Khai oop is emblematic of Mae Hong Son-style cooking. It is also a very simple dish to make as the ingredients are obtainable just about anywhere.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (10 votes)


  • 2 French shallots, sliced
  • 20 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried chilli powder, plus extra to taste
  • salt and sugar, to taste
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, process shallots, garlic and tomatoes to a rough paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp paste and turmeric, stirring to combine with the oil. When fully incorporated and fragrant, add the shallot mixture and chilli powder.

Allow to simmer and reduce, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. Add water, 2 tablespoons at a time, allowing the water to reduce before adding more. Repeating this process until the mixture is a smooth, slightly oily consistency.

Season with salt and sugar, then add the eggs to the mixture and allow to heat up, about 3 minutes.

Serve khai oop with rice.


Recipe from by Austin Bush, with photographs by Austin Bush.