Scotch Egg

Recently, my husband claimed that he could eat at a pub every day, and I agreed. At the time we were in London during a long layover and went to two of our favorite pubs. Of course, he was referring to gastro pubs, which are known for their great food as well as the full array of beverages, complete with that wonderful pub ambiance, which suits us. The pubs we’ve loved are rustic yet comfortable; you almost feel like you’ve time-travelled to the 1800’s. Plus, they allow dogs.

We have eaten our way through pubs in England, Wales, Ireland, North Ireland, and Scotland, and have never been disappointed. Of course there’s fish and chips, but also fabulous fish dishes, beef Wellington, savory pies, risottos, stews, and much more.

In all those pubs in all those years, I’ve never ordered a Scotch egg. Maybe because they’re deep fried? Or maybe I didn’t really know what they were. But recently I’ve learned more about how good they really can be, and found a Nigella-recommended recipe for them, using an air fryer!

From Ms. Lawson: “This is a throwback to one of the first dishes I made in my first ever kitchen job. Shoutout to the Scotch eggs of The Queen’s Head Inn, Bromsgrove, that I’d make time and time again back in 2011. I wish we’d had an air fryer to speed up the process for equally delicious results.” Ms. Lawson’s wish came true! Below is the recipe that I’m using, that a reader of hers submitted. Her name is Poppy O’Toole, and is featured in The Actually Delicious Air Fryer Cookbook, published by Bloomsbury.

The story of the origin of the Scotch egg is a long one, but surprisingly, it originated in England in the late 19th century, not Scotland as one would think. Instead of sausage, a fish paste was used to encase the egg. That might be good, but I’m glad sausage became the default layer.

Nigella suggests serving Scotch eggs with picalilli and crisps, so that’s what I did.

I learned recently that in Scotland they’re sold chilled.

Scotch Egg
Makes 4

4 whole eggs (plus 2 extra, beaten)
1 pound sausagemeat
½ teaspoon dried mixed herbs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups panko breadcrumbs
salt and ground black pepper

Heat the air fryer to 130℃/270℉. Put the 4 whole eggs in the air-fryer basket and cook them for 9 minutes, which will be just enough to soft-boil them. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice-cold water.

I used 5 eggs because I’ve never used the air fryer in this way. I also don’t have a “bake” setting so I used “reheat.” I figured the temperature was the most important thing for this step.

Once the time is up, transfer the eggs to the icy water and leave to cool (about 5 minutes). Peel the eggs and set aside. Before using, dry the peeled eggs with a paper towel. (I tested one egg to see if it was indeed on the softer side.)

In a bowl, mix the sausagemeat, dried herbs and garlic powder with your hands until it forms a paste-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Gather three bowls. Season the flour and tip that into one bowl. Add the beaten eggs to the second, and the breadcrumbs to the third.

Using one quarter of the sausagemeat mixture, mold the meat around one of the boiled eggs as evenly as possible, aiming for the same thickness all the way around. Repeat so that all the eggs are covered in sausagemeat. (I air fried two at a time, just for testing purposes.)

Heat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F. One by one, dip the wrapped eggs first in flour (dusting off any excess), then in the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs to coat fully.

Put the eggs into the air-fryer basket and cook for 12 minutes, until the sausage is cooked through and the coating is golden. I did use the “air fryer” setting for this step.

The Scotch eggs are fabulous! Twelve minutes in the air fryer is the perfect amount of time. They’re crispy, flavorful, and the egg is soft inside. Best served warm.

Since I made these eggs, I’ve actually enjoyed Scotch eggs at Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen, a recently opened restaurant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The lighting was terrible, but the eggs were a relevation. Perfectly cooked eggs, lined with sausage, and a thin crunchy crust, served on a shaved Brussels sprouts salad a Dijon vinaigrette. Really lovely.

By Published On: April 10th, 202440 Comments on Scotch Egg

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

40 Comments

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen April 10, 2024 at 8:28 AM - Reply

    I wouldn’t have thought of using an air fryer for a Scotch egg, but it makes perfect sense. These look great Mimi!

  2. Jeff the Chef April 10, 2024 at 8:35 AM - Reply

    Wow, all the pictures you show are so wonderful! You should create a pub tour, because you’ve obviously found some great ones!

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2024 at 8:36 AM - Reply

      Ohhhhh, we could do a wonderful pub tour! We were lucky that our daughter lived in London for four years, so we visited her a LOT!!!

  3. johnrieber April 10, 2024 at 9:02 AM - Reply

    Love this! Will be sharing with others soon as these are so much fun to make!

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2024 at 10:50 AM - Reply

      They really are, and so damn good.

  4. Molly Pisula April 10, 2024 at 9:46 AM - Reply

    Yum! We had some memorable scotch eggs at a food market in London–can’t remember which, but I do remember the eggs! I bet the air fryer is great for this.

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2024 at 10:49 AM - Reply

      Was it Borough market? Love that market. The air fryer worked great.

  5. bernadette Laganella April 10, 2024 at 1:01 PM - Reply

    I heard of this fish but never read directions. I will have to try it. Great post.

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2024 at 4:36 PM - Reply

      Thanks, they’re really good!

  6. Ben | Havocinthekitchen April 10, 2024 at 4:15 PM - Reply

    I’ve never tried Scotch eggs, mostly because I’m a bit sceptical about the idea, but they look and sound wonderful indeed! Also, I never would have thought you could cook eggs in an air fryer – how cool is that!

