This Thai son-in-law eggs recipe makes kai look keuy, crispy fried soft-boiled eggs drizzled in a sweet tamarind sauce and sprinkled with fresh fragrant coriander, spicy dried chillies, and crunchy fried shallots and garlic. Eat them on their own as a light breakfast or snack, or as the Thais do with steamed rice to make a meal out of them.
Our Thai son-in-law eggs recipe for kai look keuy makes golden-brown fried soft-boiled eggs with an ever-so-slightly crispy skin. They’re drizzled in a sweet and sour homemade tamarind sauce (although you could be very generous with the sauce and drown the things in it if you like) and sprinkled with fresh coriander (cilantro), spicy dried chillies, and crunchy fried shallots and crunchy fried garlic.
This is the next eggs recipe in our re-launched decade-old series of Weekend Eggs recipes of breakfast eggs dishes from around the world, which we’re posting every Friday. The first, which we published last week, was the Calabrian iteration of a Southern Italian dish called Eggs in Purgatory featuring the Calabrian specialty d’nduja.
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Now let me tell you about this recipe for Thai son-in-law eggs or kai look keuy.
Thai Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe for Fried Boiled Eggs with Sweet Tamarind Sauce
This Thai son-in-law eggs recipe makes a popular snack in Thailand, where they’re eaten with steamed rice – and our Thai friends tell us they have fond memories of their mums and grandmas making these for them as an after-school snack when they were kids. These are a close cousin to the variety of Chinese eggs called ‘tiger skin eggs’ (虎皮蛋), cooked and fried with the same technique.
You can also eat your son-in-law eggs as a snack on their own or with rice, or as one dish of an array of Thai dishes if you’re cooking up a Thai feast, however, we reckon these make a fantastic weekend breakfast or brunch, and if it’s Sunday you can wash them down with a glass of bubbly.
Tips to Making This Thai Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe
Just a few tips for this Thai son-in-law eggs recipe. It is important to make the eggs soft-boiled. Use our recipe for perfect boiled eggs here. We need the egg whites to be firm enough not to break or fall apart, but we still want soft yolks, so around 5 1/2 to 6 minutes is perfect.
It’s also important to use a high smoke point oil, such as rice bran oil as 190˚C is close to smoke point for some oils. Note that the reason we’re deep-frying at such a high temperature is to make the surface of the eggs golden brown while keeping the yolks soft.
While you can make fried shallots and garlic, this is one kitchen task that I very rarely get right. I either have the oil too low a temperature and the shallots and garlic never crisp or I leave them in too long and they turn out a little bitter. We buy jars of them from our local market, but you can get fried shallots and fried garlic on Amazon.
We can get fresh tamarind all year around, so we make a paste from it by soaking the tamarind in hot water and squeezing it. However we know that it is not available fresh everywhere, so try your local Chinese or Asian grocer for tamarind paste.
When it comes to fish sauce, we recommend the Thai fish sauce, Megachef for its reliability and availability as much as its quality.
There are many recipes for this dish out there that add all kinds of ingredients to the sauce, such as ginger, galangal, lemongrass, and shallots. We recommend following this more traditional Thai son-in-law eggs recipe before experimenting with those ingredients so you can try the classic sweet and salty tamarind sauce before you play around with it.
To turn this into a really filling breakfast, most Thai people serve this with steamed jasmine rice.
Thai Son-in-Law Eggs Recipe
- 2 tbsp tamarind juice
- 2 tbsp palm sugar
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup neutral vegetable oil or rice bran oil
- fried shallots
- fried garlic
- Dried chilies - optional
- Coriander leaves
- Boil the eggs using this method. We want soft-boiled eggs, so set them for 6 minutes. Carefully peel and dry the eggs ready to be deep-fried.
- To make the sauce, add the palm sugar, tamarind, water and fish sauce to a saucepan. Simmer until the palm sugar has dissolved and the sauce is thickened slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning, it should be sweet and salty. Keep warm.
- To deep fry the eggs, use a small, tall saucepan and add enough oil to a depth to cover half of an egg. Turn the heat up to reach a temperature of 190°C (375°F). Have a plate lined with kitchen paper ready for the deep-fried eggs.
- Using tongs, place the eggs carefully into the pan and fry one side at a time. We want the colour to be a light golden brown. Roll the eggs over when one side is done, roughly one minute.
- Carefully take out the eggs and place on the plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Have a serving plate ready, as well as the condiments.
- Using a very sharp knife, halve the eggs and place on the serving plate. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle over the fried shallots and fried garlic. Garnish with the chillis and coriander.
- To make a filling meal out of this, serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Please do let us know if you make our Thai son-in-law eggs recipe for kai look keuy as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.