In last weekend foodtrail post at a dinner party, I featured 4 dishes; an entree of 2 types pork and prawn dumplings, red curry beef, garlic chilli chicken and fried free range duck eggs. The four courses are different in style; the dumpling is Chinese, the beef curry is Malaysian, chicken is Thai and the duck eggs is a typical Chinese Malaysian dish. I have posted the recipe for the first two courses. In today’s “what’s cooking?” I am presenting the other 2 courses served at the dinner party.
As I was originally born in Penang, a north-western state of peninsula Malaysia and close to the Thai border, my cooking typically exemplify a cross between Chinese, Malay and Thai. Sound a bit confusing and strange? I like to think of it as diverse, multicultural and interesting. For example eating century egg is foul! But to the Chinese Malaysian, we grew up eating it as an accompaniment with slice pickled ginger. I will be honest. I am not a big fan of century egg except if it is used in moderation in either a chicken or pork porridge. But my father loves and adore his century egg and can even eat it as a snack! 🙂
Alright, let’s get back to what you have been waiting. The third course is a garlic chilli chicken with basil leaves. It is a Thai style stir fried chicken dish. What I like most about Thai and Vietnamese food is they use a lot of fresh green herbs in their cooking; such as, mint and basil. In Malaysian style cuisine, dry spices are used more than fresh green herbs for the complex flavour of the dish. Some exceptions are lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves that are used in different variations of a Malaysian dish.
The above dish is very easy to make and delicious to eat. It is slightly spicy (you can put more chillies if you like it 10/10 hotness), garlicky, salty and has the beautiful aroma of the basil leaves. The preparation and cooking time are short for a quick, delicious meal.
1 kg chicken thigh fillets
4 cloves garlic – chopped
4 bird eyes chillies – chopped
1 spanish onion – finely sliced
1 bunch basil leaves
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and sugar to taste
Heat some cooking oil. Toss in garlic and chilli. Fry until fragrant. Add chicken, fish sauce and oyster sauce. Stir fry until chicken is about cook, then toss in the onion and basil leaves. Season with a bit of salt and sugar.
The fourth and last course is a simple, homestyle fried duck eggs.
If you don’t have free range duck eggs, you can substitute with chicken eggs. The only difference is that you will not get that beautiful, strong thick and creamy yolk. But it is still delicious with the crunchiness of the fluffy egg white base, sweet and saltiness of the oyster sauce and fragrant smell of the dried shallots, and a tint of spiciness in the fresh red chilli.
To eat and really enjoy all the different flavour in your mouth, you must first crush the yolk so it runs, then scoop a bit up with everything on it including the crunchy base. “Wah, Sedap Lah!” That means, “delicious” in Malay.
4 free range duck eggs
2 stalks spring onion (green) chopped
1 fresh red chilli chopped
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Sprinkle of dried shallots
Heat some cooking oil. The oil must be very hot, but not smoking. Toss in the eggs. They should be sizzling very quickly. Do not overcook the egg yolk. Remove eggs from the oil. Drain the excess oil. Dress the eggs with oyster sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top.
Hope you all enjoy today’s “What’s Cooking”. If you do try the recipe, let me know if it works for you.