thai breakfast

5 fave breakfasts/brunches

Usually a weekday breakfast is something quick - a croissant, fruit and yogurt, a green smoothie or just toast and marmite.  My daily cup of tea first thing and then a coffee grabbed on the way to the office (flat white please!).

And several days a week I skip breakfast altogether as I'm interested in intermittent fasting and by having dinner a little earlier than usual the night before, say finishing at 8pm, and then not eating until 1pm the next day, that's created a nice 17 hour break for your digestive system (and I find it easy to do, with a couple of coffees in the morning though - I'm not that strict about it).

But when there's time to cook something more special, and time to enjoy and spend longer over breakfast, chatting or reading, these are my favourite brunches.  I'm not sure you can call them breakfast really when it's after 10am.

So after a cup of tea, after journaling, after a walk outdoors round the park, here's what I come back and make ...


1. Eggs in purgatory

A little garlic, a very little chilli, eggs poached in tomatoes and sprinkled with parmesan. Mine rarely make it out of the pan when I make this just for me as I dunk bits of baguette in and scoop spoonfuls straight from the pan.










2. Kai jeow - Thai omelette

Yes, another eggy breakfast. Eggs are good!

I love this Thai omelette - really savoury with minced pork, served with some chopped chillies in fish sauce.  You can serve it with rice or have it on its own.

I also do a super-quick version using ready cooked diced chicken or pork.









3. Pad krapow gai - spicy stir fry with chicken and holy basil

I ate this all the time for breakfast when I lived in Thailand.  

I loved that there was all the usual variety of food for breakfast, rather than 'breakfast food' as we often categorise it.  

I'm not sure why that is, but it doesn't have to be that way and for me, a favourite first meal of the day is this very spicy, very good stir fry with rice - and sometimes with a fried egg on top too.

If you can't get holy basil, it's still worth making without it.


4.  Kao pad gai - chicken fried rice

Rachel Redlaw kao pad gai chicken fried rice

Especially good if there's been a rice dish the night before - I deliberately cook extra rice so there's some for breakfast as this is best made with cold cooked rice.

Just something so comforting about this dish (it's a good one for mopping up hangovers too).










5. And number 5 ... is a total cheat!

I couldn't decide, so it's 'anything made from a combination of these ingredients'!

Avocado, smoked salmon, eggs and spinach.

Rachel Redlaw breakfast brunch
RAchel Redlaw avocado on toast

It could be avocado on toast with a squeeze of lime and a little salt and a few chilli flakes.

Or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on spinach. Poached eggs on sliced avocado with a little dill on top. Any combination of these things is going to be a winner!


So ... what are your favourite brunches? 

Rachel Redlaw


Brunch invention - ruam mit gratiem/kao pad

There was rice left over from cooking dinner last night and I'd been planning a kao pad gai - fried rice with chicken - for brunch this morning.  I don't know why I'm saying it like this was an accident - I had deliberately made more rice last night than was needed just so that I could have kao pad today!

But I was also thinking about the ruam mit gratiem I'd made and thinking I'd like to make it again as I'm not that familiar with it yet and it was so easy and so good.

The conversation I had with myself went like this:

'Oh good! Favourite fried rice today!'

'But I kind of fancy making that stir fry again - I could try it with chicken this time.'

'If you make a stir fry though you're going to have to make more rice and there's already cold rice sitting there.'

'But I don't know which to choose - I want both!'

'Well then have both! Mix them together into one!'

So that's what I did.  I love cooking just for myself - I can experiment away and also make things as spicy as I like.  And that's generally pretty spicy.

Note that you do need cold cooked rice for this as freshly cooked hot rice is just too wet to stir fry.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Here's how to make my hybrid brunch dish.

Chop a piece of chicken breast into small pieces and also chop a nice big clove of garlic.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Get a pan hot, add some cooking oil and when hot tip in the chicken and garlic.

Cook over a medium heat - hot enough to seal the meat quickly but not so hot the garlic burns - for four or five minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken and garlic to a bowl, tip out any excess oil and return the pan to a medium low heat.

Quickly add:

2 x teaspoons oyster sauce

1 x teaspoon fish sauce

1 x teaspoon thin / light soy sauce

1 x teaspoon sugar

1 - 2 x teaspoons dried chilli flakes (I'd suggest just one - I put in two and it was a bit too much)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Stir for a few seconds until mixed and thick and bubbling.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Then return the chicken and garlic to the pan and mix with the sauce.

Add the cold leftover rice and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the rice is hot right through.

Push the mixture to one side, add a little oil into the space and when hot crack in an egg.

Leave to cook for around 15 seconds until scrambling and combining with the rice and chicken mixture.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Stir fry until everything is mixed and the egg cooked.

