Onsen Egg

"Onsen in Japanese is a hot spring," says Ben Nerenhausen, executive chef of Mistral in Princeton. "That suggests how we cook the egg, in hot water. I like this dish because it has multi-season versatility, able to highlight various vegetables in their prime. And who doesn't love a beautifully poached egg?"

Serves 5


10 large brown eggs
1 pint dry fregola pasta
1 bunch cleaned broccoli rabe or other seasonal veg.
1 pint washed cherry tomatoes or other seasonal veg.
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch chives
1 lemon
1 pint vegetable stock (store bought is fine if you don’t have your own)
1 cup butter, cut into cubes
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


For the egg:
1) Heat a large pot of water to 146 degrees Fahrenheit, adjusting the flame as necessary to maintain a constant temperature.
2) Carefully immerse the eggs into the water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, making sure to check water temperature occasionally.
3) Transfer the cooked eggs to an ice bath for an hour or until cool.

For the fregola:
1) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add dry fregola. Cook until al dente and strain.
2) Spread cooked fragola on a sheet pan to cool and toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil to prevent clumping.

For tomatoes:
1) Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, garlic and fresh thyme.
2) Spread tomatoes on a baking pan and slow roast at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until just beginning to blister, about 20 minutes.
3) Set aside until ready to assemble.

For assembly:
1) Reheat eggs in 138-degree water for 10 minutes.
2) In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over high heat.
3) When oil is hot, add broccoli rabe and sauté for about 1 minute.
4) Add fregola and tomatoes.
5) Immediately add stock, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
6) Slowly add butter, one cube at a time, stirring constantly until fully emulsified and stock has reduced to a glaze.
7) Add sliced scallions and chives.
8) Place mixture in a serving dish.
9) Carefully break eggs over the mixture and finish with grated cheese and more chives.

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