Make Breakfast Cool With These ‘Dinosaur Eggs’

Soft-boiled eggs are a staple in lunchboxes and at picnics. However, they look and taste pretty basic. I was trying to figure out a way to give them some more curb appeal and flavor when inspiration struck at the most unlikely moment. My five-year-old son and I were watching Jurassic Park. In one scene, the characters watch as dinosaur eggs hatch. Eureka! What kid wouldn’t want to eat dinosaur eggs?

To give the whites a similar mottled appearance, I decided to riff on what Westerners call ramen eggs, but the Japanese refer to as ajitsuke tamago. In my version, eggs are boiled for exactly seven minutes, so their sunny yolks have the consistency of thick lemon curd. After plunging the eggs into an ice bath to stop them from cooking further, I gently crack their shells, so there are hairline cracks all over them, but no major pieces have fallen off. Then I marinate the eggs for at least 12 hours in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, seasoned rice wine vinegar, and water.

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After removing them from the marinade and shucking off the shells, the whites have blotches of darkness and light with veins running across them. It’s not hard to imagine a baby T-Rex bursting out of one. Better still, they are now rich with a salty-sweet-umami flavor, which can even infuse the yolky core if you let them marinate long enough.

When these eye-catching eggs get pulled out at school or while picnicking with friends, they invariably garner intense interest from little ones. Though it sometimes takes a little convincing, most kids usually can’t wait to tear into one—usually while offering up a prehistoric roar. After all, who wouldn’t want to eat dinosaur eggs?

Get the recipe here!

Nevin Martell is a parenting, food, and travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington PostNew York TimesSaveurMen’s JournalFortune, and many other publications. 

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