Poached Eggs with Yogurt and Hot Red Pepper Sizzle

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Here’s an unusual and delicious way to serve poached eggs, called cilbir in Turkey. Once you’ve poached your eggs, you set them in hot ceramic dishes to keep them warm, smother them with yogurt and then you devote full attention to preparing the last-minute sizzle of butter and hot red pepper. This sizzle heightens the flavor of the eggs and balances the richness of their garlic-yogurt toppings. Serve with hot toast.


Cooking Methodpoaching



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbreakfast, brunch

Taste and Texturecreamy, hot & spicy, rich, spiced, tangy


  • 6 ounces sheep’s, goat’s, or cow’s milk yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 very fresh eggs at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon Marash or Aleppo pepper
  • Pinch of sweet or hot paprika
  • 2 small cazuelitas, porcelain remekins, or small gratin dishes


Drain the yogurt in a sieve lined with a paper towel for 30 minutes, until thickened.

In a small bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. Add the yogurt and blend well. Set aside at room temperature.

About 20 minutes before serving, put 2 small cazuelitas in a wide saucepan of water to cover. Set over medium heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Carefully transfer the cazuelitas to a doubled kitchen towel to drain. Leave the pot of water on the stove.

Add the vinegar to the water and maintain at a simmer. One by one, break an egg onto a saucer and slip into the water. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and poach the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 2½ minutes.

Carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spatula and place 2 eggs in each warm cazuelita. Top each egg with one-quarter of the garlic yogurt.

Quickly melt the butter in a small conventional saucepan. Add the Marash pepper and paprika and stir; the butter will turn bright red. Drizzle the butter over each serving, leaving the paprika powder and pepper flakes behind in the saucepan. Serve at once.


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