Fios de ovos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fios de ovos
Fios de ovos.jpg
Fios de ovos bought from a confectionery in Brazil
Alternative names Angel hair
Type Dessert
Place of origin Portugal
Main ingredients Eggs (chiefly yolks), sugar syrup
Cookbook: Fios de ovos  Media: Fios de ovos

Angel hair, called in Portuguese fios de ovos ("egg threads") is a traditional Portuguese sweet food made of eggs (chiefly yolks), drawn into thin strands and boiled in sugar syrup. They are a traditional element in Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine, both in desserts and as side dishes.

The preparation is also known in Spain as huevo hilado ("spun egg"), in Japan as keiran somen (鶏卵素麺, "hen's egg noodle"),[1] in Cambodia as vawee,[2] in Malaysia as jala mas ("golden net"),[3] and in Thailand as foi thong (ฝอยทอง; "golden strands").[4]


Keiran somen in Fukuoka, Japan
Foi thong in Thailand

Like other egg-based Portuguese sweets, fios de ovos is believed to have been created by Portuguese monks and nuns around the 14th or 15th centuries. Laundry was a common service performed by convents and monasteries, and their use of egg whites for "starching" clothes created a large surplus of yolks.[5] The recipe was probably taken to Japan and Thailand by Portuguese explorers between the 16th and 18th centuries.


In Portugal and Brazil, fios-de-ovos are often used in fillings and decorations of cakes and other desserts, or as accompaniments for both sweet and savory dishes. They are often served with canned fruits alongside Christmas turkey.[6][7] In Japan, they are served in the form of dessert rolls (wagashi), and known as keiran sōmen (鶏卵素麺?, egg yolk thin noodles).[1]


Recipes for fios de ovos generally require egg yolks and egg whites in the approximate ratio 12:1. These are beaten together, and forced through a fine strainer several times to remove all solid egg material. The mixture is dropped into simmering sugar syrup (about 2500 g/L) through a special funnel with a narrow opening, which must be moved around so as to keep the strands from touching before they have hardened. The cooking should be done in small batches. The strands must be pushed down into the syrup with a slotted spoon, kept there for about 30 seconds; then they must be removed, immersed into ice water, squeezed lightly, dipped into cold lighter syrup (about 400 g/L), squeezed again, and left to dry.[8]

In Thailand, the hot syrup is often aromatized with rose water or jasmine essence.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kyoto Foodie, Wagashi: Angel Hair Keiran Somen (Fios de Ovos). Accessed on July 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Longteine De Monteiro (1998). The Elephant Walk Cookbook: Cambodian Cuisine from the Nationally Acclaimed Restaurant. Houghton Mifflin. 
  3. ^ It's sweet by any name, [1]. Accessed on May 05, 2014
  4. ^ Bangkok Post Educational Services, "Three tempting Thai delicacies". Accessed on October 29, 2011.
  5. ^ Marina Alves (2008), Dos deuses. Online article, Jornal da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, accessed on July 5, 2009.
  6. ^ Porto Cultura, "Peru de Natal". Accessed on July 8, 2009.
  7. ^ Terra Culinária, "Peru de Natal". Accessed on July 7, 2009.
  8. ^ Antônio Silva (2007), "Doçaria Conventual Portuguesa".
  9. ^ Appon's Thai Food, "Egg Yolk Dessert (Kanom Foy Tong)". Accessed on October 29, 2011.