Day 5: Crab, Carrot & Yolk
inspired by Stark
I’ve realised so far my posts have all been about London restaurants and I want to branch out further afield. I may have lived here for over 12 years but that doesn’t mean I always have to eat here! Plus seeing as travel is off the menu for the time being it’s nice to remember beyond our small corner of South East London.
We love travelling to different parts of the UK especially as we are lucky enough to have flexible working hours. We can often get away on a Sunday night or midweek to save some pennies (to spend on food instead!)
Usually we don’t travel with a specific meal in mind. In fact we have a sort of running league table of Thai restaurants we’ve stumbled upon across the country! I’m sure there’s a post on that in the future…
However we went to Broadstairs with the main reason to eat at Stark. Run by Ben and Sophie, this husband and wife duo are pretty much the only staff in this tiny restaurant. Ben cooks and Sophie does front of house for the 4 or 5 tables they might have on an evening.
As a couple who have spent years working front of house together (I met Aidan by working in his pub years ago) I could really appreciate how amazing this dynamic was.
The meal was absolutely amazing! A set menu of about five courses that changes daily. There are wine pairings to go with it if you choose (and you should!). But it was the atmosphere that made it one of the most memorable eating experiences I’ve had. How often to you get to chat to the chef as you finish your dessert?
The highlight of the meal was a dish called Crab, Carrot & Yolk. Who knew crab and carrot was such a good combo??
In the restaurant it definitely came with a hens egg yolk in the centre of the plate that you broke open. After a bit of research I decide to try and confit an egg yolk. But then couldn’t find eggs (see yesterdays post on the woes of supermarket shopping!)
But I could get quail eggs….
The whole point of this food journey is that I learn, right? So I thought what the hell and put some in my basket.
First thing I discovered is not to crack these eggs open. To get them out of the shell take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the shells and then let the egg inside drop out (gently!)
And don’t bother trying to separate the yolk like you would with a hen egg. Simply tip the egg into your hand and let the yolk run through your fingers.
But how to confit a quail egg yolk? I could find instructions for regular hens eggs online. Basically you heat an oven to 65°C with a dish of oil in it. Once the oil reaches 65°C you add your egg yolks and let them slow cook in the oven for about 50 minutes. I did my yolks for 30 minutes and they came out hard. So 15 minutes worked much better. They are only little yolks!
If a month ago you had told me I would spend the best part of an afternoon working out how to confit a quail egg yolk I would never have believed you.
But as people keep saying… these are unprecedented times. How true.
Crab, Carrot & Yolk
Pickled Carrot Salad
- 3 small carrots
- 1 drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
- 0.5 tsp coriander seeds (crushed) or ground coriander
- pinch salt
- 1 pot white crab meat
- drizzle extra virgin oil oil
- juice half a lemon
- small handful chopped parsley
- small handful chopped coriander
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
Confit Quail Egg Yolk
- 4 quail eggs
- olive oil
- Turn a fan assisted oven on to 65°C and add a small oven proof dish half filled with olive oil
- Using a vegetable peeler create carrot ribbons and add them to a bowl. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, seasoning and coriander seeds and add to the carrots. Give them a good scrunch with your hands and leave to one side
- Check the oil in the oven has reached 65°C with a themometer. Once it has you are ready to add your egg yolks
- Use a sharp knife to cut the top of the quail shell. Be careful not to cut too low down or you might pierce the yolk. Gently tip the egg into your hand and let the white run through your fingers into a bowl below. (I would say save the egg white but that's only if you manage not to get lots of shell in it! I didn't manage)
- Use a teaspoon to transfer the yolk from your hand to the oil. Repeat for 3 more eggs
- Put the yolks in the oven for 15 minutes
- Add the crab meat to a bowl with the oilve oil, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning and stir gently to combine. Check the seasoning
- Start by adding the carrot to a plate and then sit the dressed crab on top. When the yolks are done add two quail yolks gently on top of each plate. Break into and enjoy!