Fried egg spicy salad

Easiest little lunch, just a couple of eggs and salad made that bit more special with a hot and sour dressing.

For one person, you’ll need:

Some lettuce, shredded - I had Little Gem

A tomato, hard core removed then diced

Some thin slices of red onion

The juice of one juicy lime

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1-2 birds eye chillies (depending on size of chillies and your preference)

cooking oil

2 eggs

Make the salad by combing the lettuce, tomato and red onion in a bowl.

Mix the dressing ingredients (lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chilli) together in another little bowl and set aside.

Put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil and then crack in two eggs.

Fry the eggs, once to cook the yolks through (I didn’t quite manage this and my yolks are still a little runny - for this dish they’re better cooked through).

Take the eggs out of the pan when cooked and allow to cool.

Cut the eggs into squares or small pieces then add to the salad.

Top with the dressing and toss carefully to combine.

Rachel Redlaw fried egg spicy salad
Rachel Redlaw fried egg spicy salad

And that’s it!

Super simple,nutritious, easy, tasty little lunch for one …. done!


Chucky eggs

Rachel Redlaw chucky eggs

You don’t really need a recipe as such for this one, but I just wanted to share the most comforting sublime little supper for when you’re poorly.

Chucky eggs.

Just soft boiled, shelled and mashed hot with lots of butter, salt and pepper.

Someone made them for me years and years ago when I was sick - they were mashed in a cup and served with buttered toast and, oh, it just made me feel so looked after.

I make them now in a little bowl instead of a cup and - only because I didn’t feel well enough to go to the shop for bread - I had them with some oatcakes, which worked beautifully.

When you don’t feel well, or your loves don’t feel well … you really need chucky eggs!


Simplest curried eggs

Just a nice, easy change on my usual breakfast of a couple of eggs, adding in some favourite curry flavours ... and I do love curry with eggs, specifically this eggs in coconut masala.

So just for one person's two-egg brekkie, this is what you need.

2 eggs, boiled and peeled (to cook them so they're done but still soft inside - bring a saucepan of water + a pinch of salt to the boil, then carefully lower in the eggs and boil for six minutes, then remove from heat and immediately plunge into cold water to stop them cooking further)

a little oil

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/2 tsp ground cumin 

1/2 tsp turmeric

Or substitute the cumin and turmeric if you don't have them for garam masala, paprika or curry powder instead.

A good grind each of black pepper and salt

Once the eggs are cooked and peeled, they'll probably be quite soft, so handle with care! 

Carefully cut a few slits longways into the white of the egg but very shallow, nowhere near cutting the egg through.

Put a little non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a few sprays of cooking oil or a tablespoon or so, swirl to coat and then add the chilli, spices, salt and pepper.

Rachel Redlaw curried eggs

Stir to combine then add the eggs, turning to coat in the beautiful spices and shake and turn in the pan for about a minute. If it looks like it might be sticking add the tiniest splash of water.

And that's it ... cut the eggs in half and top with a few slices of red chilli and/or fresh coriander leaves, as liked.


Omurice (Japanese chicken fried rice omelette)

I've been captivated by Midnight Diner - Tokyo Stories on Netflix and, whilst it's not really about food per se, I do now have a total longing to visit Tokyo and also a few dishes I want to try and make.

Aside ... DO WATCH!

It's wonderful. Plus each episode around 20 minutes so perfect for my gnat-like attention span.

The first ... is omurice, or Japanese fried rice omelette. 

Now this sounds like something I'll love!

I ADORE a kao pad gai, Thai chicken fried rice, in which the egg is mixed in with the rice and chicken and then served with a little fish sauce chilli dip.

So these flavours are already my favourites and it looked like a simple little twist on my staple.

It looked so simple too!

A Western-style omelette filled with Asian-style chicken fried rice, neatly parcelled and decorated with a few stripes of ketchup.

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette

Like THIS >>>>>> , this is what I'm aiming for.

I don't really like ketchup, so I was going to substitute that ... and I like spicy, so decided to add a finely chopped chilli to my chicken fried rice.

But Try Number 1 wasn't a great success.

I cooked far too much of the chicken fried rice, adding in peppers and vegetables and well, it was just too much.

I also tried to slide my somewhat anaemic-looking omelette onto a plate, add the (too much) filling then fold. 

