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    Coddled Egg with Horseradish and Watercress, and Smoked Eel Soldiers

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    Coddled Egg with Horseradish and Watercress, and Smoked Eel Soldiers

    This is a proper bit of nursery, a proper bit of English and a proper bit of yumminess

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 11 minutes to 13 minutes
    • Total time: 28 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 2


    • 2 tbsp grated fresh horseradish, or 1 tsp grated horseradish from a jar
    • 4 tbsp double cream
    • 2 eggs
    • A pinch Caraway seeds, crushed with the back of knife
    • 90 g watercress
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 2 slices brown bread
    • 100g smoked eel fillets, flaked


    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas 4.
    2. If you are using fresh horseradish, peel it and grate it finely. Macerate in a little lemon juice for 1 hour, to soften it and bring out the flavour.
    3. Stir the horseradish into the cream with some seasoning. Half-fill a small roasting tray or casserole dish with boiling water.
    4. Butter the ramekins and separate the eggs; gently mix the whites with the horseradish cream, and set the yolks aside. Share the cream between the ramekins, then gently drop a yolk into the middle of each one. Sprinkle on the caraway, season lightly again and cover with foil.
    5. Put the ramekins in the roasting tray and cook for 12 minutes, allowing a minute more or less, depending on the size of the eggs.
    6. Put a small pan of water on the hob and, with a lid on, bring it to a rolling boil. Meanwhile whip up the watercress purée: wash and very roughly chop the leaves and stalks. Put the salt into the saucepan of water and drop the watercress in. Put the lid back on, boil for 1–2 minutes and drain. Run under fast, cold water, then put in the blender with about 4 ice cubes and whiz to a purée – you may have to push down the sides a couple of times but don’t add any liquid. With a little patience, it will purée nicely. Season to taste. A couple of minutes before the egg timer goes off, prepare the toast.
    7. When the eggs come out, take the foil off and spoon the purée on top. Fork the flaked eel onto the toast, cut into soldiers and off you go.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Lots of wine challenges here. Nothing's perfect, but this classy sauvigion blanc is as good as anything. Wither Hills Sauvignion Blanc 2008 Marlborough, New Zealand. Bin 63810.


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