In the annals of haute French gastronomy is the Arpege Egg, named after Alain Passard’s Parisian restaurant where the dish was developed. The now famous dish has spread around the world over the last few decades, and chefs, of course, have taken liberties with the soft-poached egg yolk with cream, sherry vinegar and maple syrup all served inside the shell. David Kinch has his farm egg with lemon crème fraiche; James Syhabout utilizes Applewood-smoked dates with onion cream; and Josiah Citrin used to serve his version at Michelin two-star Melisse topped with caviar.
At his new Parisian bistro in Los Angeles, Bicyclette, chef Walter Manzke is channeling Passard, but only slightly. Yes, he has the razor-cut egg shell filled with a cooked egg, but he also calls on another great tradition: soft scrambled eggs and caviar. At Bicyclette, he serves his with crème fraiche and smoked sturgeon folded in with the scrambled eggs, instead of layering the egg and the cream like in the Arpege version. The creamy filling is topped with a generous dollop of caviar, which cuts through the brininess of the egg mixture.
Manzke has shared his recipe for you to make at home, and one of the biggest pieces of advice he gives is that you need to find the absolute best eggs you can, with golden yolks. And you should also follow Manzke’s advice to serve this dish with Champagne.
Soft Scrambled Egg with Kaluga caviar, Smoked Sturgeon and Chives
- 1 organic egg (scrambled with a few drops of milk)
- 10 g Rodolphe Le Meunier butter
- 10 g crème fraiche
- 20 g smoked sturgeon (diced small)
- As desired diced chives
- 1 pinch piment d’espelette
- Salt to taste
Carefully remove the top arch of an egg using an “egg topper” tool/cutter, making sure that the cut is level. Rinse the shell with hot water and invert to allow the shell to dry. Set aside in a safe place until ready to utilize.
In a small bowl, mix the golden egg with a few drops of milk and whisk to scramble.
In a small pot or small non-stick pan, gently heat the butter until melted over medium heat. Add eggs and with a small whisk, whisk non-stop to gently cook the eggs. It is important to not do this over high heat or allow the pan to become too hot as it will not yield the soft texture we are searching for. The best way to do this is to work your pan on and off the heat during the cooking process. It should take around 3 minutes depending on your cooking vessel and heat source.
Once eggs begin to coagulate, be very careful not to overcook. Eggs should remain somewhat runny. Add a small pinch of piment d’espelette pepper, diced smoked sturgeon and the crème fraiche off the heat.
Whisk to incorporate and make homogenous and finish with the chives at the very last moment.
Using a small spoon, fill the hollowed-out eggshell with the soft scrambled egg until just below the opening.
Set your eggshell in an egg holder or in a small vessel filled with salt that will keep your egg shell stable.
Top with your Kaluga caviar, more diced chives and enjoy.