So dear friends...I've been keeping a little secret from you. Please excuse me for this, but I just wanted to be mum about it until everything was all official. But now that is, I'm pleased to announce that...we are leaving Paris! Yes, you read right, we'll soon be moving out of the wondrous "City of Lights" that I've called home for almost 6 years and Luis for 18 years. And where will we be going, you're probably asking? Today's recipe - a fun and delicious Thai dish called "son-in-law" eggs - should give you a pretty strong hint! If not, this might. Or this. So can you guess? Well you've probably figured it out...we're moving to Thailand!
Why is this happening, you might be wondering. Well to make a long story short, we both fell in love with Thailand during our visit there last year. This coupled with a newfound desire to work in Asia (which is my home continent after all) after years of working in different parts of Africa and Europe led me to apply for a new job with our regional office in Bangkok. And as luck would have it, it worked out! Yay!
To say that we're excited would be an understatement. The idea of trading in our winter coats and scarves for shorts and sandals, being immersed in one of the most amazing food cultures and food cities in the world and the opportunity to easily travel around Asia - it is really too exciting for words, and we feel very blessed! At the same time though, we'd be lying if we said that we're not sad at the idea of leaving Paris. Though I've generally had a love-
But enough waxing nostalgic about Paris...as there will be several posts on that topic coming up as we prepare to leave! No this is all about our future home Thailand...and in honor of that, I have the pleasure of sharing the recipe for a very interesting dish called "son-in-law" eggs. We didn't have it while there last year, but I happened to come across the recipe in my fabulous and gorgeous Thai cookbook called Thai Food and Cooking: A Fiery and Exotic Cuisine: The Traditions, Techniques, Ingredients and Recipes by Judy Bastyra and Becky Johnson, which I picked up while leaving Bangkok. Legend has it that a potential bridegroom wanted so desperately to impress his future mother-in-law that he decided to cook for her. Alas, the only dish he knew how to make was boiled eggs, but he was creative enough to come up with this delicious recipe using just that. I have no idea whether this story has any basis in fact, but I do know that these crispy fried eggs topped with a tangy, sweet, spicy sauce are insanely delicious! Both Luis and I actually agreed that they are actually the best eggs that we've ever had!
I ended up using and adapting this easy version of "son-in-law" eggs from Rasa Malaysia, one of my favorite food blogs. I totally forgot the fried shallot topping but will try it next time as I'm sure that it adds a wonderful crunch. Or maybe I'll just wait until we get to Thailand (end of January 2012) to try the real thing!
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Serves 2-3 as a snack/salad
4 large eggs
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
2 big shallots, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 generous teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons tamarind paste
2 tablespoons palm or brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce and/or soy sauce
Fresh coriander and scallions, for garnish
Chopped Thai red chillies, for garnish
1. Hard-boil the eggs for 8-10 minutes. Peel and set aside.
2. Heat enough oil to deep fry the four eggs in a shallow pan. Fry the eggs, turning so that they turn golden brown and crispy on all sides. Be careful doing this!
3. Remove the fried eggs from the oil and place on a small plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. In the same pan, deep fry the shallots. When they are golden and crispy, place them in a small bowl lined with paper towels.
4. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, cut each egg in half to form eight halves. Arrange on a plate.
5. In a small saucepan, heat a bit of oil. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and do a quick saute.
6. Add the tamarind paste, sugar and fish sauce/soy sauce. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
7. Pour the sauce over the eggs and garnish with the fried shallots, fresh coriander and scallions and slices of red chillies. Serve immediately or cool down to room temperature and eat as a salad.