OK that didn't work too well. Also I didn't have ketchup or Sri Racha sauce which I thought would work well ... so used my - also-anaemic-looking (but delicious) - hot sweet chilli sauce.

Well, it tasted ok .... but it didn't look great.

Try Number 2.

Got it!

You use less filling and add it directly to the omelette itself, then fold over in the pan.

AND I had Sri Racha sauce by then too!

Er ... it still broke, didn't look right, but this one tasted really good.

Omurice Try Number 1

Omurice Try Number 1

Omurice Try Number 2

Omurice Try Number 2

I tried again.

Here we go, Try Number 3.

Same as number 2 really, just knowing what I'm doing a little more this time.

And it showed - so practice does make perfect!

Easy fried rice mixture: onion, garlic and chilli in the pan with a little oil and then added diced chicken breast.

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette

Stir fry to cook for a few minutes, adding a splash of water if needed. 

Crumble in a little piece of a Knorr chicken stock cube, a splash more water, a dash of light soy sauce and another of fish sauce, a little pinch of sugar, and stir fry for another couple of minutes until the chicken is cooked. 

Add more water if needed - you don't want a juice/sauce but you don't want it dry or burnt either of course!

Throw in a chopped spring onion and a small handful of chopped coriander leaves if liked (OK, confession - I thought I'd bought coriander but it was parsley! I used it anyway).

Put the chicken fried rice mixture into a bowl and cover to keep warm while you make the omelette.

2 eggs in a bowl, with some little chunks of butter, a splash of milk (I use almond milk) and a dash of white pepper, and beat together.

Non-stick frying pan on with a little oil or spray oil then cook your omelette on one side, tilting and moving ... then add the fried rice mixture to one side and fold the other side of the omelette over.

Allow to cook for a few seconds more and then slide off onto a plate.

Add the finishing stripes of ketchup or Sri Racha sauce, as liked.

I'm pretty happy with this one!

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette

And then I had an idea and went in for Try Number 4 ... 

Fried rice. DONE.

Plated out using a little plastic bowl to make into that nice heaped shape.

And yes! 

THEN I just covered it in a quilt of beautiful soft omelette and added some decorative Sri Racha sauce.

Now this was also really good, but to me ... just a tad less pretty than Number 3, done in the pan (and also no easier either ha!).

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette Midnight Diner Netflix
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette Midnight Diner Netflix
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette Midnight Diner Netflix

But whatever it looks like and however you make it, decorated with traditional ketchup or with Sri Racha sauce ...

I don't think you can go wrong taste-wise with ANY chicken fried rice and egg combo!


Coconut milk, noodles + eggs (perfect for a cold day)

And then from what seemed like finally spring ... we were blasted back to winter overnight, and it snowed all day.

So I wanted a really warming, nourishing brunch and came up with this - I'll definitely be having it again too! 

Quantities are kind of up to you and how much you want to eat of course, but I had leftover from the night before half a tin of coconut milk and half the nest of rice noodles (ready soaked and in the fridge) so that's what I used.

Cook eggs by carefully lowering into a saucepan of boiling water (with a pinch of salt) and boil for exactly six minutes, then drain and pour lots of cold water in to stop them cooking any further.

Into a non-stick frying pan with a spray of cooking oil, I added:

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 green chilli, diced very fine (use more or less chilli of course, to your taste)

1 piece of ginger, peeled and grated

Cook for just a few seconds, stirring all the time, until you can start to smell the delicious flavours, and then add the coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.

Rachel Redlaw coconut milk, eggs and noodles

Bring slowly to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add vegetables - I had some asparagus tips and broccoli - cook for another couple of minutes and then add the rice noodles.

Add a tiny pinch of sugar, a dash of fish sauce and cook for another minute or two, stirring often, until the vegetables are done and the noodles hot all through.

Tip out into a bowl and top with the eggs and a few drops of light soy sauce.  I added a slice of red chilli too but just to make it look pretty really! 


Gai pad pong karee / chicken curry stir fry


It's a curry, kind of, a stir-fry, kind of ... and just a good, easy comfort-food dish really.

It uses curry powder rather than paste plus some nam prik pao - chilli paste in oil - for the heat, and it's all finished into a scrambled egg mixture.

