Chiang Mai, North Thailand, is a magical place.
It's one of those places that just oozes exotic culture.
In the atmospheric old town scooters shriek down bustling streets between the saffron-robed monks and gilded temples that inhabit every corner.
Within this hectic backdrop, food seemingly occupies every spare centimeter in the city. Markets and street-food sellers are interwoven with the very fabric of the city.
Around every corner there is something delicious being fried or grilled. The king of which is Sai Ua a.k.a. Chiang Mai sausage. A heady mix of pork, lemongrass, garlic and chilli, stuffed into a sausage and grilled to perfection. A wicked mix of the familiar and exotic.
I still have dreams of that sausage...
So marrying it with another obsession of mine, the Scotch Egg, seemed inevitable.
Here's how to do it.
5 large eggs
500g pork or chicken mince
10 Kaffir lime leaves finely minced
2tbsp coriander finely minced
1tbsp fish sauce
1 beaten egg, flour and panko-breadcrumbs (for covering)
1L neutral oil (Vegetable or Rapeseed/Canola)
Curry Paste Ingredients
3 cloves garlic
3 sticks of lemongrass, chopped
5cm of galangal, peeled
5 large dried chillis
1tsp of belacan/shrimp paste (triple fish-sauce and cut salt if none)
Store 5 eggs upside down for 1 day to center the yolks. Boil in rolling water for 6.5 minutes and plunge in an ice-bath to arrest the cooking process. Peel under a running tap and store dry in the freezer to firm up (do not freeze).
Grind curry paste ingredients in pestle and mortar (or more likely a food processor) until smooth. Using hands, mix with pork/chicken mince, herbs, fish-sauce and sugar until well-incorporated. Place in freezer to firm up (again, don't freeze).
Fill 6 inch pan with oil, leaving 2 inches so it won't over-spill when frying (very important!) Heat to 180-190C.
Assemble the scotch-eggs:
Roll egg in flour
Measure out 115-120g of meat mix
Spread evenly over lenght of left hand from palm to finger
Place egg lengthways across center of hand
Cup hand and merge meat around mid-way of egg
Pinch meat around both ends of egg
Roll between hands to ensure even coverage
Flour, Egg and Bread, pushing breadcrumbs into surface for adhesion.
In-batches (making sure not to over-flow) fry the scotch-eggs in oil for 5 minutes, or until deep-golden, turning occasionally to prevent sticking and uneven coloration.
Eat warm or cool fully for an awesome lunch/picnic snack.
Serve with thai sweet-chilli sauce and a spicy Nonya pickle like the one from this awesome book by Masterchef 2014 winner Ping Coombes.