Smoked salmon scotch quail eggs

Serves: Makes 12 - Time:

Smoked salmon scotch quail eggs
Smoked salmon scotch quail eggs Smoked salmon scotch quail eggs

The poor old scotch egg has rather fallen out of fashion in the last couple of decades. It has been relegated to the ranks of dreary picnic food which I think is a real shame, because a fresh, homemade skegg (as they came to be known in my early catering days) is utterly delicious. This fishy version is so good I would happily serve these golden eggs for a smart lunch. A trick of the trade- keep the quail eggs for 10-14 days (as long as they are still in date) before using them. An older egg is much easier to peel than a super fresh one.


  • 12 quail eggs at room temperature
  • 325g smoked salmon
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chives
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 small hen eggs, beaten
  • 75g panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for deep frying
  • To serve watercress mayonnaise and a green salad
Smoked salmon scotch quail eggs


  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully lower in the quail eggs and immediately start to time 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Leave the eggs until they are completely cold and carefully peel off the shells. The yolks will still be a little soft so be gentle when peeling.
  2. Place the smoked salmon, cream cheese chives and lemon zest in a food processor and add a little freshly ground black pepper. Blend to a paste. Spoon into a bowl and roughly divide the paste into 12 portions. Take a portion and flatten out slightly in the palm of your hand. Place an egg in the centre and ease the salmon paste around the egg, covering it completely in an even layer. Repeat for the remaining 11 eggs.
  3. Place the flour in a small shallow bowl, the beaten eggs in another and the panko breadcrumbs in a deeper bowl. Dip each egg into the flour, followed by the beaten egg and finally roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat for all the eggs. Chill until you are ready to fry the scotch eggs.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180˚c, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 20 seconds. Deep-fry the scotch eggs, 3-4 at a time, for about 3 minutes or until evenly deep golden brown. Serve warm with some watercress mayonnaise and a green salad.
Smoked salmon scotch quail eggs