OK, I can't say it's the prettiest dish ever, but when you need something warming, comforting and easy ... this would be a good choice, whether for brunch or a simple supper.

Serve with lovely hot fluffy rice and do cook the rice first - so it's ready to go.

For two, you'll need:

one egg

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

2 teaspoons chilli paste in oil (buy in Asian supermarkets or it's easy to make your own)

a good splash of fish sauce

a good big blob of oyster sauce

a good splash of almond milk (or use cow's milk if you prefer) - maybe 50-100 ml

cooking oil spray plus 1 teaspoon of the oil from the top of the chilli paste in oil

1/2 an onion, sliced

a few slices of red chilli, if liked

1 garlic clove, minced

1 chicken breast, cut into very small pieces

some vegetables, whatever you have and like really - I made it once with red and yellow peppers and spinach and then again with orange pepper, asparagus and broccoli - all cut up small

Mix the egg, curry powder, chilli paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce and milk in a bowl and set aside.

Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry

Add some sprays of cooking oil and the oil from the top of the chilli paste to a non-stick frying pan and then add the onion, chilli (if using) and garlic and cook, stirring often, over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add a little splash of water if needed.

Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry

Then add the chicken and cook for another three minutes or so, again add a little splash of water if it's too dry.

Next add the vegetables and cook again, stirring all the time, for another two minutes or so.

Then tip in the egg mixture and stir to cook and scramble - it'll take another couple of minutes or so until scrambled.

I forgot to take a photo of when the eggy mixture first went in! I'll add one next time I make this.

Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry
Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry

And that's it!

Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry

Something a little different and really easy - I hope you try it.


Ruth's Homemade Chunky Guacamole

Whenever I talk to someone about food and life for this blog, I always ask them to share a recipe too ... and I honestly couldn't wait to try this one shared with me by my friend and huge inspiration to me ... Ruth Ridgeway.

For some unknown reason, I've never had a good guacamole recipe and now when I think about it, that seems really strange - I love all the flavours in this and I adore avocado.

But sometimes, maybe, perhaps  .... the reason I've never had a good one before because one day I would have this one.

And this one is my idea of perfection when it comes to guacamole.

Also, pretty much perfection in other ways.

In it's beautiful simplicity ... every ingredient is exactly what is needed and results in a big flavour, easily.

I also love those baby avocados now available - and just as well as now this seems to be a staple part of my diet - I don't want to be using half an avocado and having the other half go brown (no matter what I do, or tips I follow, it seems to still happen).

I've already made this twice in the last 24 hours!

Once to go with a griddled steak and some stir fried vegetables, which was amazing.

And then to top a piece of toasted ciabatta - with an egg on top of that, which was pretty much SUBLIME - and one of the best breakfast/brunches I've had for a long time.

I love this recipe ... I know you will too.

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole
I just love things on a good slice of wholemeal toast - and this homemade guacamole is one of them ... preferably with a crispy fried egg too
— Ruth Ridgeway

To serve 2, you'll need:

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole

1 avocado

1 tomato (flesh only) chopped into small cubes

A little red onion (or spring onions, either work) diced into small cubes

1/2 finely chopped red chilli

A little salt, a little pepper

Squeeze of lime (I used a good half a lime as I like it very lime-y!)

Put everything in a bowl and mash with a fork until mixed but chunky.

Serve, eat, enjoy.

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole
Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole

But those avocado skins!  What to do with them?

I hate food waste and I love natural beauty ingredients, so the avocado skins went straight into my bath - yep, just as they are.

OK, it IS messy, there's no hiding from that, but I turn them kind of inside out and rub all that leftover flesh, full of gorgeous avocado oil, onto my knees, elbows, all over my skin, then soak in the bath with the pieces of avocado.

You'll need to pick the pieces out and clean the bath straight away but it does give you very soft skin - it's so good for you! 

There's something about using natural ingredients that just makes me feel really good too - as well as getting that deliciously soft skin of course.

Oh and I added a couple of drops of my favourite lime essential oil too - just to kinda recreate the guacamole essence in my bath :) 

Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado
Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado lime
Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado

You might also like ... 

Totally yummy (despite the not very appealing name) egg + bean curry

This is so simple and so good, it's already (and I've only made it once hehe) a new lunch go-to.

