An egg poached in black vinegar, truffle oil, chilli & spring onions on Parmesan mashed potato

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Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

This tapa really is quite fun, and definitely quirky. The pairing of the black spiced vinegar and truffle oil is wonderful, and when you combine that with the chilli and the Parmesan mash it’s even better. Many years ago, I ate a poached egg at the chef’s table in the kitchen at Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian and it made me wonder for ages how they’d managed to flavour a poached egg whilst also cooking it perfectly: Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena were both on that night, and I suppose I could have asked them, but I didn’t. What I came up with is a more home-handyman approach - wrapping it in plastic wrap along with the flavourings, and then poaching the ‘package’. Black vinegar is a spiced and sweetened vinegar from China which is utterly delicious. There are many differing styles - but find one that contains most of the following: rice vinegar, glutinous rice, sugar, salt, spices and orange peel. Yum. And if you can’t find it, I give a good cheat’s recipe below.


  • 1 large potato, 300 g, peeled and sliced
  • 30 g grated Parmesan, plus a few shavings to garnish
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 ml (4 tsp) black vinegar
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) white truffle-flavoured oil
  • ½ red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs


Place the potato into a pot, cover with cold water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until done, then drain and mash with the Parmesan and all but 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Keep warm, although this can be reheated.

Unroll 40 cm of plastic wrap then fold it to create a double-thickness piece 20-cm long without any air bubbles in it. Make four of these. Line four tea cups with these sheets and divide 2 teaspoons of the vinegar amongst them. Divide the truffle oil amongst them as well, then scatter half the chilli in and half the spring onion. Crack an egg into each cup and scatter with the remaining chilli and most of the spring onion.

Pull the plastic wrap edges together, then, making sure you squeeze out any excess air, create what would best be described as a huge tear-drop with the egg in the centre. Put a rubber band or kitchen tie around the top to seal each bag.

Bring a 2-litre pot of water to the boil then gently drop the egg bags in the water. Bring back to the boil, then turn the heat down to a rapid simmer and cook the eggs for 8 minutes at which point the yolks will still be runny but the whites set. Carefully remove the egg bags from the water and lay on a tray.

To Serve

Divide the mash amongst four small warmed plates. Carefully unwrap the eggs, it may be helpful to snip them open with a pair of scissors. Place each egg and its cooking ‘juices’ on the mash, drizzle with the reserved black vinegar then scatter over the remaining spring onion and Parmesan shavings and eat piping hot.

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