Crispy edges and the flavor of turmeric take a fried egg to a whole new level. When used as a topper for crunchy toast that’s been layered with creamy avocado and smoked salmon, the result is an easy meal with gourmet appeal and staying power.
Traditionally, we think of eggs as breakfast food. If we reconsider that old paradigm, however, we open up a whole new world of deliciously easy lunches and dinners, too.
In other words, by all means enjoy this recipe for breakfast, but lean on it whenever you need a quick, complete meal that really satisfies.
Over the last few months, I’ve made a habit of keeping a package of smoked salmon in the refrigerator and an avocado or two on hand. Helpful hints: the “sell by” date on smoked salmon is typically several weeks out. Once opened, it will keep for the better part of a week when well wrapped and stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Also, once an avocado is perfectly ripe, it can be refrigerated to prolong its life for a week or so.
Bread and eggs are similarly easy to have on hand, making this quick-to-assemble meal ideal for any time you don’t much feel like cooking but still want an enjoyable meal. Think of it as short-order cooking at its best.
Another tip: freezing bread is a great idea if you don’t go through a loaf quickly. To avoid having to thaw the whole frozen portion (the slices tend to stick tight when frozen), I slip a small piece of parchment or wax paper in between the slices before freezing. Frozen slices are then easy to retrieve and will toast quickly in the toaster or oven with no need to thaw first.
You could absolutely prepare this heartier variation of avocado toast with a standard fried egg－or a minced hard boiled egg as I do in my spring and summer avocado toast. The upgrade that I like to use, however, is a crispy turmeric egg.
The golden spice infuses the olive oil in the skillet and adds memorable flavor. The unique but incredibly simple method of cooking the egg ensures crispy edges.
Interestingly, I got the original idea for what has become a favorite quick-but-special meal in our house from one of the countless “junk” emails we all seem to receive on a daily basis. The email (which I no longer consider junk!) was from the retailer Patagonia. In addition to their lines of clothing and outdoor gear, the company now sells a line of food.
Gastroenterologist Emeran Mayer, author of the best-selling book The Mind-Gut Connection (2016), gave the retailer a similar recipe, noting that he liked the ingredients for what he believes to be an ability to minimize gut inflammation.
The egg, along with the plant-derived fat from the avocado and olive oil, plus the protein from the salmon, give the meal lots of staying power. Essentially an open-faced sandwich, you could use the fork and knife approach, although I pick it up with my hands.
And for my readers who like to know how my husband and sons weigh in on various meals… they love this one! 🧡
If you’d like to see a quick visual of how to prepare the crispy turmeric egg, click on the arrow on the image below.⇩⇩
While I use smoked salmon for this recipe, you could substitute lox, hot smoked, cured, chunks of canned salmon, or even broken-up pieces of leftover grilled or roasted salmon from the previous night’s dinner. The differences among some types of salmon, however, can be confusing.
Varieties of salmon:
With ready-to-eat salmon, one of two cooking processes was likely involved: curing or smoking.
Smoked salmon is a blanket term for any salmon－wild, farmed, fillet, or steak－that has been preserved with hot or cold smoke.
Curing is a process whereby food is preserved in salt (and sometimes additional flavorings or aromatics). With Smoking, the food is exposed to (perhaps obviously!) smoke. A “cold-smoke” for salmon takes place below 85°F, while a “hot-smoke” occurs above it.
So what’s the difference? Cold-smoked salmon is the variety that tends to be sliced very thinly and isn’t crumbly. Cured salmon has a similar texture, but without the smoke flavor. Hot-smoked salmon has a distinctly different texture: it’s meaty and flaky, sort of like cooked salmon. (When I first heard this term, I thought it meant the salmon was spicy!)
Lox－or “belly lox,” which is the technical name－is salmon that has been cured in salt. (Similar to gravlax, which is cured in sugar and salt, no smoke is involved.)
- 1½ teaspoon (7g) extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 large egg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large slice whole-grain or sourdough bread (use GF if needed)*
- ½ a ripe avocado
- 2 ounces smoked salmon**
- Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add the turmeric and let it cook in the oil for a few seconds. (Helpful hint: I use the measuring spoon to stir the turmeric into the oil and then put the spoon directly in the sink. Turmeric stains, so be careful.)
- Crack the in egg the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the egg is cooked to your liking, 2 to 4 minutes, checking occasionally for doneness. (Tip: if your skillet doesn’t have its own lid, use one from another pot. A tight seal isn’t critical here.)
- Meanwhile, toast the bread and then use a fork to mash the avocado in an even layer over top.
- Layer with the salmon, followed by the egg, and enjoy!
*I recently tried a gluten-free sourdough bread made by Simple Kneads, and it was the best I’ve eaten to date. There are three flavor varieties and the texture and taste is excellent.
**You may eyeball the salmon amount－aim for enough to cover the toast in an even layer. “Meatier” hot smoked salmon could be used instead of the lox-like variety (just flake it into small chunks), or you could use leftover salmon from last night’s dinner if you happen to have some on hand.
A few more things…
•The toast is delightful as is, but for an extra hint of fresh flavor if desired, you may sprinkle chopped fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or chives over top.
•Once opened, store smoked salmon in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the bottom shelf), well-wrapped, where it will keep for up to one week.