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Khai Luk Koei - Son in Law Eggs

thai curry

One of my favourite dishes in Thailand is 'khai luuk kheuy' or "son in law eggs". You can find them at bus stations and other street kitchens around the country. Deep fried eggs are topped with a simple sweet tamarind sauce and crispy shallots. The story behind the name of the dish is as follows: “A mother-in-law will cook these for her son-in-law if she thinks he is being unkind to her daughter. It will remind him that his family jewels could well end up fried on a plate if he doesn’t clean up his act.".

When you eat at these street side places you pick 3 or 4 different things on a plate with rice. I always make sure to get "son in law eggs" and a coconut curry dish, and mix them together. The creamy coconut sauce and the crispy eggs go great together, so when I make this dish for people, I use a red curry coconut sauce instead of the traditional tamarind one.

The dish is very easy to make. Soft boil some eggs, peel them and pat dry. Deep fry the eggs in a couple of centimeters of hot vegetable oil until the outer white browns and expands into a crisp honeycomb texture. Place on a serving dish, spoon on some Thai coconut curry sauce, chopped peanuts and shallots. When you break into them the yolk  should still be a bit runny and enrich the sauce.

Here is my recipe for
Red Curry Coconut Sauce:
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. Take half the coconut milk and reduce it in a pan until it splits into oil
  2. Fry the curry paste and lemongrass in the oil for a minute
  3. Add the rest of the coconut milk and remaining ingredients
  4. reduce again until a creamy consistency

Thai curry
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Cà Phê Chồn - Weasel Coffee

weasel coffee, kopi luwak,Cà Phê Chồn
We got a special gift at work recently from Vietnam. A pound of "weasel coffee" or cà phê Chồn. Known as  Kopi Luwak in Indonesia, it is considered the most expensive coffee in the world.

weasel coffee, kopi luwak,Cà Phê Chồn
Basically Asian Palm Civets (pictured above) eat the whole coffee berries. During the digestive process enzymes get into the beans and change their characteristics. The beans pass through the civet and are harvested from it's dung. The beans are then cleaned and roasted to create this rare coffee.

weasel coffee, kopi luwak,Cà Phê Chồn, Vietnam
Cà phê chồn serverd Laos style over condensed milk
We brewed up a batch and everyone agreed, it had a great aroma and a smooth chocolate flavour. There was no bitterness and it tasted very rich. I drank mine Laotian style, poured over condensed milk, making sure to have a couple of sips before mixing.

I don't know what it is about the Asian Palm Civet that humans find so intoxicating, but the civets scent glands were also originally used to produce one of the world's most popular perfumes Chanel No. 5

Here is an interesting video about it's production process in Sumatra, which is the worlds largest producer of the bean.

These beans cost over 150 dollars a pound,  or you can  occasionally buy a cup at Manic Coffee on College street in Toronto for 15.00

weasel coffee, kopi luwak,Cà Phê Chồn
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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

spaghetti cacio e pepe recipe

I noticed it was National Spaghetti Day in the U.S., so I decided to make my favourite spaghetti dish.
Cacio e pepe is a traditional Roman dish that I used to serve at Giovanna Trattoria. It is very simple so the key to great taste comes from using quality ingredients. Pecorino Romano is the most important ingredient, a hard sheep's milk cheese that has a strong and salty flavour. Buy it in a whole piece and grate it yourself. Cream together equal parts of the fresh grated cheese, butter, extra virgin olive oil, and lots of fresh cracked pepper.

spaghetti cacio e pepe recipe

Cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente. This is important with this dish so the pasta doesn't get sticky. Fold the hot spaghetti into the cheese mixture with 1 tbsp of cooking water and serve immediately.
Have extra pecorino, pepper and olive oil at the table to garnish to taste.

spaghetti cacio e pepe recipe
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