Ollie Dabbous's Coddled Egg Recipe

Ollie Dabbous's signature starter, coddled egg with smoked butter, is a great example of a simple dish stunningly executed. Ollie sources his smoked butter from the Caithness Smokehouse but it's straightforward to smoke your own using the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator.
I had no idea before opening the restaurant that this dish would receive so much attention. Here it is, in all its simplicity. Adding butter and cream at the start of cooking dilutes the protein content, helping to prevent scrambling. Adding more at the end helps arrest the cooking.
This recipe is taken from the beautiful, recently published Dabbous: The Cookbook. Many thanks to Dabbous Restaurant and Bloomsbury Publishing for sharing such a delightful recipe with us:

 For the eggshells Serves: 12

  • 12 large free-range eggs

For the nests

  • 8 handfuls hay

For the fried mushrooms

  • 250g smoked butter
  • 650g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

For the egg mix

  • 600g whole egg (taken from eggshells)
  • 65g fried mushrooms
  • 1g salt
  • 120ml whipping cream
  • 150g smoked butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  1. Using an egg topper, remove the top of each eggshell. Empty out the egg and set aside. You will need 8 eggshells but it’s useful to have a few extra to allow for breakages.
  2. Place the shells in a large pan of salted water ( 3 per cent salinity ).
  3. Bring to the boil to sterilise the shells, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Take out the inner membrane from the eggshells. Clean them thoroughly and leave to dry.


  1. Mould the hay into 8 nest shapes, using your hands and a pair of scissors. Place in earthenware bowls.

Fried mushrooms

  1. Heat the smoked butter until foaming, add the mushrooms and fry over a medium heat until golden, crisp and completely dehydrated. This process will take at least 20 minutes and the mushrooms should have reduced greatly ( you will need 65g ). Drain them thoroughly.

Egg mix

  1. Place the egg, fried mushrooms, salt, half the cream and half the butter in a bowl.
  2. Set it over a pan of simmering water and heat very gently until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of smooth porridge. Stir the whole time with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl. The egg should be mousse-like and have very few lumps.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter and cream, along with the chives.
  4. Pour into the prepared eggshells and sit them in the nests. Serve immediately.

Extract taken from Dabbous by Ollie Dabbous, published by Bloomsbury Publishing, £50.00, Hardback.

Photography © Joakim Blockstorm


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