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One French word: oeuf, a French recipe: oeufs mimosa

Œuf : masculine noun (un œuf, l’œuf, des œufs) = egg, pronounced in the singular like the “ough” part of enough, like euh in the plural (euh…what did I want to say, euh… hesitation (maybe you’d write this err…). When you say un œuf, you run the n of un into the œuf, so it’s like enough, but just without the e.

Is this getting complicated?

Qui vole un œuf, vole un bœuf (literally he who steals an egg, steals an ox), in other words stealing is stealing, whether it be a large or small thing you are taking.

On ne fait pas d’omelette sans casser des œufs (literally you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs), an expression for collateral damage.

My recipe for today is œufs mimosa, a starter which is nicer and a little more complex than the standard œuf mayonnaise you find on a lot of typical café type menus. You should count three to four egg halves per person.


Oeuf mimosa

You will need, for 4 people :

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • A small can of tuna (miettes de thon)  or crab (crabe) (classier but more expensive)
  • 3 tbs home made mayonnaise
  • Parsley, tabasco, a few salad leaves

A word about hard boiling eggs: use eggs you have had for a few days, not the freshest ones. It is much easier to shell (écaler) slightly older eggs. And don’t cook them for too long or the yolks go black around the edges, most unattractive. Put them in cold water, bring to the boil and then boil for 5 to 6 minutes.


  1. Shell the hard boiled eggs (œufs durs) and cut them in half lengthways. Lay the whites out on a serving dish on top of lettuce leaves, roquette or spinach, and put the yolks in a bowl.
  2. Drain the fish, break it up a bit if it is tuna, pick through to remove any cartilage if you are using crab.  Mix 3/4 fish, 1/4 mayonnaise. Add tabasco to taste. The mixture should be onctueux (unctuous, rich and creamy) but not sloppy.
  3. Fill the egg white halves with mounded spoonfuls of this mixture.
  4. Mash up the egg yolks with a fork. You don’t want a paste, but rather little bobbles like mimosa flowers, hence the name.
  5. Sprinkle the yolk over the filled egg white halves, to cover, and overflow onto the serving plate. Add a little chopped parsley if you wish.

This dish should be prepared the day you want to eat it, only a couple of hours at most before serving, otherwise the mayonnaise will start to oxydise and the egg yolk will dry and not be attractive at all. It is a good inexpensive dish to prepare for a buffet.

Bon appétit.


About OneFrenchWord

I was a professional linguist and have been a life-long foodie. I am now lucky enough to be retired and free to roam the beaches around my home at the tip of the Finistère (Brittany, France). Writing is occupying a larger place in my life, with this blog and a children's book in preparation. I shall feel much happier calling myself a writer when I have published a book. And so posts on OneFrenchWord will be published first as an e-book, my ambition being to see a glossy volume on French language and cuisine in print some day. So keep reading, and snap up the book when it appears!

5 responses »

  1. Love the name of the dish, oeuf mimosa, and also the photo, like mimosa flowers (except I don’t really know what they look like!)

    Are you getting my comments in your email box? I don’t know why you did not get mine in your email box. Still learning wordpress.

  2. My mother used to make this dish. Haven’t had it for years. I think I need to give it a go! Thanks for reminding me.

  3. marshmallowfluffxo

    this does sound good and also not overly difficult. I liked learning that I shouldn’t boil the eggs too long. I never knew that.

  4. I make this dish all the time, and I love it.. but you’ve inspired me for using the tabasco, which I can imagine will make it even better. Awesome, thanks!


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