Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Son-in-law Eggs (Kai Look Koei)

Cookbook Challenge Week 12 Egg

Book: The Food of Thailand: a Journey for Food Lovers by Oi Cheepchaiisara Theme: Egg Recipe: Son-in-law Eggs

I am so behind! I was meant to have posted this by 1-Feb-2010 but better late than never (although my year 11 English teacher Mr. Cadman used to say ‘better never late’ to my late homework excuses). So the famous son-in-law eggs. Well, I don’t know how famous it is really. This isn’t a dish found in your typical Thai restaurants in Melbourne but it seems like the dish is well known enough among the foodies.

There are a couple of popular stories of why this dish is so called son-in-law egg. My favourite one includes the dish being made by a new mother-in-law as a warning to her son-in-law (‘egg’ being the Thai slang equivalent of ‘balls’) – a kind of ‘treat my daughter badly and this is what your balls will look like’ scenario. Alternative but more boring version is that it’s such an easy dish but impressive dish that a son-in-law made to impress his in-laws.

Strangely enough I have done some research and I have yet to find the first story being told in Thai (although many versions of the second one – again, how boring). I have also noticed two seperate trends of bastardising this dish (neither of which I approve. Okay, do I say this way too often?) one is the introduction of minced pork into the mix (bleugh) and another is the introduction of fresh chilli rather than dried (meh). The second trend, I suspect purely because fresh red chilli is just prettier to stylise and so everyone thought it’s the right way to do it. No. Wrong.

Ah, let’s just get on with the recipe. Shall we? For god’s sake, it’s only a Cookbook Challenge. One that’s about 8 months late.

Deep-fried Eggs

  1. 4 duck eggs (you can use chicken eggs but duck eggs are the traditional choice)
  2. oil for frying

Place eggs in cold water and bring to boil. Once the water is boiling, time for 6 minutes for almost-hard-boiled eggs. Shell the eggs. Heat up some oil in a round-bottom wok and fry eggs, turning until golden brown all over. Set side.

Deep-fried shallots and dried chilli topping

  1. 15 Asian shallots, very thinly sliced
  2. 4-5 dried chillis
  3. oil for frying (same oil as above)

Add the shallots to hot oil and fry on medium heat until lightly brown (ignored the picture, I screwed that one up). Remove and place on paper towel to remove excess oil. Don’t be lazy and buy pre-fried shallots from your Asian grocer please! Those are for Malaysian dishes. They are too crispy for this dish. Fry the chillis for less than minute or so in medium hot oil. Be careful though, nothing is worse than burned chilli (can I remind you of this story?)

Tamarind Sauce

  1. 3 tbsp tamarind paste (my local Safeway stocks this in their Asian aisle or your Asian grocer will)
  2. 2 tbsp fish sauce (substitute this with soy sauce and I will hunt you down, baby)
  3. 5 tbsp palm sugar
  4. 1 tbsp of the already deep-fried shallots (from above)

Stir the tamarind paste, fish sauce and sugar together over medium heat to dissolve. Bring to boil, add the shallots and simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat.

Putting it all together: halve the eggs, top with the tamarind sauce, sprinkle with the deep fried chilli and shallots and finish with fresh coriander.

This time last year I made:Spaghetti con vongole (spaghetti with clam sauce)