My friend Pam shared the recipe and I just knew I was going to love it.

I love eggs and I love curry, so I love dishes like eggs in coconut masala or these great Thai classic 'son-in-law' eggs.

But this is easier than easy and just perfect for a quick lunch.

Here's what you need to make 'egg + bean curry' for one:

Cooking oil

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 - 1 chilli (depending on taste), chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tomato, diced

2 eggs, beaten

1 small tin baked beans, rinsed of all sauce (or the same quantity of cooked haricot beans)

salt and pepper to season

chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve (if liked)

Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry
Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry

Heat a frying pan or wok and add some cooking oil (I use a spray oil then a splash of water if it looks like sticking) then the onion, chilli, garlic and cumin and cook over a very low heat for two or three minutes, adding a little water if it's sticking. You don't want it to burn!

Then add the tomatoes and cook until it's all softened, probably another five or six minutes.

Add the eggs and beans and cook, stirring all the time, for a few minutes to scramble the beans and get everything hot and yummy.

Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry
Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry
Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry

Season to taste, check you're happy with the consistency and turn out on to a plate or a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves, if liked.

Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry

I started eating straightaway and forgot to take a photo until I was two thirds of the way in!

So when I make this again (which I definitely will be, and soon) I'll take a photo of the finished dish.

This is really good and simple and tasty - just the sort of lunch I love! 

Easy-peasy kinda-kedgeree

The other morning I really, really fancied kedgeree. But not having any fish in the house, I made a vague approximation - just chilli and garlic, leftover rice, a couple of rashers of grilled bacon and a boiled egg. Added a few drops of soy sauce and done ...

And it was surprisingly good!

Kinda kedgeree

Kinda kedgeree

Cheat's kedgeree

Cheat's kedgeree

I've still got a hankering for kedgeree though, and today made this 'cheat's version' - it couldn't really be simpler, especially if you use tinned tuna, or already-cooked leftover fish like the sea bass I had.

This makes a really good + quick meal - perfect for brunch or a simple supper.

For two, you'll need:

4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal

0.5-1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tsp curry powder

Some hot cooked rice - you choose how much! 

Cooked white fish or a tin of tuna

2 eggs, boiled for 8 minutes, run under cold water to stop them cooking further and then shelled

Parsley and lemon wedges, to serve

Cook the spring onions in a frying pan with a little oil or butter (I'm using 20 sprays of my 1-cal spray oil plus a tiny splash of water) with the chilli flakes and curry powder.

Cook for a minute or or - don't let them stick or burn, add more oil or water if necessary.

Stir in the rice - and add the fish. Cook, stirring, until it's all hot through.

Turn out onto plates, adding an egg each and some chopped parsley (if you have some) and lemon.

It might be the 'cheat' version, but it's still really good! 

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


Wat ton hor / fried noodles in an egg gravy

A few days ago I'd never heard of this dish and now I've made it twice in two days! A colleague at work was telling me about this great dinner they'd made, a noodle dish, from Gizzi Erskine's Healthy Appetite.  Another book to go on my wish list! 

I'm a Gizzi fan and a noodle fan so that was it for me, no further discussion needed - and I bought the few things I needed that I didn't already have at home ready to make it.  

Well, except for making a trip to the Thai supermarket to get the wide rice noodles it really needs (it's been freezing in London this weekend and has not been weather for going out).  

So I used some thin dried rice noodles from the supermarket that were in the cupboard and it was so good I can only imagine how much better it's going to be with those wide slippery noodles.  So much so that I'd even go out in freezing rain for them next time I make this if necessary.

This dish is another that I know might sound a bit odd. Egg gravy anyone?

But as with my recent discovery of Eggs in Masala, it's another one that is just so much lovelier than it sounds.

Another one that's just perfect comfort food for wintry days (and nights) . .. it's soft and soothing and delicious. 

Back to the recipe.  The recipe I'd been given was for four, so I just made up what the measurements would be for one (very greedy) portion.  I had to improvise a little at various stages and wasn't quite confident enough in my version to share it.  

But I was very intrigued by the recipe so searched online and found a few other versions and made mine again today with more confidence and slightly more simply. 

