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Lets talk about skidne æg and smilende æg! Danish dirty eggs and smiling egg recipes for Easter!

danish dirty eggs easter Skidne Æg recipe hyggestyle

Don’t be fooled by the name, Danish “Dirty Eggs” are delicious! While chocolate bunnies and egg hunts might be familiar Easter traditions, Denmark boasts a dish called “Skidne Æg,” which literally translates to “dirty eggs.” Despite the unappetizing name, Skidne Æg are actually hard-boiled eggs served in a delicious mustard sauce; perfect for a lazy breakfast over the long weekend!

A Tradition Steeped in Spring Cleaning

Traditionally, Skidne Æg were enjoyed on “Skidenlørdag” (Dirty Saturday), the Saturday before Easter. This day marked the beginning of spring cleaning, a time to banish the winter grime that had accumulated in homes and to tidy up the house in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday (the “dirty” in the name likely refers to the act of cleaning itself, rather than the eggs’ appearance). Today, Skidne Æg are more commonly served on Easter Sunday alongside an extensive lunch spread known as “Påskefrokost.” This lunch features an array of dishes, including herring, sliced meats, cheeses, and of course, plenty of eggs.

The Art of the “Smiling Egg”

The key to a perfect Skidne Æg lies in the cooking of the eggs themselves. Danes use a special term, “smilende æg,” which translates to “smiling eggs.” These eggs are not quite hard-boiled, but rather cooked to a soft-set stage. The outer layer of the yolk should be slightly firm, while the centre remains soft and runny. This creates a delightful contrast in texture when the egg is sliced and bathed in the creamy mustard sauce.

Ingredients (for 2)

4 rashers of streaky bacon

4 eggs

250ml milk

25g butter

25g plain flour

Wholegrain mustard 

Salt and pepper

Rye bread, to serve

Chives, cress or parsley to garnish

  1. Pop the rashers of bacon under a medium grill and cook until crispy.
  2. To make the mustard sauce, gently melt the butter in a medium pan. Add the flour then slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Continue to whisk while the sauce thickens then add the mustard; not all mustards are created equal, so I tend to start off with two small teaspoons before tasting and adding more if necessary! Season well.
  3. For the perfect smiling eggs, fill a pan with 3cms of cold water and carefully add the eggs. Place the pan on a high heat and bring to the boil; just as the water starts to really bubble and boil, set a timer for 6 minutes. Once the timer pings, remove them with a slotted spoon, run under a cold tap for a few seconds then peel.
  4. To serve, spoon some of the sauce onto a plate and top with the halved eggs. Crumble the crispy bacon and sprinkle over the dish, along with a garnish of chopped herbs.
  5. Rye bread makes a great accompaniment for a late brunch or light lunch (I like it toasted with butter!). 



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