eggs other than use them as big chicken eggs? Are there specific cooking techniques or recipes for these things? Are they different in their internal composition (other than volume/mass) in any way?
posted by GuyZero to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
A souffle? But I wonder, what's the point if you're going to whip it all up -- when not just buy a few eggs for three dollars, instead of the one for twelve.


If you're going to do anything with it, I think ginormous fried egg is the way to go.

Goose and duck eggs, I don't know, but they probably taste different and probably offer something chicken eggs don't, being aquatic. But an ostrich is just a chicken with a glandular problem.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:10 PM on August 24, 2009


So I don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm answering anyway. I'll be over in Meta, excoriating myself.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:12 PM on August 24, 2009


There is an episode of Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home that focuses on eggs, and as I recall they discuss ostrich eggs, though I'm fairly certain they didn't do anything spectacularly different than you might do with normal eggs.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:12 PM on August 24, 2009


Dunno about the innards, but you might consider utilizing the two-hole technique of emptying it so you can save the shell.
posted by jquinby at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a followon to my own question, has anyone ever actually cooked one? I wonder is the sheer mass of the thing precludes it from being fried or boiled like a chicken egg. It would make a hell of a deviled egg but I'm honestly not sure if the yolk would ever cook if boiled whole. If you've actually cooked one, please let me know what you did even if it's fairly rudimentary.
posted by GuyZero at 4:17 PM on August 24, 2009


I've seen ostrich eggs on the menu in Australia when travelling. My impression was they were basically like really big chicken eggs. Maybe when Australia wakes up you'll get some answers?
posted by Nelson at 4:20 PM on August 24, 2009


I saw them at my Whole Foods recently too but at $29 each, I wasn't willing to experiment. They are quite beautiful though. This seems to suggest that they are higher in polyunsaturated fat - maybe that's the appeal? Each ends of being about the equivalent of 2 dozen chicken eggs.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:31 PM on August 24, 2009


Wait, no I think they were $39.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:33 PM on August 24, 2009


To me, this sounds terrible, but...
Scotch Ostrich Egg
It's hard boiled, then covered in pork sausage and breaded before being deep fried.
posted by Joannalaine at 4:34 PM on August 24, 2009


Slashfood suggests a scramble, and says the texture is a bit fluffier than chicken egg.
posted by mostlymartha at 4:48 PM on August 24, 2009


I had an ostrich egg once, from an ostrich farm near my house (who knew?) and you gotta be ready to cook for a lot of people or a hungry giant, so I ended up drilling a hole in it (yup, you read right. I had to use a hefty bit and an electric drill), draining it, and rinsing it out to keep the shell. It's pretty neat.
posted by cachondeo45 at 4:48 PM on August 24, 2009


I have never, but have always wanted to, make a big old potato tortilla with an ostrich egg. That's what I'd do.
posted by gyusan at 4:52 PM on August 24, 2009


I cooked one a few months ago after visiting Ostrich Land in Buelleton, CA. We cooked ours scrambled with milk, leeks, onions, Italian parsley and Reggiano cheese. The taste is a bit sweeter than chicken eggs. The cooking challenge was cooking it evenly - it will fill to the brim even a deep Texas skillet. Use a cast-iron Texas skillet, brown the bottom on the stove, then cook it in the oven at a low heat for 30 minutes or so to get all the trapped water out of the egg middle. Broil for a few minutes at the end to brown the top. It was delicious but I probably couldn't have told the difference if it was cooked with 24 chicken eggs. We had kids over who thoroughly enjoyed the process of cracking/sawing the egg open - it was a better value than spending the $25 on a movie.
posted by benzenedream at 5:04 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it fertilized? Can you make an ostrich out of it?
posted by spasm at 5:11 PM on August 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


George Duran did a segment where he tried various ways to cook it. Sunny side up didn't work so well - the mass of the yolk breaks the membrane when it distorts.
posted by plinth at 5:55 PM on August 24, 2009


If you decide to hardboil it for deviling or whatnot, take a hint from the molecular gastronomy set. Getting an egg to set is more about temperature than time.
Some background:
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/feb/cooking-for-eggheads/
http://blog.khymos.org/2009/04/09/towards-the-perfect-soft-boiled-egg/

I would determine the temperature necessary for a solid egg (probably the same is for a chicken egg). Then I would heat up a huge amount of water in an oven and basically cook the egg sous vide. Too little and it will evaporate while you are cooking the huge egg for hours and hours and hours.

