This dish can be eaten by itself or as part of a banquet.
4 soft boiled eggs
1 tablespoon thinly sliced deep fried eschalots
1 tablespoon thinly sliced deep fried garlic
4 large dried chillies (deseeded and deep-fried whole)
1 tablespoon of coriander leaf
freshly ground white pepper
Sauce for eggs
1 cup palm sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 sticks lemongrass
100g sliced galangal
1 medium Spanish onion
3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 large fresh red chilli
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind water
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.
To make the sauce, heat the palm sugar and water in a pot until the sugar has melted then simmer until slightly caramelised.
Bruise the aromats (lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and chilli and onion) in a mortar and pestle and add to the palm sugar continue cooking until it is a dark rich brown colour. Season with fish sauce and tamarind, to taste. The flavour should be sweet, salty and sour with lemony, fragrant tones from the aromatics. I recommend leaving it overnight to intensify the flavours.
Soft boil the eggs for approximately 8 minutes then remove the shells. Heat oil in a pot to approx 170°C, then deep fry the eggs whole until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Reheat the sauce and strain the aromats. Check and adjust the seasoning if necessary then place the eggs in a bowl with the deep fried eshallot, chilli and garlic plus the coriander leaf, dress with sauce and gently toss to coat the eggs.
Note: Any remaining sauce can be refrigerated and kept for some time.