This serves a huge portion for one very hungry person (it actually defeated me today which is unheard of - but don't worry, I went back to it and finished it off an hour later) or two as a very light meal.  Or just add a few more noodles for two and another rasher of bacon to make it for two - honestly, I don't think it's possible to ruin this dish no matter what you do!

Prepare the noodles as required so they're ready to stir fry, and then then other ingredients you'll need are:

cooking oil 

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1-2 cloves garlic (your choice, I used two), finely chopped 

a small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 rasher unsmoked streaky bacon, chopped into small pieces

some thinly sliced chillies in a little soy sauce, to serve

some slices of squid (I had one small squid ready cleaned from the supermarket fish counter) - I like it in slices then scored so they end up rolling up into tubes, but you could use ready sliced into rings calamari if that's what you have

a few prawns - I had four - deveined

1/2 cup or so chicken stock (I used half a Knorr cube and then just topped up with boiling water straight into the cup)

light soy sauce

white sugar

white pepper

some pak choi or other leafy green vegetable

one egg, beaten (you actually only need half an egg, so instead of breaking straight into the pan, it's easiest to beat it first and then tip in half.  To be honest I was a bit heavy handed and it didn't affect the deliciousness!)

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Heat a pan, add a glug of oil and when hot add the noodles, soy sauces and oyster sauce and stir fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time so the noodles don't stick.  Some recipes say to cook until 'charred' or 'caramelised' but I wasn't really sure what this would look like so just cooked a little longer than I'd though necessary, so all the sauces are coating the noodles and then noodles are hot through. 

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Tip into a bowl and put somewhere to keep warm.

Wipe the pan with kitchen paper if your noodles stuck at all, or just put straight back onto the heat and add some more oil, then the chopped garlic.

Stir fry for a few seconds until the garlic smells good and add the ginger, bacon and squid and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes, taking care that the garlic doesn't burn (don't have the heat on too high!). 

Add the prawns, stir and tip in the stock plus a dash of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and a shake of white pepper.  Stir and then simmer for two or three minutes til the prawns are done.

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Next stir in the cornflour and water mixture and keep stirring for a minute or so as the gravy thickens.  If it looks too thick just add a splash of water.

Add the pak choi and stir for another half a minute, then turn the heat off and immediate pour in (half) the beaten egg, stirring all the time so it scrambles . Keep stirring until it's all combined and the egg cooked in the hot gravy.

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Get the bowl of noodles and unstick them a little if they've stuck together a bit then top with the lovely gravy. 

Top with some of the sliced chillies and soy sauce, if liked.

finished 2nd 1.jpg
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Twice in two days and I'm still not sick of this! If it wasn't for the fact I have a bacon and egg pie to make I'd even be considering having it for dinner too!

Would love to know what you think! Please make it and let me know. 

PS. Next time I make prawn balls, I'll be saving a few to freeze to halve and have with this dish. I'd fry them at the same time as the bacon and squid.


Eggs in coconut masala

It was my birthday the other week and amongst all my wonderful presents not shown in this photo were these THREE new cookbooks (as well as my favourite Jo Malone and some fab seasonings).  

Yes, lucky and yes happy! 

Rachel Redlaw birthday presents

And in those three new recipe books contain - at a quick scan - over 1,000 recipes! Ha!

But to be honest that's fine by me, more than fine.  I never feel overwhelmed by this or like I have to try them all.  

I take cook books to bed and READ them, devour them, love them ... feel inspired by a few ideas to just try something similar and then, just every now and then, I find something that ... instantly, ooh, I WANT to cook.

So it was on opening Rick Stein's 'India' and turning the page to find his 'Egg Molee - Whole Eggs in Coconut Masala'. The photo looked amazing and the recipe looked simple - and I've fried whole hard-boiled eggs before for my son-in-law eggs recipe (so I'm prepared for how much they're going to protest and spit at being fried).

I've made it twice now for two (rather than for four as in the original) and in true me-style, I didn't just halve the quantities.  My version is very firmly based on the original but it's ... I'd say ... it's a bit greedier and a little bit spicier. 

I am in love with the whole book already and when I can tear myself away from this recipe (um, yes, I am making it again tonight) I'll definitely be trying a lot more.

But back to these eggs.

