Burmese egg curry is a beautiful way to present eggs. First they're boiled, then peeled and fried in medium-hot oil tinged with turmeric. Then they're cut in half and added to a light, tomato-based sauce that's mildly chile hot. Serve with rice or bread and a crisp salad.
This recipe is adapted from Naomi Duguid's "Burma: Rivers of Flavor" (Artisan, 2012).
4 large eggs
1/3 cup peanut oil or unroasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
2 small shallots, minced
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 pound) finely chopped
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 or 3 green cayenne chilies, seeded and sliced lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each
Place eggs in a saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil and cook at a medium boil for 8 minutes. Drain and cool the eggs in cold water. When cool, peel them.
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 a drop of water, add the peeled eggs and fry until golden and a little blistered all over, including their tips. This makes the eggs very attractive. With a slotted spoon, lift the eggs out of the hot oil and onto a plate. Cut them in half lengthwise and set aside.
Pour off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil. Heat the remaining oil over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic, and fry briefly until translucent. Add the chili powder and chopped tomatoes and stir 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. Raise the heat to medium high, add the chili 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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