Anglo-Thai Chef’s Simple Recipe for Spicy Fried-Egg Salad at Home

Chef John Chantarasak grew up in the U.K. with his British mother and Thai father. He well remembers annual childhood visits to the family home in Bangkok, where he came to love spicy dishes cooked with the freshest of ingredients.

He later moved to Thailand and studied cooking atLe Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School before working in restaurants, including the fine-dining Thai establishment Nahm under chef David Thompson. John was sous chef at Som Saa in London before creating AngloThai — a roving pop-up restaurant — with his wife Desiree. (He’s currentlyin residency at Newcomer Wines in Dalston.)

For Bloomberg, he has supplied a recipe for yum khai dao,  fried-egg salad with celery leaf and sweet-spicy-tart dressing.

“The Thais love eggs and this dish is very popular at homes in Thailand, though you don’t see it so much on restaurant menus,” he says. “This is a loose rendition of one we eat in our family. I think it’s appropriate for the U.K, where you often get big salads, but this is light and fresh and herbal, with sweet, spicy, salty and sour flavors.” The recipe serves two as a side dish and one as a meal.

I found the recipe very straightforward and I loved the taste and the contrasting textures. If I were to attempt it again, I would probably reduce the sugar a bit, and I struggled with the heat from just two bird’s eye chilies, rather than the three John favors. 

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

2 tbsp palm sugar

1 tbsp water

3 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp lime juice (half a lime)

1 plump garlic clove – peeled and thinly sliced

3 bird’s eye chilies, thinly sliced. (Add less or more depending on how spicy you like it.)

For the dish:

2 large free range hen’s eggs

Vegetable oil for frying

Half a small white onion, thinly sliced with the grain of the onion

1 tomato, chopped roughly into eight

Small handful of coriander, leaf and stem roughly chopped 

Small handful of Asian celery, stem thinly sliced and leaves picked. (If you can’t find Asian celery then use the inner sticks of a celery head with the leaves.)

Wild garlic flowers (optional, to garnish)

Preparation:

 Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter@richardvines and Instagram@richard.vines.

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