So simple, and perfect for cold nights as slightly spicy but utterly soothing and comforting. 

Do cook your rice first and keep warm ready to serve.

For the way I make Rick Stein's recipe for two, you'll need ...

(* = update as of 27.11.16 as I made it with a lot of missing items and it was still amazingly good)

a good slosh of cooking oil (* used my 1-cal spray oil)

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and left whole

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

200ml coconut milk (as tins are 400ml, you can do as I'm doing and put the other half in the fridge and have this deliciousness again the next day!)

1 red onion, very very thinly sliced (* didn't have red onion so used a couple of spring onions)

a piece of ginger, maybe an inch, diced finely (* didn't have fresh ginger but wished I had as it IS better with it)

2 long green chillies, thinly sliced (keep the seeds in)

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

a handful of coriander leaves, chopped (use flat leaf parsley if you don't like coriander)

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Rachel Redlaw eggs in coconut masala Rick Stein ingredients
Rachel Redlaw eggs in coconut masala Rick Stein

Heat a wok or heavy-based saucepan and add the oil and then the eggs and fry for a few minutes until they brown and crisp slightly in places. (* I used 20 sprays of my spray oil and made it in a frying pan - they didn't colour so much but SO good).

They will spit a LOT so be careful! I might also try to use a wok or non-stick pan next time I make this as some of the lovely brown egg bits ended up on the pan rather than on the eggs.

Rache Redlaw eggs in coconut masala

But don't worry if they don't colour too much as you then add the turmeric and chilli powder and stir the eggs for a few seconds so the spices are mixed in and the eggs are beautifully coloured with the gorgeous spices.

(* if using the spray oil there isn't really enough oil to cook the spices without burning so I added the coconut milk pretty much immediately after tipping in the spices and stirred it all together).

Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

Tip in the onions, ginger, chillies and salt and simmer for five minutes, stirring now and then.  Add a splash of water if you think it's looking a bit thick - remember, it's up to you how thin or thick you prefer the sauce!

Rachel Redlaw eggs in coconut masala Rick Stein

When the onions are softened, stir in the sugar, coriander and garam masala and stir to mix.

Remove from heat, halve the eggs and serve with the cooked rice and some more chopped coriander, if liked. I know lots of people don't like coriander so if you don't - leave it out! Or use some chopped flat leaf parsley instead, which I think would work really well.

So good!

November 2015

November 2015

November 2016

November 2016

I am really really interested to hear if you make this!

Some people are put off by the idea of eggs in curry (as some people are by the sound of my delicious fish tacos) but it is so completely lovely a dish that I really hope you make it - do let me know what you think.  

And I hope you love it as much as I do ... 


Thai salted eggs - kai kaem

Exciting! I made these last year - something that I'd never made before and not sure I'd ever eaten before - and it took 30 days' patience until they were ready to try.

Salted eggs. Originally brined as a preserving method, they have a salty white and a rich yolk and are boiled before being used in recipes or cooked to have with rice or congee.  You can just cook them with the rice for the last few minutes in the saucepan or in a rice cooker - sounds like the simplest meal ever to me and I can't wait to try it.

I have to say there wasn't anything immediately appealing to me about 'salted eggs' until I applied a little logic - which is that I love eggs and I always always put salt on them.  But the main reason I'm making these is because there are so many delicious sounding recipes that call for them.

My friend Kevin, who is fluent in Thai (both spoken and written) recently volunteered (and I bet he'll soon wish he hadn't) to translate some recipes for me from a Thai cookbook.  He sent me the translated  list of contents to choose something from.

I was going to start with the Fish Stomach recipe (still intend to give this a go at some point) but decided on 'squid fried with salted egg on rice', not realising that the salted egg was an ingredient in itself.  However instead of setting off for the Thai supermarket to get some I thought I'd investigate making salted eggs at home.

Once made, I'll be cooking the fried squid dish as well as trying cooking my salted eggs in the rice cooker, and I want to make a spicy sour salad with them too.

You'll need:

1-2 cups of water depending on the size of your jar

1/4 cup of salt

a piece of star anise

3-6 duck eggs preferably as the yolks are bigger and richer or chicken eggs like me (too impatient to wait to get to a bigger shop for duck eggs I bought chicken eggs from the corner shop this evening)

a jar in which the eggs should fit quite snugly


Put the water, salt and star anise in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

When boiling stir until the salt has fully dissolved and then immediately remove from the heat and cool completely.


