Ful Medames – Egyptian Fava Bean Recipe

Egyptian Entree

(fava beans)


6 eggs
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 tomato
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 16 ounce cans fava beans
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)


Boil water. (Hard to do on Mount Everest.) Put eggs in boiling water and cook for 6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs and 12 minutes for hard-boiled ones. Remove eggs.

While water boils and eggs cook, mince garlic and onion. Dice tomato. Add garlic, onion, and sesame oil to pot. Sauté on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until onion softens or starts to brown. Stir frequently.

Drain cans of fava beans. Add fava beans, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cook on low-to-medium heat for 10-to-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While fava bean/spice mix simmers, remove eggs from shells. Slice each egg into four slices. Pour fava bean/spice mix into bowls and top with egg slices.

Makes 4-to-6 bowls.

Do not do what the song suggests and walk like an Egyptian when serving hot ful medames to guests and family.


1) On May 29, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first people to successfully climb Mount Everest.

2) I read Norgay’s book about the climb in 5th grade. I remember them being happy and having a strong sense of accomplishment, but recall nothing about boiling eggs on the summit.

3) Indeed, I have been unable to find anything that suggests anyone has made any attempt to hard-boil eggs at the summit of Mount Everest. Apparently, everyone is too busy getting up there to even care about making culinary history with even this most modest of dishes.

4) This failure is despite the fact that oodles of people make the climb every day.

5) So many people go up Mount Everest there is a rescue helicopter designed specially to remove injured or debilitated climbers to hospitals. The chopper is kept busy.

6) If they can design a helicopter for this worthy mountain, why the heck can’t someone take the time to boil an egg at the peak?

7) We can calculate, though, how much time it should take to boil an egg there given what we know about air pressure at that altitude. A soft-boiled egg should take 20 minutes. A hard-boiled one should take 35 minutes.

8) Water should boil at the top at 66 degrees Celsius instead of the 100 degrees it needs at sea level.

9) So when someone says he’s boiling mad atop Mount Everest, it doesn’t mean much.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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