Sephardic Jewish-Style Eggs (Huevos Haminados)

3 Apr

NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.

While I usually eat a combination of meat (homemade jerky, smoked salmon, sardines, or uncured deli meat) and fruit (berries, banana) for breakfast during the workweek, on weekends I tend to gravitate towards your typical eggs/bacon breakfasts. Unfortunately, this guy gets tired of eggs fairly quickly, even after trying every just about every egg preparation under the sun. Then last week a friend turned me onto the dish you see above, huevos haminados.

This egg dish is popular in Jewish communities in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and served at Passover Seders (a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover). The dish’s Latin-based name might throw you off, but that’s a reflection of its origin in Medieval Spain. There are several variations online, which include boiling the eggs in onion skins and coffee, or simmering in a crock pot for seven hours. I decided to go with an even easier approach – you just throw the eggs in an oven for five hours.

While the egg shells stay mostly white, the egg whites become a rich brown color and the eggs develop a nutty, roasted taste. There’s even a hint of meatiness in there that’s hard to describe. Either way, it’s a dead-simple dish that is worth a try!

You’ll Need:
some eggs

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees, and place the eggs directly on the oven rack for five hours. No need to rotate the eggs or anything. Some of the egg whites will make their way through the shell, giving you the “pimples” you see above.

After five hours, dip the eggs in a bowl of cold water for five minutes. Then crack them open and enjoy; the eggs will have shrank significantly, making them a dream to peel.

That’s it! The eggs whites will have a slightly rubbery consistency while the yolks will still be surprisingly moist; not to mention the whole thing is delicious. They even taste good after a day or two in the fridge!

37 Responses to “Sephardic Jewish-Style Eggs (Huevos Haminados)”

  1. alexboake April 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Those look really intriguing! I’d never think to roast eggs in the oven…
    I think I’d have a hard time ‘justifying’ having the oven on for that long to cook eggs though…are they totally worth it?!

    • Russ Crandall ( April 5, 2012 at 6:33 am #

      That’s a great topic for debate, if they’re worth the energy spent making them. They are delicious! I think the next time I make them I’ll also roast something with the other half of the oven…220 F is a great temperature for braising ribs! :)

  2. Peter April 5, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Looks awesome! :)
    You say 220 degrees…is that Farenheit ir Celsius? Guess Farenheit as lower temp for five hours would make more sense than a higher, but just want to be sure before I try them out :)

    • Russ Crandall ( April 5, 2012 at 6:31 am #

      Peter, 220 degrees F. Let me know how it goes!

      • Peter April 5, 2012 at 11:01 am #

        Nice, thanks!
        Might give them a try tomorrow as a nice Easter treat :)
        Btw, do you store them peeled or with the shell on in the fridge?

        • Russ Crandall ( April 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

          We peel them, just so they’re a convenient snack later. Not sure how easy they’d be to peel with the shell on in the fridge, but it’s worth a shot!

          • Peter April 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

            Thanks again, I’ll let you know the results.
            (these eggs make me think of Chinese “century eggs” or “hundred/thousand year eggs”…never tried them, probably wouldn’t either…they just look NASTY!
            But maybe you would? ;)
            (if so, please post about it!)
            Thanks for an inspiring and awesome blog, wish you a great Easter!

            BR Peter

          • Russ Crandall ( April 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

            Thanks Peter! I do have some plans for crazy eggs, but I don’t know if I’ll go as far as thousand-year eggs! I was thinking more like Chinese tea eggs :)

          • Peter April 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

            Never heard of…guessing it means eggs boiled in tea? Cool if so, and think a nice strong pu-erh brew would make great flavour and coloring if that is how it works :)
            Gotta look it up, actually think I might have a few small Pu-erh cakes laying around.. :)

        • Peter April 6, 2012 at 11:23 am #

          Tried both the Huevos and a quick version of the tea eggs today! :)
          Didn’t get the Huevos as colorful as yours, but they tasted great…weird way of preparing eggs :)
          But I must say, the Chinese Tea Eggs beat the Huevos both in looks and flavor…taste like eggs but with a gentle touch of the tea and spices with a beautiful marble pattern…I’ll mail you some pics.
          (oh, and two whole Jamaican Jerk chickens are currently in the oven… ;)

          Br // Peter

  3. primallykosher April 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Never heard of this one before. But I’m Ashkenazim to so that could be why. Slow cooking them turns brown? You don’t need a drip pan to collect excess egg white that might leak out?

    • Russ Crandall ( April 7, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      Nope, no drip pan needed. The egg white does leak out a little, but nothing dripped out of the shell as far as I can tell…

      • Peter April 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

        I had no such issues either when I tried these bad boys out. Just put them in the oven, forget about them and do something fun for 5 hours, and then they’re done…100% mess-free :)

  4. koritt April 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    At the Korean spa they do a similar thing and bake eggs, that they sell in their cafe, in their hottest spa room. The room is a dome shaped room with a yellow soil floor that is heated to 200 degrees Celsius by burning oak logs. (Yes, people actually sit in these rooms and sweat it out, just not at the same time as the eggs being cooked.) The eggs look just like the ones in your photos. Now I need to try this and find out if they taste similar! It’s always neat to see that different cultures have similarities.