Rinse the eggs and pat dry with a tea towel ...


... and check for cracks (don't use cracked ones) before putting them carefully into the jar.


Pour the cold brine over the eggs. They all need to be submerged in the liquid so if any float above the surface a good trick is to put some water in a sandwich or freezer bag and lay this on top to push the eggs under the brine. I actually didn't have quite enough water so just topped up the last inch with tap water (hope this works ok).

Put a lid on the jar and store at room temperature.

Leave for 30 days, then remove and keep in the fridge until using. 


Turkish-style eggs

'Same same but not same same'.  That's the Thai bit done then!

These eggs (straight into 'rest of the world' category of course) are very delicious and a Middle Eastern take on the Italian eggs in purgatory.

This one isn't my recipe either (eggs in purgatory is a Nigella recipe) - it's my friend Amanda's and it was absolutely perfect for a weekend brunch after a wedding party the night before and even better for being able to be eaten outdoors.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Turkish eggs

These would be equally good of course for an easy supper or lunch.

Quantities are up to you but you'll need the following:

olive oil  (for frying so not extra virgin)

some onion, thinly sliced

red chilli, diced

roasted red peppers from a jar, sliced

tinned chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper to season

eggs, one-two per person

chopped coriander leaves and more sliced red chilli, to serve

minced garlic stirred into some plain yogurt, to serve

Heat the olive oil over a medium-low heat, add the onion and cook slowly until translucent (about ten minutes). Then add the red chilli and roasted red peppers and again cook slowly for about another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tinned tomatoes, season to taste, and cook until it's all good and hot and bubbling gently and then crack in the eggs and cover the pan.  Cook for a few minutes until the whites of the eggs are set and then bring to the table to serve or ladle straight onto plates.

Serve with chopped coriander and more chillies (if liked) and a spoonful of the garlic yogurt sauce.

Eat with bread, coffee, and ideally with sunshine.  And a gorgeous dog too if possible (also if liked) :)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Turkish eggs

Let me know if you make this; would love to hear if you liked it as much as I did!


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


Son-in-law eggs

Son-in-law eggs are delicious – boiled eggs which are then fried and served  in a sweet and sour sauce topped with fried crispy shallots and (optional) chillies.

This is is such a tangy tasty dish –  and really colourful and pretty too. Sunday supper sorted!

It’s not a precise recipe – limes vary as to how much juice they contain, chillies vary in heat and fish sauce differs in saltiness between brands.

Do just taste and taste and taste to get the sauce a perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour for you.  

The chillies are because I like to include some spiciness too, but are  entirely optional.

To serve two, you’ll need:

cooked rice, ready to serve (if using)

cooking oil - use rapeseed or grapeseed or sunflower if not (something that will heat to a high temperature and not impart its own flavour)

2 soft boiled eggs (put the eggs into a pan of boiling water that’s also had a pinch of salt added and boil for six minutes, then remove from heat and run under cold water to stop them cooking further - and when cold, peel the eggs)

2 shallots or a quarter of an onion, very finely sliced

1 red chilli, sliced (optional)

1 clove garlic, chopped

the juice of one juicy lime

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp water

sliced spring onions and coriander leaves to garnish

Get everything prepared and ready to go - put the lime, fish sauce, sugar and water into a bowl and the chopped coriander leaves and spring onions into another.

Rachel Redlaw son-in-law eggs

Put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and when hot add the cooking oil.

The oil needs to be hot before you add the eggs or they could stick.

Add the eggs and the onions and fry for a few minutes until the onions are starting to brown at the edges and the eggs browned all over.

It’ll take maybe 3-5 minutes and you need to keep turning it all - the eggs do NOT like being fried and will spit hot oil so be careful.

Add the chilli (if using) to the onions for the last minute or so.

When browned, removed the onions/chilli mixture to one space and the egg or eggs to another, ready to add later.

Rachel Redlaw son-in-law eggs
Rachel Redlaw son-in-law eggs

Put the pan back over the heat and add a little more oil and/or a splash of water as the garlic goes in next and it likes a gentle entry. Don’t let the garlic stick - add a little more water if needed.

