This spring, ABC Kitchen served up a delectable appetizer of wood-grilled asparagus topped with a crispy, runny, just-slightly-spicy deep fried egg. It’s the sort of miracle work with eggs that you’d expect from a James Beard award-winning restaurant, but when we started craving it afterwards, we wondered if there a way to recreate this dish at home.
We gave it a shot, starting with a Bon Appetit recipe for deep fried eggs and tweaking it from there. As for the asparagus, there’s a fairly foolproof way to make asparagus like this on a regular stovetop, without the wood-burning grill.
Though I can’t say my version is as crazy good as the ABC Kitchen appetizer, it’s pretty good for a home-cooked version. And it can be adapted as a mostly make-ahead dish – the perfect dazzler for a dinner party.
Recipe: Asparagus with Deep-Fried Egg
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs
high-heat frying oil
1/2 bunch of asparagus, washed, dried and trimmed
1 tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground pepper
zest from an organic lemon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Slowly lower one of the eggs, still cold from the refrigerator, into a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water to cool. Meanwhile, prepare three mixtures for dipping the egg. In a shallow bowl or on a small plate, mix together the flour, cornstarch, cayenne, and 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Beat the remaining egg and buttermilk together in another bowl. Measure out the panko crumbs into a third bowl.
When the soft-boiled egg is completely cool, gently rap it against the countertop to crack it all over and very carefully peel off the shell. (You may want to boil an extra egg in case the first one breaks open.) Coat it in the flour mixture, the buttermilk mixture, and finally the panko. Set it on a wire rack.
Using a candy/deep-frying thermometer, heat 2 inches of frying oil in a saucepan until it reaches 375 degrees. Deep fry the egg, turning once, until it turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Place it back on the wire rack to drain.
Toss the asparagus with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper until thoroughly coated. If making this recipe in advance, you can pause at this point for an hour or so, leaving the egg and asparagus at room temperature.
To finish, saute the asparagus in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat until bright green and slightly bendy, about six minutes. Meanwhile, heat the egg in the 325 degree oven for the same amount of time.
To serve, lay the asparagus on a platter, sprinkle with lemon zest, and set the deep-fried egg on top. Using a sharp paring knife, slice it in half and let the yolk run out over the asparagus. Top with a final sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.