I am intrigued and might have to do this.
posted by Seamus at 5:55 PM on August 24, 2009


A friend had a dream to hard-boil an ostrich egg and then slice it up and make sandwiches with a single slice on each one... I still think that's a nifty idea if you can figure out how long to cook the thing.
posted by bink at 6:28 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can drain them and whatever with the contents, and then carve the shell.
posted by dilettante at 6:39 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about an egg nog party?

OR a cake for Shrek?

Try a recipe that calls for a dozen chicken eggs.
posted by effluvia at 7:04 PM on August 24, 2009


I mail-ordered one from a farm in Arizona a few years ago. We made something like an egg lasagna (I'm spacing on what that's called now). Basically we just stirred it up, poured it into two baking dishes with potatoes, onions, cheese and whatever else, left it in the refrigerator overnight, and baked it. It was tasty, we fed like 10 people.
posted by Post-it Goat at 7:06 PM on August 24, 2009


Eggs between poultry species can be a bit different. Duck and goose eggs have a significantly higher amount of protein than a chicken egg and can be unpleasantly chewy scrambled or hard-boiled. They are much better soft-boiled.

That is to say that not all eggs are the same. It's likely that ostrich eggs have some unique qualities and, therefore, it might not do your $12 justice to treat it like a giant chicken egg. Look for recipes specific to ostrich eggs and think carefully before subbing it into anything designed for the chicken variety.
posted by Alison at 7:31 PM on August 24, 2009


Had one scrambled at an ostrich farm in Kenya; tasted like...scrambled eggs. The novelty of fussing with it may be worth it for you--as might finding a fun project to do with the shell (brought back a couple as gifts--they're great!)--but it seems as though there are few ostrich egg-specific recipes out there for the trying.
posted by youarenothere at 8:25 PM on August 24, 2009


Seconding blowing it out (good luck) and carving pretty patterns in it.
posted by HFSH at 8:33 PM on August 24, 2009


Whole Foods around here sells ostrich, goose & duck eggs. So what do you do with these really large eggs other than use them as big chicken eggs? Are there specific cooking techniques or recipes for these things? Are they different in their internal composition (other than volume/mass) in any way?

Ostrich, goose, and duck eggs are VERY different. They'll be different in flavor, the ratio of white to yolk, the texture of the cooked white and yolk, and how the white and yolk scramble. You usually can not simply substitute them without adjustments.

I don't think I've had goose eggs, but I recall hearing that the yolk is firmer, but with a delicate flavor.

Ostrich is much like emu, except even more giant. I've had ostrich eggs, I've personally cooked and eaten several emu eggs. The flavor is actually relatively bland; they're less rich than chicken eggs. It made a fabulous frittata. It, meaning one egg, plus some veggies and such, made a frittata that easily fed six adults. Other cooking techniques were not so tasty. The white cooks up firmer and more rubbery than chicken egg white. Make recipes where the yolk is whisked with the white. I do not recommend hardboiling. It takes an hour and the white is an alien off-putting bluish-greenish translucent white with a truly unappetizing texture. Bonus: The shells are hard enough that you can make a lovely sort of cameo-etching technique thing. Extra bonus: Emu eggs are emerald green.

Duck eggs...ohhh. Much like everything else that comes from a duck, it's silky, rich, and possessed of a marvelous sort of umami. Bonus, it handles a little more like a chicken egg. Think of it as a super-luxury chicken egg. If I recall correctly, they do take longer to cook, so timing would need some adjustment. They're wasted in banana bread -- poach 'em or fry 'em for best appreciation.

Don't forget the other end of the spectrum and consider those cute, cute little quail eggs, too.
posted by desuetude at 8:39 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


We made something like an egg lasagna (I'm spacing on what that's called now).

Egg strata. Good choice.
posted by desuetude at 8:40 PM on August 24, 2009


desuetude - yes, that was it!
posted by Post-it Goat at 11:41 AM on August 25, 2009


Turkish mosques sometimes hang ostrich eggs from the ceiling or chandeliers. It's supposed to repel spiders. I'm not sure that ostrich eggs hanging from the ceiling is a great improvement over the spiders though.
posted by owls at 9:20 AM on August 26, 2009


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