This traditional Scotch eggs recipe for the classic British picnic snack has a Thai-influenced twist inspired by the Thai stir-fry favourite, pad kra pao or pad gaprao. Scotch eggs are traditionally made with a boiled egg wrapped in seasoned sausage meat, which is crumbed and deep-fried. Here, I’ve given the minced pork a pad kra pao flavour.
My recipe for traditional Scotch eggs gives the popular British picnic snack a Thai-inspired makeover by infusing it with the flavours of Thailand’s favourite stir-fry pad kra pao or pad gaprao. Scotch eggs are made from a boiled egg that’s been wrapped in seasoned ground meat that is crumbed and deep-fried. I’ve done the same thing with this dish, however, I’ve added the flavours of pad kra pao to the minced pork.
While mass-produced Scotch eggs are still sold in supermarkets and service stations in the UK, the gastro-pub revolution saw the humble snack elevated to such an extent that Scotch eggs even graced the menus of Michelin-starred restaurants. Those posh Scotch eggs have long been a source of inspiration.
I’ve always wanted to experiment with a traditional Scotch eggs recipe for our Weekend Eggs series, so I decided to give it a Southeast Asian twist for our revitalised series on quintessential eggs dishes from around the world. We’ve been a little obsessed with the popular Thai dish pad kra pao for a while, and given that it’s essentially seasoned minced meat that’s typically topped with a fried egg, it was the perfect candidate for this traditional Scotch eggs recipe with a Thai twist.
If you haven’t dropped by in a while, we recently rebooted our Weekend Eggs recipe series which we launched with Grantourismo over a decade ago. Recipes published so far include Russian devilled eggs, Turkish poached eggs called çılbır, Turkish menemen scrambled eggs, Calabria’s take on ‘eggs in purgatory’ with spicy ’nduja, Thailand’s son-in-law eggs, the puffy Thai omelette kai jiaw, Cambodian steamed eggs, and Singapore and Malaysia’s half-boiled eggs with kaya jam and toast.
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Now let me tell you about this traditional Scotch eggs recipe with a Thai-inspired twist.
Traditional Scotch Eggs Recipe with a Thai Inspired Pad Kra Pao Twist
The base recipe for pad kra pao is minced meat – this can be beef, pork or chicken – mixed with a paste of chillies and garlic, and seasoned with both light soy sauce and dark soy sauce, fish sauce, and in many recipes, oyster sauce. There is a long backstory to the use of oyster sauce in this dish, but that’s another research project.
Some pad kra pao recipes include other ingredients, such as long beans, onions, sugar, and stock, but it’s really up to the cook what they include in this street food classic. At the last minute, holy basil is tossed in and, at some stalls, a fried egg cooked over high heat is plopped on top. At other stalls, it’s an extra on the menu that has to be ordered. More basil is added, and as you tuck in, you can add some prik nam pla, a classic dipping sauce that is a mix of fish sauce, lime juice, chopped bird’s eye chilies, and garlic.
Given the very different cooking methods between pad kra pao and Scotch eggs, it was a challenge to add the right amount of flavour, mainly coming from the soy and fish sauces. What I did was add half the amount of each sauce to the mince, and the other half to the egg mixture coating the Scotch eggs before they are rolled in the panko breadcrumbs. The final flavour is a mild version of pad kra pao, but dipping the Scotch eggs into some prik nam pla brings the flavours together.
Tips for Making This Traditional Scotch Eggs Recipe with a Thai Pad Kra Pao Flavour
Just a few tips to making this traditional Scotch eggs recipe with a Thai-inspired twist. We like to boil our eggs to a time of 5-6 minutes. Refer to my guide for boiling eggs in this post. If you try and keep the yolk super runny, the eggs can be a little too fragile for the coating and mince mixture to stick without breaking the eggs. The eggs in the photo above were boiled to six minutes. A chef with a sous vide machine could make these all day with a runny yolk, which is why a Scotch egg when elevated is a thing of beauty.
Some classic Scotch eggs recipes use plastic wrap to lay the mince mixture on and wrap the egg. I find this redundant. Moulding the mince mixture between your hands is far easier.
Another tip is to not use tongs for handling the eggs, as the coating may crack or break off. I use a large slotted spoon to insert and remove the eggs, as well as for rolling the eggs around in the oil if using a frying pan.
If you don’t want to use a whole lot of oil for this recipe, you can fill a deep frying pan to just more than halfway up the height of the eggs and fry the eggs on one side and then on the other. I like to time it so that each side gets a minute each, and then reassess the colour of the eggs. We like the eggs a dark golden brown as they have more crunch. You can reuse the oil, but it needs a very good strain.
We made the traditional sauce, prik nam pla, which is a mix of fish sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, chopped bird’s eye chilies, and chopped garlic. However, I wanted to thicken it up a little with some oyster sauce. Lara said she did not need it – until she ate the second, more refined batch – but I loved it. You could also go the mayo and mustard route if you like.
Traditional Scotch Eggs Recipe with Thai Pad Kra Pao Flavour
- 3 boiled eggs soft (5 minute boil)
- 300 g pork mince 15% fat
- 4 bird's eye chillis seeds removed & chopped finely
- 1 long red chilli seeds removed & chopped finely
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 handful holy basil
For the coating
- plain flour seasoned with a little salt
- eggs beaten
- panko bread crumbs
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the bird's eye chillis. Add the long chilli and then the garlic to form a paste.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the pork mince, the chilli and garlic paste and half each of the oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce.
- Divide this mixture into three even portions, one for each egg. On a baking sheet, form each portion into a ball and then flatten.
- Dry the eggs off with a paper towel. Place an egg at the centre of one of the flattened pork mixtures. Using wet hands (this stops the mixture sticking to your hands), fold the minced pork mixture over the egg. Lift the egg off the baking sheet and evenly layer the mixture around the egg, moving the egg from hand to hand. Repeat with the other eggs and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to firm up.
- Prepare 3 bowls. Add flour to the first and sprinkle with salt and mix. In the second bowl, break 2 eggs, mix and add the remaining soy, fish and oyster sauce. Stir to combine. In the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
- Flour, egg and crumb the eggs.
- When the eggs are ready, preheat a deep-fryer or deep frying pan to 180°C. Have a sheet pan with a rack and kitchen towels ready.
- Gently lower the scotch eggs into the fryer or deep frying pan and cook until golden and crisp. This should take about 5–6 minutes.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately.
Please do let us know if you make my traditional Scotch eggs recipe with a Thai-inspired twist in the comments below. We’d love to hear how it turns out for you and if it does go well we’d greatly appreciate a rating.