Jersey Royals with crispy eggs, dashi and hen of the woods

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The Japanese influence on Steven Smith's cuisine can be felt in this exciting Jersey Royals with crispy egg recipe, with the homemade dashi included in the sauce and a range of salty and umami accompaniments.

First published in 2015





  • 40g of kombu
  • 2l spring water
  • 45g of bonito flakes, 2 cups
  • 1 dash of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of mirin
  • 1 dash of rice wine
  • 4 slices of bacon, thick cut, skin only


Crispy eggs

Jersey Royals


To serve


  • Deep fat fryer
  • Muslin cloth
  • Fine strainer


Begin by preparing the dashi. Gently wipe clean the Kombu, being sure not to remove the white (umami). Do not wash the kombu, it only requires a light wipe. Gently slice the kombu 2 or 3 times with scissors and place in a big saucepan with the spring water
  • 40g of kombu
  • 2l spring water
Place the kombu into a pot with the cold mineral water and heat the contents of the pan to 85°C
Remove the Kombu and skim the surface of the water. Add the bonito flakes and simmer for a further 2 minutes, then remove from the heat - the bonito flakes should fall to the bottom of the pot. Once this has happened, strain the liquid through a fine strainer lined with muslin cloth and return to the pot
  • 45g of bonito flakes, 2 cups
Add the soy sauce, mirin and rice wine vinegar to taste, but remember it should be delicate in flavour and not too overpowering. Bring to the boil and add the bacon skin, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse
  • 1 dash of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of mirin
  • 1 dash of rice wine
  • 4 slices of bacon, thick cut, skin only
For the mushrooms, tear the hen of the woods into bite-size pieces. Place a pan over a medium heat and add a large knob of butter. Once the butter begins to foam, fry the mushrooms until lightly golden. Add a splash of sherry and pinch of salt and simmer briefly to glaze. Remove from the heat and finish with chives
To prepare the crispy eggs, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and poach each egg for 1 minute each, then remove from the water and cool in ice water. Once cold, trim away some of the excess egg white to make neat circles
Add the flour, additional egg and breadcrumbs to separate bowls for coating, beating the egg with a pinch of salt to make egg wash. In this order, coat the poached eggs in the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs. Set aside until required
  • flour, the eggs
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
For the Jersey Royals, heat the dashi in a medium pot and add the Jersey Royals. Boil until soft then remove the potatoes. Add to a hot pan with a knob of butter and a generous squeeze of lemon juice, cook until glazed. Remove from the pan and keep warm
To prepare a sauce, heat the dashi and ham hock stock in a small pan. Once warm, add a small dash of lemon juice and a knob of butter, remove from the heat and stir to emulsify. Keep warm until required
Heat the canola oil in a deep fat fryer to 180˚C
  • 1000ml of canola oil, for frying
Deep-fry the crumbed eggs until golden, remove and drain on kitchen towel. Dress the sliced chestnut mushrooms in a little lemon, salt and rapeseed oil
  • 1 dash of extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • 1 dash of lemon juice
Dress each plate with swirls of the sauce, then place the egg in the middle with a piece of Iberico ham and chunks of pork scratching on top. Arrange the warm mushrooms and potatoes alongside and scatter with chopped chives. Finish with a small side of hot dashi and serve immediately
First published in 2015

Steven Smith may be trend-averse but he is certainly not risk-averse, his cuisine embraces tradition without being consumed by it.

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