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First, you must get over the shock of ostrich eggs’ sheer size. They are the largest eggs in the world, measuring between 3.5 to 5 lb. each.
The largest known ostrich egg weighed 5 lb. 11.36 oz, laid at a farm in Borlänge, Sweden, in May 2008.
Every ostrich egg contains the equivalent of 24 chicken eggs. Its shell is hard and will resist being broken with normal kitchen tools.
The white inner membrane of an ostrich egg is tough and feels like moist, pliable paper.
Some recommend breaking ostrich eggs with a hammer. While it’s true that tapping it with a spoon will get you nowhere, neither is it necessary to use a hammer.
Chipping around the top of the egg with a chef’s knife or cleaver will eventually pry it off. Another option is to drill a hole at both ends of the egg and blow into one hole with your breath, forcing the egg out of the other hole.
And when you’re done puncturing the flexible membrane, transfer the content into a mixing bowl. After that mix it and prepare it just like you prefer doing with a normal chicken’s egg.
What’s it like to eat an ostrich egg?
Ostrich eggs are often compared to chicken eggs, but that’s not entirely correct. Ostrich eggs have a smooth, buttery texture compared to the slickness of chicken eggs.
The flavor is said to be very slightly gamey. But enterprising chefs have already discovered that ostrich eggs work very well in bulk recipes and that the flavor is fine in combination with herbs and spices.
Consider how convenient an ostrich egg would be when you need to cook a large number of cakes, for example. Although it does give one pause to think of whipping the equivalent of 24 chicken egg whites at once.
You would need to separate the yolk and the white and divide them into halves, to make cooking and baking workable.
How to Boil an Ostrich Egg?
Naturally, it takes a long time to cook an ostrich egg. Count on between ½ to 2 hours to boil one, depending on the size of the egg.
In a large pot, cover the egg with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for at least 1 hour.
Add water if needed. Once the egg is cooked through, place it in cold water to cool down for 15 minutes.
Use a heavy kitchen tool to crack the shell. Peel away the shell and egg membrane.
The egg can be used in any of your favorite recipes. Imagine the quantity of egg salad an ostrich egg will make.
You will need a fork to cut through the white membrane.
How can you tell it’s cooked through? When it’s boiled through, the egg’s shell will have become softer.
How to Fry an Ostrich Egg?
Once you’ve cracked the shell and poured the raw egg into a bowl, you can use the egg as you would use ordinary chicken eggs.
You don’t need an enormous frying pan, but a good large one will work. The biggest trick seems to be how to crack one without getting bits of shell in the bowl.
Scrambled Ostrich Egg
An ostrich egg can be scrambled any way you like, just as you would scramble chicken eggs. One ostrich egg will make 10 – 12 servings.
Ostrich Egg Omelet
- 1 ostrich egg
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons milk
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish
- Crack the shell of the ostrich egg with a knife. Pour the egg into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the diced red bell pepper, diced spring onion, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk everything together thoroughly.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan.
- Gently pour in the omelet mixture. Move it from the edges to the center as it begins to set.
- When it has cooked underneath, flip it over with a spatula. Spread the cheddar cheese on top and let it melt.
- Cook for a further 2 minutes. Make sure the omelet is thoroughly cooked.
- Flip half of the omelet onto the other half to make a semi-circle. Remove the omelet to a platter.
- Season salt and pepper to taste if needed, and garnish with the thyme.
Ostrich Egg Custard
Larissa Carson of Highland Farm in Germantown shares her Ostrich Egg Custard.
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 oz ostrich egg white
- 2.7 oz ostrich egg yolk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Nutmeg, freshly grated or ground
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place six 4-ounce ovenproof cups in a deep baking pan. Chef’s tip: you can use ramekins or coffee cups marked as oven safe.
- In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- In a separate bowl whisk together egg white, yolks, sugar, and vanilla.
- Gently whisk the egg mixture while pouring slowly into simmering milk.
- Pour mixture through a fine strainer and into cups. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Use a spoon to clear the strainer if clogging occurs.
- Pour hot (not boiling) water into the pan with the custard cups until cups are about halfway filled.
- Bake until set, 30-35 minutes.
- Let custard cool in a water bath for 2 hours before serving.
Baking with an Ostrich Egg
¼ cup ostrich egg equals 1 chicken egg in any recipe. The egg whips up smooth and fluffy.
Freeze leftover ostrich egg
Just like chicken eggs, ostrich egg whites and yolks can be frozen, then thawed out when needed. Spoon the separated yolk and white into ice cube trays for convenience.
Now you’re curious about eating ostrich eggs. Where can you buy one?
While they’re comparatively rare, you can order them online from farms specializing in exotic meats.
Ostrich eggs are a luxury item, ranging from $35-$50 apiece.
One of the reasons that ostrich eggs are costly is because ostrich hens, unlike chickens, lay eggs only during one season, usually summer. In addition, farmers expect to lose about 20% of the eggs a hen lays.
Ostrich farmers also lay aside between 10-15% of eggs laid for hatching or selling to other ostrich farmers
An ostrich hen normally begins laying at three years old and produces between 40 and 60 eggs per year. Ostriches live long lives and a female stays fertile until age 45.
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Nutrition Breakdown of Ostrich Eggs
A single egg contains approximately 45 percent fat, 47 percent protein, as well as about 2,000 calories. As with chicken eggs, ostrich eggs also have a good amount of Vitamin b-12, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Ostrich eggs have more iron and magnesium, compared to chicken eggs, but less vitamin A and vitamin E. They’re high in copper, zinc, and manganese.
Ostrich Egg Vs Chicken Egg (Comparison Table)
NutrientsChicken EggOstrich Egg
|Moisture, %||74.7||75.32 (1.01)|
|Vitamin A, IU/g||20.5||16.29 (8.1)|
|Fat, %||45.4||44.3 (1.8)|
|Calcium, %||0.233||0.243 (.01)|
|Phosphorus, %||0.810||0.795 (.07)|
|Vitamin E, IU/k||39.95||15.31 (10.5)|
|Iodine, ppm||2.8||3.3 (.51)|
|Folic Acid, ppm||1.18||1.51 (.4)|
|Pantothenic Acid, ppm||55.3||28.45 (6.9)|
|Riboflavin, ppm||12.6||9.12 (1.6)|
|Thiamin, ppm||3.55||5.02 (1.1)|
|Magnesium, ppm||490.0||540.0 (55)|
|Manganese, ppm||15.8||8.9 (2.9)|
|Selenium, ppm||0.60||1.53 (0.7)|
|Zinc, ppm||59.2||51.6 (6.5)|
|Iron, ppm||90.9||110.9 (7.6)|
|Copper, ppm||2.45||1.5 (1.1)|