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How to Devil an Emu Egg: The Whole Complicated Story

February 6th, 2006 (06:48 pm)

The goal was clearly stated: I wanted to make the biggest deviled eggs ever. And tura was willing to help, which was a good thing. Unfortunately, ostrich eggs are a little hard to find these days. Luckily for me, though, the second-largest bird eggs are raised in ranches all over. In fact, there's an emu ranch a short drive south from my work.

Here's what it looked like while I drove. It was actually not that short a drive. In fact, this whole thing was really involved, so welcome to the extended version!

This is how long the round trip was. Some people called me mad for making a 90+ mile round trip to purchase emu eggs. Mad!

This was the emu ranch, which was run by two very nice people. They gave me helpful tips on how long to boil the eggs, although they too seemed to think I was crazy.

Hello, emu! I choose to believe that this was the emu that laid my eggs. I could well be wrong, especially since I can't even tell the difference between male and female emus, but on the other hand, there's at least a chance I'm right.

I posted this already, but this is a raw emu egg. Note the interesting green color. Exotic!

Okay, this is the boiling process. I took the picture with a flash so the steam would show up, and I think it looks pretty cool.

Actually, it takes two pots to properly boil an emu egg. See, it's a very large egg, so it needs to be boiled for about an hour and a half, and that boils away a lot of the water. So the real experts (it may be premature to declare myself an expert, but on the other hand, how many emu eggs have you boiled recently?) have a second pot standing by. The second pot is kept just below a boil, and its water is added to the big pot occasionally to keep the water level above the egg.

After boiling, the egg is much darker, although still green if you look closely.

This is the first egg we did, designated Test Egg Alpha. My goal was to treat it exactly like a chicken egg I wanted to devil. So the first step was to remove the shell, which required a certain amount of effort, by which I mean "a hammer". We cracked the shell all over and rolled it around to loosen the membrane.

The shelling process, as you can see, went pretty smoothly. The egg slid right out of the shell with no problems.

So here we have an emu egg with no shell. Looks pretty much like a regular egg, does it not? The next step in deviling is to cut the egg in half:

Ah! Here we see the problem. First of all, the yolk-to-white ratio is way too high. Second, the whites aren't quite as stiff as they could be (this egg was only boiled for an hour and fifteen minutes), so they ripped immediately. There's no way we're going to be able to remove the yolk, mix it up with the deviled egg ingredients, and then use the whites as little dishes the way deviled eggs normally work.

However! We did some brainstorming and decided the right plan was to leave the shells on. That way the whites will be held up, the neat green shells are on display, and it still looks (roughly) like a deviled egg from above. So, let's move on from Test Egg Alpha to the main event:

That's right, we used a hacksaw. When you've gone this far, to turn back would be truly mad. This is no project for the weak of heart! So Rhias went around the egg, cutting just through the shell.

This cut just gets through the shell, so when she was done, we had an egg that barely held together. The next step was mine:

I took a small, cheap (thin!) steak knife and worked it through the cuts, cunningly slicing through the egg itself. It was a little bit tricky (since the cut-line wasn't perfectly parallel; it turns out to be difficult to use a hacksaw on a wet emu egg with precision), but I got it done, and soon we were rewarded with this:

Yes! Looks good to me. The next step, obviously, was to remove the yolks (went without difficulty, although the membrane between the white and yolk is a lot thicker and more noticeable than with chicken eggs) and make the deviled egg mixture. With Test Egg Alpha, I just tripled the regular recipe, since six chicken yolks are about 3 ounces, and the emu yolk was 9.5 ounces. But the result was way too strong and vinegary. This was probably because the flavor of the emu egg is much more subtle than the chicken's, so it wasn't able to compete with the other ingredients. Also, when dealing with a much bigger recipe like this, I don't think you can just multiply by three. The emu yolk seemed heavier and denser, so it would have been wiser to go by volume instead of weight.

Anyway, for the second egg, I just doubled everything (except the mayonnaise, where I added a bit extra on the theory that homemade mayonnaise is always a good idea). It came out okay. Maybe a little less deviled than I prefer.

And here's the result! Fancy!

I also deviled up the usual number of chicken eggs for contrast. The real problem came when we thought about eating the emu eggs. They're enormous! How is someone supposed to eat that? In the end, we decided it was more of a dip than its own food, so we put crackers next to it. That went okay, but I'm sure there's a better solution.

So there you go!


Posted by: Meghatron (meghatron)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)

Only one of the pictures is loading for me, the one of the egg next to Chewbacca.

Posted by: Meghatron (meghatron)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)

Nevermind, they're all showing up now.

Posted by: Monty (montykins)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)

Technical problems! All fixed, I think.

Posted by: Tamera (Tammy) (javagoth)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)

You guys rock - sorry I missed the event! Hope a good time was had by all!

Posted by: Ed Matuskey (the_doctor)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)

They made good dip--I just need to move one closer to me next time. ;)

Posted by: Jorje · Attention Whore (jorjedatoy)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
self portrait - bald 4/05

OMG, what an awesome fucking story! I want to try one! Only I'm not so sure I'm up to the task of making one. There are lots of emu ranches here in Oklahoma, too, of course. I bet it would make an awesome dip, but I think you could also feasibly eat it with a spoon. heh

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Wendy (kajicarter)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the step-by-step photos!

Have you considered trying to make scotch eggs? :D

Posted by: Monty (montykins)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)

Well, somebody else has already made scotch ostrich eggs, so the thrill of discovery would be kind of muted.

Posted by: Wendy (kajicarter)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)

Wimp. Thanks for the link though! I'm still amazed and astounded by the devilled egg.

Posted by: The Infinite Goof (kittymonkey)
Posted at: February 7th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)

I didn't sleep well at all last night, but I distinctly remember dreaming about you guys and your emu eggs. Maybe now I'll get a decent night's sleep knowing how it was done.

Posted by: Badger (badgermirlacca)
Posted at: February 8th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)

You're absolutely nuts. I'm proud to be related to you.

But how did it taste?

Posted by: Monty (montykins)
Posted at: February 8th, 2006 06:32 am (UTC)

It tasted okay. I should have used a little more mustard, I think; it's hard to get the proportions right afteronly a couple of times. But it definitely tasted like an authentic deviled egg.

Posted by: Jorje · Attention Whore (jorjedatoy)
Posted at: April 12th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
self portrait - bald 4/05

When I saw this, I thought of you. I just had to link ya.

Posted by: ☞Wasteland Warlock☜ (kingfox)
Posted at: April 12th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
Knives by Silace

That looks absolutely wonderful. Visions of the Iron Chef egg battle are dancing in my head.

Posted by: James D. Lee (aawhitewood)
Posted at: May 30th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
alien egg!

I love how in the photo where you are cutting into the egg with the shell still on that the lighting makes it look as if there is a glow coming out from within the egg!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 26th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
Mine looked rather snotty

I did exactly the same as you did here but the white turned into a snotty greenisch transparent mass. It shurly does not look as tasty as yours here

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: April 8th, 2011 08:33 am (UTC)
NATO takes over command of military operations in Libya

[b]NATO is taking over command of military operations in Libya from coalition forces, world media reported Sunday.[/b]

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on rebel-held towns.

The 28 NATO ambassadors met on Sunday to decide on further military plans in Libya.

The United States transfers command for a no-fly zone over Libya to NATO, while coalition forces will continue to protect civilian population from attacks by Gaddafi forces.

The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

NATO members decided on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, but could not agree on taking full command of all military operations in the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of the 27 European Union states on Thursday issued a statement saying the EU stood ready to assist in building a new Libya "in cooperation with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and others."

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)


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