Emu Eggs

Photo: Danny Kim. Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

The next time you’re in the market for a really jumbo egg, try the deep-green, pale-yolked ones laid by emus and sold at the Roaming Acres farm stand at Union Square Greenmarket. Even though the animals are being raised in New Jersey, their laying schedule still conforms to that of the southern hemisphere, where they originally hail from. No less an egg maestro than wd-50’s Wylie Dufresne brainstormed the perfect technique to showcase the striking scale of the thing, without reducing it to a generic scramble.

Wylie Dufresne’s Emu-Egg Fondue

1 emu egg
1 gallon grapeseed oil
Salt to season
Sansho to season
20 breadsticks
16 strips cooked bacon
3 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into one-inch cubes
20 Brussels sprouts, cut in half or quartersolive oil
2 sprigs thyme

The day before: Place the emu egg in apasta basket that fits into a medium-size pot with high sides, and place the basket into pot. Cover with oil until the egg is submerged. Remove the egg and the basket, bring the oil up to 280°F. Place the egg and basket back in the oil and cover with a lid. Oil-poach the egg for 16 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a constant temperature. After 16 minutes, remove the basket and place egg into an ice bath to cool. Once cool, rinse the shell with soapy water to remove any remaining oil. Refrigerate overnight (or up to a week). The next day: Preheat oven to 350. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, and thyme and place on a baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt and add to the potatoes and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until everything is nicely browned. Remove from oven and season to taste with sansho. While the vegetables are roasting, place the egg in a pot and cover with warm water. Reheat the egg over a low flame for the 20 minutes that the Brussels sprouts are roasting in the water at a temperature in which you may comfortably leave your finger for 3seconds, approximately 160 degrees. (When done,the yolk should be liquid but cooked, and the white should be solid.) To serve: Place the breadsticks, bacon, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts in serving dishes. Remove egg from water and pat dry. (1) Carefullytap the egg on a counter edge, cracking the shell around the perimeter about 1½ inches fromthe top. Remove shell from thetop, exposing the egg. (2) Stand the egg in a roll of masking tape placed in a shallow bowl. (3) Remove the exposed whiteto reveal the liquid yolk. For presentation, pour salt around and over the tape to hide it. Season the egg lightly with salt and sansho, and, using skewersdip the breadsticks, bacon, and roasted vegetables into the yolk, as you would a fondue. Eat the remaining white with long sundae spoons. Serves 4 to6.

Emu Eggs