Storecupboard ‘Son-in-Law Eggs’



Son-in-law eggs are delicious – hard 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!

This is my ‘storecupboard’ version as when I came to cook today I realised I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients and would need to make some substitutions.  In place of palm sugar I’m using brown; I’ve got finely sliced onion instead of shallots; and a mix of brown sugar and lime juice replaces tamarind paste.


It’s not a precise recipe either – 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 one, or two to go with additional dishes, you’ll need

quite a lot, perhaps 2-4 tbsp cooking oil

2 hard boiled eggs (put the cold water and eggs in the pan together rather than adding eggs to boiling water to avoid cracking the shells and keep on a low boil only for the same reason)

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

1 red chilli, sliced (optional)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tbsp lime juice mixed with 1 tbsp brown sugar (or tamarind paste if you have it)

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp water

sliced spring onions and/or coriander leaves to garnish

plain boiled rice to serve

Put a wok 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.

If you have rinsed the eggs after peeling, make sure they are completely dry before adding to the pan.

Fry the eggs, turning them until they are browned all over. This will take around 5 or 6 minutes.


Please be really careful as the oil spits a LOT and I have burnt myself quite badly in the past. I now wear really long sleeves that I actually pull down over my hands AND hold a cloth when turning the eggs.

When the eggs are browned, carefully remove from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and keep somewhere warm.


Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, until browned and some are crispy. This will take around another 5 or 6 minutes.


Add the sliced chilli now as well, if using.


Remove the shallots or onion and drain on kitchen paper.


Drain off the remaining oil and return the pan to the heat, turning it down low. Add the chopped garlic and cook for maybe 30 seconds, stirring, and then add the lime/sugar mixture, sugar and fish sauce plus a tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.


Taste the sauce and add more lime juice, fish sauce or sugar to taste. If the sauce is a bit thick add a little more water and if it’s a bit thin, simmer for another minute or so to reduce.

To serve, slice the eggs in half and top with the sauce then with the shallots/chillies and garnish with the spring onions and coriander.


Let me know if you make this – and what you think …

One thought on “Storecupboard ‘Son-in-Law Eggs’”

  1. Pingback: The Tiniest Thai spring lunch – and ‘son-in-law eggs’ | The Tiniest Thai

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