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2024 at 4:36 PM - Reply

      well I was as well, and I’m not sure why. But they’re really good. And very easy in an air fryer!

  7. David Scott Allen April 10, 2024 at 6:19 PM - Reply

    I don’t have an air fryer, but I have to say that these look amazing! I’ve only had scotch eggs in London at the Borough Market, and they were phenomenal. One was made with pork sausage, the other with lamb sausage. For these, I would be willing to deep fry!

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2024 at 6:53 PM - Reply

      Oh I’m so jealous! I’d eat just about anything at Borough Market!!! I bet they were great. I know that these could be baked, and with convection. I’m just no keen on deep frying.

  8. sherry April 10, 2024 at 9:28 PM - Reply

    How funny about the lighting at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant. Yep pub food can be so good or so bad but a good pub is a delight!

    • Chef Mimi April 11, 2024 at 7:13 AM - Reply

      A good pub is definitely a delight! You said it.

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 11, 2024 at 2:26 AM - Reply

    I have only ever made these the traditional way, but air frying sounds so much nicer :)

    • Chef Mimi April 11, 2024 at 7:12 AM - Reply

      That’s why it appealed to me! They’re very good this way.

  10. Charlie DeSando April 11, 2024 at 6:24 AM - Reply

    I have seen a scotch egg made, but never tried it. Maybe it’s time to give it a shot

  11. Ann Coleman April 11, 2024 at 12:36 PM - Reply

    Thanks for this! I’ve heard of scotch eggs before, but never really knew what they were. Now I know, and I also know that I’d love to try one. And thanks to your recipe, I can!

    • Chef Mimi April 11, 2024 at 5:58 PM - Reply

      I loved this recipe utilizing the air fryer. And the eggs are good!

  12. terrie gura April 11, 2024 at 6:43 PM - Reply

    Yum! I have enjoyed Scotch eggs, but it never occurred to me that they could be done in an air fryer!

    • Chef Mimi April 12, 2024 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      I’m not much for deep frying, so this was a perfect recipe for me!

  13. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats April 11, 2024 at 9:49 PM - Reply

    Your Scotch eggs are nothing like the ones I’ve tried years ago while in England. They were so heavy, overly greasy, and the eggs were rubbery…
    No doubt your version far suppresses those. I may give this dish another try! :)

    • Chef Mimi April 12, 2024 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      Oh gosh, that sounds awful. The air fryer really comes in handy some times!

  14. Healthy World Magazine April 12, 2024 at 5:48 AM - Reply

    Thank you for all of those easy to follow step by step photos! I love keeping the eggs a little soft too- and the use of the air fryer makes it less greasy. Will have to keep our eyes open for the pickle sauce too. Wishing you a super weekend ahead.

    • Chef Mimi April 12, 2024 at 7:22 AM - Reply

      I was pleasantly surprised at how good these were. So glad I made them!

  15. angiesrecipes April 12, 2024 at 5:56 AM - Reply

    Love eggs!These look perfect, Mimi. Haven’t made them in a while and I can’t wait to try the airfryer version.

    • Chef Mimi April 12, 2024 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      These are so good, and I’m glad I could use my air fryer!

  16. spicedblog April 12, 2024 at 6:43 AM - Reply

    I’ve been meaning to make Scotch eggs at home for some time now…I just haven’t gotten around to ’em yet. These look amazing – and I’m REALLY glad sausage became the default layer. Fish paste? No thanks! Also, I echo your ‘pub every day’ thought. Count me in!

    • Chef Mimi April 12, 2024 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      I’m so glad I made them! And they’re not terribly tedious to make. Making these really made me appreciate my air fryer.

  17. Eva Taylor April 12, 2024 at 1:18 PM - Reply

    I haven’t had a Scotch Egg in years. Your recipe looks wonderful and I love that you cooked them in an Air Fryer, a great way to make it a bit healthier. We have also eaten at our fair share of pubs in the UK and we never that a bad meal. The trick is to keep it simple and use fresh ingredients and you won’t go wrong.

    • Chef Mimi April 12, 2024 at 5:44 PM - Reply

      Glad to hear you say that about pubs. My daughter had a favorite one, Portman’s, and they served the most impressive food. It was all made in the basement, and brought upstairs by a dumb waiter!

  18. Karen April 13, 2024 at 3:45 PM - Reply

    I’ve had Scotch eggs and like them but I’ve never made them myself. Great job with yours!

    • Chef Mimi April 13, 2024 at 5:01 PM - Reply

      Well they were pretty easy!!!

  19. Raymund April 17, 2024 at 4:47 PM - Reply

    This one looks perfectly look, just look at that yolk! Yum

    • Chef Mimi April 17, 2024 at 5:20 PM - Reply

      I am going to make these often – they’re so good!

  20. cookingontheweekends April 18, 2024 at 5:55 PM - Reply

    Ooooh delicious! Love them on the brussels sprouts. :-) ~Valentina

    • Chef Mimi April 19, 2024 at 7:30 AM - Reply

      The Brussels sprouts salad really was perfect for the egg!

  21. Frank Fariello April 20, 2024 at 8:09 AM - Reply

    I’ve never had Scotch eggs but always wanted to try them. Funny story, for a short while I was stumped as to how they got the sausage meat around the egg. Then I realized the egg was pre-boiled. Duh!

    • Chef Mimi April 20, 2024 at 8:39 AM - Reply

      That was the same with me! Yes, definitely pre-boiled!

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