Remove from heat and prepare any garnishes you like - I'm using a shake of white pepper, some coriander leaves and a few slices of red chilli.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Turn out the rice and chicken mixture onto a plate, or pack into a plastic bowl first to make it look nice, and add a few slices of cucumber too if you have it.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

A very good brunch and I'm glad I made it, but I do still prefer a 'proper' kao pad I think.

What do you think? Let me know if you try this - or any other variation of it.

And I'm off now to make more coffee :)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice


Island-style bacon and eggs

 'But bacon and eggs isn't Thai food!'

I hear you.

But, done like this, it is for me.  It's what I call 'island-style' bacon and eggs and reminds me of eating in the sunshine, sitting on the sand at a low table and the sea right in front. Eating from a patterned plastic plate and mismatched cutlery.  It's probably not served where I had it any more now the beach bungalows have given way to villas and hotels with swimming pools, but I bet there are still some places in the world that do a great, garlicky, fried breakfast on the beach.

Anyway, it doesn't really need a recipe but here's how I put it together.  You'll need:

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs

cooking oil

some slices of white onion

a couple of cloves of garlic, flattened and chopped (if you have the little Thai garlic cloves, just leave the papery skins on too to crisp up when fried)

chopped bacon (I'm using up some lardons)

cooked and sliced boiled potatoes (great for using up leftovers)

salt and pepper

one egg

Put a frying pan onto a medium-high heat, add the oil and when hot add the onion, garlic and bacon.  I cook all of this at a higher temperature than I would if I was making just normal bacon and eggs to try and recreate that sense of a full English being cooked too quickly over a high heat in a wok. Sort of like a stir fry full English!

Keep stirring though so it doesn't burn.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs

When the bacon's cooked, add the sliced cooked potatoes, turn the heat down a bit and leave to cook for a couple of minutes.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs

Turn the heat up again, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another minute or two, stirring, until the potatoes are hot right through.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs

Then either push everything to one side, add more oil if needed and fry the egg in the same pan …

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs

…. or tip the bacon, potatoes, onions etc into a bowl and put a plate or lid on top to keep warm.

Then add more oil to the same pan and fry the egg over a higher heat than you normally might.

Keep spooning the hot oil over it as it cooks to cook it more quickly, and as soon as it starts to set, pop a lid on top and cook for perhaps two minutes.  The hotter temperature cooks the egg with a few bubbles in it and with just-about-to-crisp edges but you still want a lovely runny yolk.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs

Serve the egg on top of the pile of bacon, onions and potatoes and if you like, on a plastic plate as I did, for added 'authenticity'.

And there you have it. Drumroll please!  Island-style bacon and eggs.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder bacon and eggs


Kao tom - rice soup

An everyday breakfast or light meal, kao tom is a lovely nourishing rice soup - ideal plain for those a little under the weather or with added flavours for a really delicious but simple dish.

I'm currently staying for a few days to help my papa while he recovers from a bad fall.  It's a beautiful crisp autumn day and I made him a kao tom with chicken this morningto get the day off to a  good and nurturing start.

Of course I had a bowl myself too - and included an egg in mine.  The egg is optional and as it is put in the bowl right at the end before pouring over the broth it is just very lightly cooked.  So it's up to you of course how you feel about eating your eggs 'rare'!

You need cooked rice for this, so do make that first - it'll be really annoying to start cooking and then realise you don't have it to hand ...

Serves two

Stock cube (I used about 3/4 of a chicken knorr cube)

One peeled garlic clove, just flattened slightly

A little chicken (or pork or seafood or whatever you fancy) - I used about half a chicken breast chopped into small pieces

Cooked rice for two people

2-4 spring onions, chopped

Coriander (I couldn't get any fresh coriander here, so used 1/2 teaspoon of coriander from a jar, but just omit if you don't have any)

An egg per person (optional)

As usual, the dish comes together quickly, so get the ingredients out first.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

Boil the kettle and then add enough water to a saucepan (the easiest way to measure is to pour into the bowls you'll be using then tip into the pan - and then add a bit more).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

Add most of a stock cube and the garlic clove and bring to a simmer, then add the meat and/or fish and cook for around 3-4 minutes (timings will depend on what meat or fish you're cooking and how big the cubes of meat are).

As I wasn't using fresh coriander, I also added the jarred coriander to the pan while the chicken was cooking.

Add the cooked rice towards the end of the meat's cooking time and simmer a little longer.  When I was shown how to make this soup, I was told to cook until the 'rice gets big', as it will swell a little more as it cooks in the broth.

After maybe a minute, add the spring onions and take off the heat, and add some coriander if using.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

Crack an egg into each bowl for those that are having egg.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

Spoon the chicken and rice into each bowl first and top with the hot broth.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

Delicious served with garlic fried in its skin, or simple condiments of sugar and dried chillies to taste.  Or just plain as it comes if you're ill or have an upset tummy!

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

The egg is lightly poached in the broth and adds beautiful golden swirls of yolk to the soup when broken.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kao tom

I hope you like this recipe!  Do let me know if you tried it ...