    • Russ Crandall ( April 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      Wow, that’s interesting! I imagine many cultures get bored with eggs and come up with all sorts of inventive ways to enjoy them :)

      • koritt April 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

        Ha ha. I guess so. Maybe the challenge is now to come up with yet another way to eat our eggs in 2012.

  5. Tzipporah April 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Couldn’t you just bake them when you’re baking other things? I don’t know anyone that would make them just by themselves. It’s something (like potatoes) which you can throw into the oven whilst your baking a feast for Shabbos (Jewish Sabbath).

  6. tim_lebsack April 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I cook eggs similarly with my fan forced, hot air oven. I spread a dozen room-temp eggs out on two racks, set the temp and let it go for thirty minutes then stop the cooking with an ice water bath. The droplets appear on the shells about 10 minutes into the process then dry out and turn brown. I use these eggs the way you’d use any boiled egg but now I’ll experiment with longer cooking times.

  7. ligmatics April 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    I just made these and I thought they were awesome. I also noticed the subtle meaty flavor you mentioned… reminded me slightly of braunschweiger.

    • Drew Kime April 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Braunschweiger? Now I’ve definitely got to try them.

  8. bumbleberry breeze June 24, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    just happened on your blog and this post… looking forward to trying these good eggs soon-thanks for putting out such an informative blog- I think it’s awesome that you are taking such a pro-active stance to address an auto-immune mystery. As pretty evident from my new blog, I am not in the PALEO world but find it VERY intriguing. Auto-immune quirks in our bodies abound and when people get mysterious inflammations, this just seems to make good sense. I’ve had a very interesting journey so far and can’t help but wonder how my body would respond….

    • Russ Crandall ( June 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks! Although I have definitely found some improvement by eliminating certain foods from my diet, recently I’ve been trying to focus on another aspect of health that affects auto-immunity: gut health through fermented, pro-biotic foods. Hopefully it’s another piece of the puzzle on the path to recovery.

    • bumbleberry breeze June 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      thanks Russ- am following your blog now- I usually do a meat/chicken/fish with 2 veggies for dinner for me and my husband (but oh, how I love really good bread!)
      BTW I really resonate with your resilience and love of life- I’m doing kidney dialysis for more than 35 years- started as a sophomore in high school. We do what we gotta do in life, right?

      • Russ Crandall ( June 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

        Your dinners don’t sound too far off from ours! We usually do meat, veggies, and rice or potatoes plus a big salad on the side. I definitely miss good crusty bread! We usually stick with Chebe bread mixes ( to satisfy our occasional bread cravings! :)

        I’m sorry to hear about your dialysis. That’s one amazing thing about the human condition: we’re hardwired to just keep on going no matter what our lot in life is!

  9. Kathy August 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Just discovered your wonderful website and the eggs are in the oven! My favorite slow-cook, too-easy recipe, Mimi’s Sticky Chicken (google it), could share the oven with these eggs for 5 hours. I love the recipe because it takes 5 minutes to get the bird into the oven and 5 hours later (or up to 7) it’s delicious! The herby leftovers are good for chicken soup. The original recipe for it calls for stuffing the bird with onion and rubbing with a salt/pepper mixture but I’ve varied it, even rubbing with curry spice and stuffing with an apple, and it always comes out great. It’s gonna have eggs parked next to it next time though.

    • Russ Crandall ( August 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      Hi Kathy, thanks for sharing. Totally just checked out Mimi’s Sticky Chicken and I’m definitely going to try it. Sounds delicious!

  10. teresa April 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Just thought I’d pipe in since I’ve been eating and making these eggs for my whole life. (BTW, sephardic-Jewish is redundant…if it’s sephardic, it is Jewish, unless you meant sephardic as opposed to Ashkenazi.) Anyway, these eggs are eaten all through the year and developed to accommodate the no-cooking proscription on the Sabbath. Food was generally taken to a communal oven where it would cook over night and be eaten after services. They can be cooked for 16-18 hours or even longer and only improve with more cooking. They were often put in the main dish being cooked or on top of the lid. I have a Chambers stove and have been experimenting cooking them in the Thermowell with great results, although the temp in lower. Thanks for bringing them to a wider audience.

  11. Rich May 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I’ve been eating these my whole life from my mother, grandmother and now wife. Why would anybody boil eggs when these are so much better.
    We make them slightly different. We use the old cardboard boxes, put the eggs in them, spray with a cooking oil spray such as Pam or any other type. Close the carton and soak it a bit. Put the cartons (we usually make about 4 dozen at a time) on a cookie sheet and bake at the lowest temperature for about 6 hours. And yes we store them in the shell in the refrigerator with no problem. Makes a great egg salad too,more nutty taste.

  12. kidkelemen23 November 14, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    What an innovative way to use a simple, sometimes boring, ingredient. A really interesting recipe! Really engaging blog. Keep up all the great recipes.


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