Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Burmese Egg Curry

IMG_20150504_183555One way we're embracing our new life in Thailand is by enjoying the local food.  Seriously, this one is so easy.  Thai food is amazing.  But we've discovered even another new gem - Burmese food.  The population of Mae Sot is 80% Burmese, and some of the foods here are incredible.  The recipes are usually pretty simple, healthy, and bursting with flavor.  There are exceptions, of course, but we've been generally pleased by the culinary pleasures from this country that finds itself nestled between Thailand and India and whose food reflects this geography.

Here is one of our new favorites.  I posted it on Facebook a few weeks ago, but it's worth mentioning again.  This is particularly good with duck eggs, but usually we just use our chicken eggs.  We also substitute rice oil for the peanut oil and often forgo the chiles to make it more kid-friendly.

Serves 4

4 large eggs or extra-large eggs, preferably free-range
1/3 cup peanut oil or unroasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
2 small shallots, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon Red Chile Powder, or to taste
2 medium tomatoes (about ½ pound), finely chopped
2 teaspoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 or 3 green cayenne chiles, seeded and sliced lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each

Place the eggs in a saucepan, add cold water to cover, bring to a boil, and cook at a medium boil for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs and cool in cold water. When the eggs are cool enough to handle peel them.
Heat the oil in a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tumeric and stir to dissolve it. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of water is dropped into it, add the peeled eggs and fry until golden and a little blistered all over: cook on each side in turn, then try to balance the eggs on their ends to cook the tips. Frying the egg is a fun little task, quickly done, and it makes them very attractive. With a slotted spoon, lift the eggs out of the hot oil and onto a plate. Cut them lengthwise in half and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil (the oil can be used again for stir-frying). Heat the oil remaining in the pan over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic, and fry briefly, until translucent. 

Add the chile powder and tomatoes and, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, cook at a strong simmer until the tomatoes have broken down into a softened mass, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the fish sauce and salt, then taste and adjust the seasoning if you wish. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the chile strips, and stir. Place the eggs cut side down in the sauce and cook until the oil sizzles, about 3 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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