After 30 seconds or so when the garlic starts to release it’s gorgeous scent, add the sugar-fish sauce-lime-water bowl and bring slowly to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for a minute or two - if you want a thinner sauce, add more water, if you want it to thicken more perhaps cook for longer or increase the heat.

When done, it’s just about assembling the dish.

Put the rice onto a plate, add the egg/s and slice them in half. pour over the sauce and top with the onions and chillies.

Garnish with sliced spring onion and chopped coriander leaves (if liked) and a few slices of red chilli (again, if liked!).

Rachel Redlaw son-in-law eggs
finished final.JPG


Eggs in purgatory

Spoiler alert! This isn’t Thai, not even ‘ish’, just not at all. It’s Italian I think, well it comes straight from Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima but it’s just such a good recipe I want to share it.  One of my favourite weekend brunch recipes of all time and it’s going in as the first entry into a new category, ‘Rest of the World’.

Super simple too, you just need:

olive oil

one clove of garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

approx half a 400g pack or tin chopped tomatoes

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably flakes

one egg

a couple of teaspoons of Parmesan, plus a little more to serve

baguette or toast, to serve

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder eggs in purgatory

Add a splash or olive oil to a pan, add in the garlic and chilli flakes and stir over a medium heat for about 30 seconds to a minute.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder eggs in purgatory

Tip in the chopped tomatoes and salt, and bring to a bubble.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder eggs in purgatory

Crack the egg straight in and sprinkle the Parmesan over, leaving some of the yolk still exposed.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder eggs in purgatory

Turn down to a simmer, partially cover with a lid, and leave for about four minutes (maybe have a quick check after three minutes).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder eggs in purgatory

A little black pepper and another sprinkle of Parmesan and it’s done – scoop the egg and tomatoes out with a ladle and serve in a bowl.

To be honest I only did that today as it looked nicer for the pictures – normally I just eat it straight from the pan!

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder eggs in purgatory


Kai jeow - Thai omelette

A rainy Sunday calls for possibly the most comforting of all comfort foods, a savoury Thai omelette served with rice and a chilli dipping sauce.

Quick and easy to make, I like it best made with a little ground pork and spring onion, but occasionally have it plain, when its simplicity is somehow also luxurious. For a more substantial veggie option, fry some sliced peppers and mushrooms in place of the meat.

I’d put the rice on to cook first so it’s ready to serve as soon as the omelette is cooked.

With that underway, make the nam prik sauce, which will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to two weeks and goes with almost everything – plain rice, grilled meats, baked fish, noodle dishes and many, many more.

There are probably a million different variants of this sauce, so do adjust the lime juice, fish sauce or sugar to your own taste.

4 tablespoons fish sauce

juice of 1-2 limes

4-6 sliced birds eye chillies (today I used two green and then two normal red chillies as I didn’t have birds eye)

1-2 teaspoons sugar

2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette

Note: to be honest, you can make an extremely good sauce with literally just fish sauce and some chopped chillies - and this is what I usually make as it really couldn't be any easier.

Kai jeow Thai omelette nam prik Rachel Walder

And now for the kai jeow.  This makes one.

cooking oil

a little ground/minced  pork (maybe 1-2 tbspn)

two eggs

fish sauce

soy sauce

one spring onion, chopped

white pepper


Heat a wok or frying pan and add quite a bit of oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

When the oil is very hot add the pork if using and cook for two or three minutes.

While the meat cooks,  break two eggs into a bowl and add a couple of dashes each of fish sauce and soy sauce, the chopped spring onion and a shake of white pepper.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette

Beat the egg mixture until frothy – you want as much air in it as possible – and then pour it into the very hot oil, where it will start to go fluffy.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette

Cook until brown and slightly crispy on one side, then turn and cook until the other side is browned too but the inside still soft.  Just fold in half if you don’t want to try to flip it all at once.  I tried and broke this one, but hey ho.

Make the rice look nice by packing it into a little plastic bowl (china doesn’t work for me, only the plastic one), putting the plate on top and turning it out.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette

Add the omelette on top, sprinkle with chopped coriander, and serve with the nam prikdipping sauce.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder kai jeow - Thai omelette

So is this the most comforting of all comfort foods?

Let me know what you think …