Thursday, October 15, 2009


What makes this dish unique from other egg dishes is that the egg is not just simply boiled and then thrown into a sambal or a sauce or a dip. It is boiled. Hard boiled. Peeled and then deep fried whole until the surface of the whole egg is golden brown and blistered.

The Thais have a dish quite similar to this where the egg is also deep fried to a golden blister. And they call this Son-in-law eggs. And "it is interesting to speculate from the grins of the Thais that it has something to do with a mother in law who doesn't have a very high opinion of her son in law.!" (Excerpt from Thai Cooking by Jennifer Brennan).

Now, this was the very first dish that I cooked when I visited my daughter and son in law in the US a couple of years ago (without hub). In fact I cooked this dish quite regularly when I stayed with them. In fact I cooked it so regularly that I would be surprised if my son in law did have a very high opinion of me or of my cooking.

I did so because my daughter had a ready bottle of homemade ground dried chillie paste in the refrigerator. I did it because I could boil eggs blind folded. I did it because it was my chance to eat really spicy food for a month without having to cook a separate dish for hub. And I did it because eggs do not need to be chopped, minced, fiddled with or skinned. In fact it need not even be fried into a golden blister if the fancy does not strike you. It just needs to be boiled. Hard boiled that is.

Because what makes this dish really really lovely is the sambal. In fact to a South East Asian being what makes any dish really scrumptious is the sambal. Period.

You could throw anything into a sambal....deep fried chicken, prawns, deep fried fish, deep fried brinjals or eggplants, squid, thin slices of deep fried beef, deep fried tempe, deep fried crispy anchovies, deep fried anything and it's heaven sent and good to go.

All that is needed to complete the meal is a plate of white steaming and freshly cooked rice. A big white and pristine mound of it.

And the rest they say is.............burp.....oops ...scoosh me

The recipe...........................

5 eggs, boiled, cooled and skinned
2 medium red onions or 6 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 or 3 cloves garlic
6 fresh red chiilies, seeded if you prefer it mild, which defeats the whole purpose of a sambal by the way.
2 teaspoons of ready ground chillie paste in a bottle
1/2 inch piece of belacan or shrimp paste
1 teaspoon of tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup water and juice squeezed out

cooking oil

Dry the boiled and peeled eggs thoroughly. Heat up a wok and pour enough oil into it to deep fry the eggs. When the oil is hot drop the eggs in gently one at a time and deep fry them until the surface is blistered and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a kitchen towel to drain of excess oil.

Pound the sliced onions or shallots, garlic together with the fresh large red chillies in a pestle and mortar until it becomes a coarse paste. Add the belacan and pound a little more. Keep aside.

Strain the tamarind juice and keep aside.

Take away some of the oil from the wok that was used for deep frying the eggs leaving about 4 tablespoons.

Heat up the oil again a little and then saute the pounded chillie and onion mixture. Add in the chillie paste almost immediately and saute until fragrant and the sambal turns a darker red and the oil rises to the top. Probably about 6 or 7 minutes. Pour in the tamamrind juice, add salt to taste and a pinch or two of sugar. Let it come ot a boil and then a slow simmer until the sauce is reduced to a wet, thick paste.

At this point you can throw in the eggs, whole, and mix to combine and cover the eggs completely with sambal of if you prefer slice the eggs in half and place on top of the sambal in a serving dish. Personally I would have preferred it the first way but because I wanted it to look a little pretty to be photographed I halved the eggs.



nuhaafnan said...

yummy, i'd kill for a good sambal right now!

Nadia said...

I still remember you making this when I visited Malaysia 2002 tho...and ever since, I always made this the way you did,,tho I don't always have fresh chilli to have it cooked the way you made it.and the kids LOVE this too...if they ever complained about eating spicy food, they don't when it comes to 'Pedas eggs' or 'Pedas Eggplants' LOL....sakinah even offerd to make the "pedas eggplants" herself bec i was too tired to make it, but they wanted it so badly. LOL so nura baked the sliced and salted eggplant (instead of frying them) and sakinah made the rest,tho I still had to blend the sambal stuff for her...and then we had a friend over and she loved it! lol
but yes I love how you set it up for the photo shoot LOL nice models those egg halves LOL

La Table De Nana said...

I love that I learn something new every day! Great shots:)

Anonymous said...

ahhh! these look delicious!
i just saw son-in-law eggs on little teochew's too.
haha, before these blog entries, i never heard of them.
did i mention they look delicious?

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Zu, you are my kindred spirit! My jaw dropped when I saw this. I just made a very, very similar dish! I love all kinds of eggs, but whenever I am buying food from the Malay stall, of all types of egg dishes available, I will always choose this sambal egg ;) Yummy yum!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

just saw son-in-law eggs in The Little Teochew house, and see your sambal egg again, very high cholestrol ler, hehehe..I love sambal egg as well..

Errin said...

This looks soooo good. I remember seeing the son-in-law egg recipe awhile back and you have renewed my energy for giving it a try!

Faida said...

I know this is nice and tasty and appetizing, except for the name LOL!This is also good for picnic (I mean the dish).

Elin Chia said...

Hi Zurin....any Malaysians will love this egg with the sambal. My kids just love it. Thanks for the recipe...I love Malay dishes for I have worked with my Malay colleagues for 2 over decades :) how not to like the Malay dishes :p

Zurin said...

Anne, :))

Juli, Sakinah and Nura can open a restaurant one day :)))I remember I cooked that so often in Ohio that they finally asked for something else LOLOLOL

Monique, tq, :)))

Felicia, tq :)))

Ju, these are my fave too. Perhaps we are ..we have the same tastes ..buds for sure:))

Sonia, yes high cholesterol. can u believe I only eat the white part of the egg:))

Errin, tq for visiting. I went over to ur blog but I cldnt leave a comment for some reason. Hope u try the Son in law agg! :)

Faida, :)) oh yes lovely for picnics!

Elin, 1 Malaysia! heh

Anonymous said...

I've always had sambal telur with boiled eggs, but never thought of frying them first! I should try that the next time; thank you for the idea! :)

Gladys Kock said...

My hubby love sambal head over heels. He frequent the Malay stalls for nasi lemak with sambal egg every working day. This blog entry gives me inspiration to make my own. Thanks for sharing!

Quinn said...

I like your blog a lot. I'm now officially stalking you by following your blog. Keep the post coming!

Anonymous said...

Your beautiful egg sambal made me want to try cooking this when i go home today. By the way, where can i find chillie paste in a bottle. Is there a certain brand that i have to looked out for. Thanks.


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