Detective Pikachu is coming, folks. I know I’ve already harped on my excitement for this cinematic love letter to nineties kids worldwide. But every time I see a new trailer I feel nothing but joy and exhilaration. This film appears to manifest the world of Pokémon we wanted as kids and can imagine as adults.
So in anticipation of the film, I’ve made a series of “Starters’ Starters” — appetizers inspired by starter Pokémon. Two weeks ago I posted up recipes for First-Gen Crostini inspired by Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. This week I’m finishing out the month in the Johto region with some Cyndaquil-inspired Deviled Eggs.
Click here to skip to the recipe for Cyndaquil Deviled Eggs.
Cyndaquil, The Fire-Mouse
If you remember the previous times I’ve covered Pokémon on this blog, Paras, Pidgey, and even the delicious Farfetch’d, I’m now back to my old habit of cooking these creatures. Like I’ve said, some people see them as adorable animals who repeat their name–which I do. But I also see them as delectable morsels housed inside of hyper-dimensional bento balls.
What can I say? I’m an opportunist. Where was I? Oh yes.
The Cyndaquil is the starter fire Pokémon from the 2nd gen series — residing in the Johto region of the game. The Pokedex in the animated series describes it as “normally mild and even-tempered” and that it “will shoot, a scorching flame out of its back when upset.” This little scorcher loves long walks in the woods and warm hugs.
So what recipe could my sadistic mind possibly think of using this squishy, sentient BBQ lighter? Since a Cyndaquil egg is also a plot point in the anime series, I decided it was a lot easier to hunt down than an actual flame-spewing echidna.
A Taste of the Johto Region
As I said earlier, Cyndaquil hails from the Johto region — which is supposed to mirror Japan’s Kansai region. Home to Kyoto, the nation’s former capital, and geek paradise, Osaka, this region was also known as “Japan’s Kitchen” in the Edo period for its fantastic food. Iconic dishes from the Kansai region include Takoyaki (battered and fried octopus), Okonomiyaki (a savory cabbage pancake topped with pickled ginger), and curry.
With this in mind, I chose to incorporate Japanese style curry into my egg yolk filling, and top it with a “flame” of red pickled ginger.
Since Cyndaquil is more of a smolder than an inferno, being a baby Pokémon, I wanted to incorporate some smoke flavor into this dish. That’s why I chose to use lapsang souchong, a Chinese smoked tea, to marinate my eggs and give it some cool veining.
With these flavors together, this dish is an even more comforting blend of Japanese and American comfort food– creamy, smoky, and spicy. It’s like a warm hug from a friend after battling Team Rocket….while wearing protective gloves. I’m looking at you, Ash Ketchum.
Sing for Your Supper
If you plan to cook the recipe off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I now have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.
The printable recipe card and playlist for Cyndaquil Deviled Eggs will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, at 8 pm EST.
You can join my Patreon community at the “Sing for Your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. Patrons of all reward tiers will even receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January to get you started.
All Fired Up
Cyndaquil Deviled Eggs
Equipment: Small saucepan, medium saucepan with lid, stovetop, tea strainer, quart-size ziplock bag, pastry bag with a star tip, microwave, blender or food processor.
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lapsang souchong tea
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise pod
- 2 hot Japanese curry cubes
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of pickled red ginger
- ice cubes
- Place eggs in the medium saucepan and cover with water. Let come to room temperature over 15 minutes.
- Pour the rice vinegar and one cup of water into the small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, and tea in a tea strainer, then bring to a simmer over a medium flame on the stovetop. Let cook for 8 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Bring the pan with the eggs to a full boil on the stovetop, cover, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 12 minutes.
- Drain the pan and run cold water multiple times over the eggs. Fill the pot with ice and water, and then let sit until thoroughly cooled.
- Drain the pan again and then shake vigorously to crack the shells. Transfer the eggs to the ziplock bag. Remove the cinnamon and star anise from the tea and discard. Pour the tea into the bag, seal, and refrigerate overnight, flipping it to the other side halfway through.
- The following day, remove the eggs from the bag and remove the shells. Slice the eggs lengthwise and pop out the yolks.
- Pour half of the tea into a small dish and add the curry cubes. Microwave for 30 seconds on high, stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until the cubes are dissolved then transfer the paste, egg yolks, and mayonnaise to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Transfer the yolk mixture to a pastry bag and pipe it into the egg whites. Rinse the ginger under water to remove the excess salt, then garnish the top of each egg. Serve.