Brunch is an American habit I've picked up happily, and whenever possible, you'll find me seated at a table "brunching" away the weekend. It's a reason for me to meet my friends where we gather around a table and eat and drink and share our stories, what we've done over the week and what we plan to do in the future. There's usually champagne and mimosas, maybe a Bellini or two and a Bloody Mary. In many ways, brunch has become a medium, a community table of sorts, similar to a potluck, a way for us to be closer and become an adopted family of sorts in a large city where we share bonds of friendship and a love for common interests and ideas.
Since most brunches involve eggs besides champagne and cocktails, I've created a baked egg and hash brown recipe. This baked (shirred) egg recipe is easy and simple. It's inspired by Korean and Japanese flavors that I've infused at different levels of this dish. There's a layer at the bottom made with hash browns seasoned with sesame oil, followed by a layer of kimchi that brings a spark of acid and spice and then that final delicious baked egg with it's runny yolk seasoned with a generous sprinkling of the beautiful shichimi togarashi.
Shichimi togarashi is probably one of the most interesting spice blends that I keep on hand in the kitchen. Its a mix of hot and cool flavors from chili and sesame seeds to seaweed and citrus. It's one of the few spice mixes that despite being a blend you can see the different colors and textures of the components (it's usually not a very fine powder). I add it over a lot of different things especially eggs. Add it to any sort of savory dish and it will pleasantly surprise you!
Serve these baked eggs with toasted slices of buttered sourdough and you'll be dipping into that beautiful yolk. Here's to your new brunch menu addition!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing these eggs;
- Both mini cocottes and ramekins work well here. I use sesame oil over butter to grease the dishes but also for flavor. Use a good quality sesame oil, you can usually find some a bunch of tasty varieties in Asian markets, such as wild sesame oil and some chili infusion ones.
- Depending on what grate size you use, your potato cooking time might change slightly.
- Similarly with Kimchi, there are so many varieties that you can go "wild" and have fun baking and eating.
baked eggs with shichimi togarashi and kimchi
yields: 4 servings
2 cups grated russet potatoes
4 teaspoons sesame oil + a little extra to grease the cocottes
1 tablespoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons kimchi
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons shichimi togarash
1. Place a wire rack at mid-level in the oven and preheat to 350F.
2. Coat 4 mini cocottes or ramekin dishes with a little sesame oil. Place 1/2 cup of grated potatoes in each cocotte. Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture over the potatoes in each cocotte. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sesame oil over the potatoes in each dish and place the cocottes on baking tray. Place in the oven without lid and bake for 20mins until the potatoes turn golden brown and crispy.
3. Remove the tray from the oven, scoop 1 tablespoon kimchi over the potatoes in each cocotte, make a shallow well in the center of the kimchi and then crack an egg over each and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper mixture and 1/2 teaspoon shichimi togarashi. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 12 minutes until the egg whites are set. Remove from oven and serve hot with toasted and buttered slices of sourdough bread.