Nyonya eggs belanda or… fried eggs in a sweet and sour tamarind gravy! This is a great food memory from Penang, Malaysia. What a treat!
Have you ever seen or heard of eggs belanda before?
It is a typical Nyonya recipe with some explosive flavors in it. Call it eggs belanda or fried eggs in a sweet and sour tamarind gravy. I first came in touch with it when I was living in Penang, Malaysia for a couple of weeks. Found this great Nyonya restaurant up in Georgetown.
I loved it so much that I went back 4 more times!
Eggs Belanda (Sweet & Sour Fried Eggs)
I know tamarind is not very easy to find although every Asian supermarket should have it. I use small portion bags of tamarind juice you can easily rip open. If you really can’t find any, then I suggest the best tamarind alternative is a mixture of brown sugar, lemon juice and pomegranate or pear molasses.
Since you already need the sugar and lemon juice in this recipe, a tablespoon of the molasses will do because otherwise this dish will be too sweet in the end. Adjust the flavors the way you like by adding extra sugar or lemon juice!
Take a quick look at my steak marinade recipe with tamarind as well!
You can make this a vegetarian dish by leaving out the fish sauce! Add a simple sprinkle of salt instead.
Eggs Belanda Recipe
- 2 large eggs
- 2 oz red bell pepper (55 g), diced
- 1 spring onion sliced
- ½ small red onion sliced
- 1 small garlic clove sliced
- 2 oz tamarind juice (55 g)
- ¼ cup water (60 ml), cold
- vegetable oil
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp hot chili sauce
- Pour a little drop of vegetable oil in a medium non-stick pan and place it over medium heat until hot. Then add the red onion and the chopped garlic.
- Stir a little and gently fry the onion and garlic for a minute. Then add the diced bell pepper and the sliced spring onion.
- Stir again and cook the vegetables for 2 minutes. Then add the tamarind paste and the water.
- Stir the sauce and bring it to a light simmer. Then season it with the brown sugar, the fish sauce and the hot chili sauce.
- Stir, cover the pan now and let the sauce cook for another 3 minutes. In the meantime pour a little vegetable oil in another pan and place it over medium-high heat. Once the hot is hot, break the eggs and add them to the pan.
- Fry the eggs until brown and a little crisp on the edges. Check the seasoning of the sweet and sour tamarind sauce and add extra fish sauce, brown sugar or chili sauce to taste if necessary. Take the sauce off the heat now. Cut the fried eggs up and transfer them onto warm plates. Drizzle with the tamarind sauce. Serve hot.
Cooking with Tamarind
Have you ever cooked with tamarind before?
You just gotta love it. Tamarind is one of the not-so-secret ingredients in a lot of Asian cooking. But what is it exactly? Well tamarind is is a sour fruit that grows on a tree.
The tamarind pulp is usually separated from the seeds and then pressed into a sticky paste cake or further processed to make ready to use tamarind juice.
Health Benefits of Tamarind
Tamarind has an important role in traditional medicine because it has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. It can increase the efficiency of your digestive system and is considered a natural laxative because of its dietary fiber content.
Tamarind Beef Stew
Well here’s another recipe with tamarind!
For this hot tamarind chilli beef you need tamarind as well. It’s a real pity fresh or dried tamarind pulp is so hard to find around here sometimes. I’m absolutely fond of its sweet and sour freshness and vinegary touch it contains. The taste explosion is so fantastic and blows your socks right off!
The only tamarind I came across recently were these little bags of tamarind juice I discovered in a tiny Asian supermarket. It proved to be a great product as well though!
If you get hold of fresh or dried tamarind, then soak it in just a little bit of water for a while. It will release its fresh and sour taste. Squeeze it out as good as you can and keep the precious liquid. Then throw away the soaked pulp and seeds.
Use the tamarind liquid to spice up salads, sauces, stir fries or to marinate any protein you want. Tamarind is also a great match for fish such as mackerel, barracuda and grouper.
- 6 tbsp tamarind juice
- 2 lb beef chuck (900 g), diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 3 small shallots chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 red chili chopped
- 4 fresh tomatoes chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves chopped
- 2 cups Belgian dark ale (480 ml)
- 2 handfuls fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- sunflower oil
- Season the diced beef on all sides with a little salt and pepper. Stir fry the meat for 5 minutes in some sunflower oil.
- Add the dark ale, the tamarind juice, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, brown sugar, bell peppers and red chili. Then season with a pinch of salt.
- Bring the ingredients to a rolling boil. Stir, cover and simmer for at least 2 hours until the beef is tender. If the stew isn’t thick enough, then remove the lid and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes.
- Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Take the pan off the heat and then stir in the freshly chopped cilantro.
- Serve the tamarind chili piping hot.