Son In Law Quail Eggs

Preparation time: Cooking Time: Serves: 4 as starter

Difficulty: 2/5


For the sauce:
2tbsp tamarind paste
2tbsp fish sauce
1tbsp unrefined caster sugar
2 cloves garlic
1tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp peanut oil

For the eggs and garnish:
1l sunflower oil
1 shallot thinly sliced
12 quail eggs
200ml white wine vinegar
200g plain flour
1 red chilli finely sliced
4 spring onions finely sliced
A generous handful coriander shredded

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Firstly prepare the sauce:
Assemble all the ingredients in a small pan over a low heat.  Stir well to combine and bring to the boil. 
Let the sauce bubble for about 1 minute then remove from the heat and keep warm whilst you prepare the eggs.

Bring a large pan of water to a gentle simmer.
Fill a bowl with ice cold water and put to one side.
Put the vinegar into another bowl and crack the quail eggs directly into this. Carefully slide the eggs into the simmering water along with the vinegar.
Let them poach for 2mins exactly then remove with a slotted spoon and drop into the icy water. 
Leave them in the water whilst you prepare your shallots.

Heat the oil in a wok or high sided pan. Drop a breadcrumb in the oil to test the heat, when it gently sizzles and turns golden it is ready.
Deep fry the shallots in the oil until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Keep the oil on the heat but don’t leave it unattended!

Remove the quail eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Place the flour into a wide shallow bowl and very carefully roll the eggs in the flour until fully coated.
In batches of 3, gently drop the quail eggs into the oil and deep fry for 30secs-1min till they are puffy and crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

To serve place three deep fried quail eggs on each plate.  Spoon over the sauce and scatter with the deep fried shallots, chili, spring onions and coriander.

Note:  the best way to crack a quail egg is with a small sharp knife.  Gently tap the shell and then pierce membrane beneath. Drop the egg into a little ramekin before using – this way any unwanted broken yolks can be avoided!