Sous vide egg bites


I love the egg bites that Starbucks offers. Great texture and flavor, they are filling beyond appearance. Starbucks opted for a sous vide method to make these egg bites in their central kitchens, sending out to stores in frozen form, yet they have a just-made taste to them when you hold one in your hand.

Eggs prepared in sous vide are a favorite here at the Nolan household. With a basic knowledge of preparing eggs via sous vide, I set out to make my own make-ahead egg bites. I will note that I’m not the first to do this and there are many excellent articles on the web that offer inspiration and all rely on the same basic method.

A few learnings:

1) It is really hard to screw these up as long as you have the temperature and time right. Scrambled eggs in a ziplock bag go 172 degrees for 30+ minutes. Egg bites are prepared in canning jars so I knew I wanted to go longer on time, at least an hour. I went 175 degees for 90 minutes. Raising the temperature also changes the texture of the eggs to give them the structure that is needed in an egg bite. This is important because if you don’t increase the time and temp you will get egg bites that run out over your plate like scrambled eggs.

2) I have no idea how to get the shape of the Starbucks egg bite so I used the same approach I would do for sous vide cheesecake. A small canning jar. This approach has an added benefit of releasing air and creating a vacuum in the jar as it is cooking, ensuring safe storage in your refrigerator for at least a week, if not longer. Starbucks freezes their egg bites and there is no reason why you can’t.

A lot of people question how this works when you are submerging a glass jar in a water bath. First, submerging the jar will not allow water to seep into the jar. Canning jars are designed with a sealed lid that does not require a lot of pressure to seal. In fact, don’t overtighten the lid because you want the internal pressure of the jar, as it is cooking, to rise and push the air through the seal (think of it as a one-way valve). The pressure of the water on the lid will seal it well enough to prevent water from entering the jar.

3) Eggs are a blank canvass, they can work with an amazing array of add-ons. I made my first batch with chorizo sausage, parsley, and a mix of jack and cheddar cheese. In other batch, bacon and in a third I threw in some leftover quinoa and kale. You are only limited by your imagination.

4) You need some fat. The first time I made these, I did not have heavy cream so I added some butter. You can see how the butter released on to the plate in the image above. While still tasty, this is not as good as adding a splash of heavy cream. I’m going to experiment with sour cream next.

Here’ the basic recipe:

– 6 eggs
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1/4 cup milk
– salt
– pepper

For flavor additives, prepare meats ahead of time and mix or layer in the jar (bacon is best layered in). For vegetables, sautée or use raw, your preference and it really just comes down to what you are going for… if you want a roasted pepper flavor, obviously raw peppers won’t get you there. Cheese adds a lot to eggs but it is entirely a preference thing. Mix shredded cheese in the egg mix before pouring into the jars.

Finger-tighten the jar lids, submerge in the water bath at 175 for 90 minutes.