Ovos Verdes: The Deep Fried Portuguese Eggs You Need To Try

If you haven't heard of ovos verdes before, today is the day to change that, and maybe go make some yourself. This Portuguese dish, whose name means "green eggs," is similar to a delicious hybrid of deviled eggs and Scotch eggs, but it also has unique flavors and qualities of its own.

Ovos verdes are reminiscent of classic deviled eggs, because the eggs are hard-boiled, the yolks are scooped out and mashed with seasonings, and then they're scooped back into the whites. The dish is also reminiscent of Scotch eggs, because the hard-boiled eggs are then dredged in batter and deep-fried. However, unlike deviled eggs, there's no mayo involved, and unlike Scotch eggs, there's no meat included, either. The main source of ovos verdes' flavor (and color) is fresh parsley. These simple and tasty bite-sized eggs are great as a part of breakfast, as an appetizer, or as a side to a larger main dish.

What are the ingredients in ovos verdes?

It may sound a little complicated to hard-boil eggs, stuff them, and then deep-fry them all for one dish. Sure, ovos verdes require a few steps to make, but in terms of ingredients, the dish is actually fairly simple to put together.

Aside from the obvious main ingredient of eggs, the real star of the show is parsley, which gives the eggs their herbal flavor and titular green color. In the dish's traditional form, the egg yolk stuffing is made with parsley, onions, salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil and white wine vinegar.

Some recipes include canned tuna in the egg yolk stuffing, and sometimes the dish is served with a mayonnaise-based dipping sauce that's spiced with piri piri or hot sauce. In its most basic form, though, all you need is flour, an optional egg wash, breadcrumbs, and a high-smoke-point frying oil to batter and fry the stuffed eggs to perfection.

More Portuguese egg dishes to try

Eggs are found in countless dishes in Portuguese cuisine, from savory main dishes to sweet desserts. The Portuguese mostly eat eggs as snacks or appetizers throughout the day, or in main meals, rather than for breakfast like Americans do. For example, bacalhau à brás is a dish made with eggs, shredded cod, sauteed onions, and fried potato sticks. The dish ervilhas com ovos escalfados is like a Portuguese version of shakshuka, made with poached eggs in a tomato-based sauce along with peas and chorizo.

If it's a sweet treat you're after, pudim Abade de Priscos is a sweet and savory egg yolk pudding that's made with sugar, bacon, lemon zest, port wine, and caramel. On the other hand, pudim molotof is a spongey pudding made not from egg yolks, but egg whites, which is also covered in caramel. One of the most popular desserts in the country is pastéis de nata, a delicious custard tart made with egg yolks, sugar, and cinnamon.