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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Burmese Golden Egg Curry

Burma: Rivers of Flavor is not just a cookbook, but an adventure to live through.  It's probably the only cookbook I'm reading cover to cover and not just skimming through recipes.  Naomi Duguid explains the way of life in different parts of Myanmar and explains how culture and tradition affects what's on your plate.  It is a pleasure to follow this Golden Egg Curry recipe I've been waiting to try for some time now.  The light frying of the hard boiled eggs does give it an attractive look and also a nice depth in texture.  The last time I tried this method, I didn't find that the results were worth the effort, but this time... in sesame oil with turmeric...how can you go wrong?
So.. compared to the picture in the book, it looks about right, doesn't it?
Here is the recipe as it is in the book.  I followed it precisely and I'm glad I did because it doesn't need any tweaking whatsoever.
from p. 122
Ingredients:
4 large eggs (I used 5) hard boiled and peeled
1/3 cup peanut oil or unroasted sesame oil (I used less)
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 (I omitted)
2 or 3 green cayenne chiles, seeded and sliced lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each (I used one large Moroccan chili sliced thinly)
Directions:
1.  Heat the oil in a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric 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.
2.  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. 3.  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.
4.  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.

I served mine with bulgur, topped it with scallions and a touch of Sriracha sauce.
Needless to say, I'll be making this again, maybe as a side dish with another veg dish and salad out of the book.  I love the way things come together in south asia.
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