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Chef-Me-Not!! - Not just any typical cooking guide!
Chef-Me-Not Best Survival Guide Cooking by Instinct.
Not just your typical Thai recipe cooking guide!

Braised Brown Eggs Thai Palow

Join the journey of cooking, from the ancient Thai world to modern America.

Braised Brown Eggs Thai Palow Style - The Recipe. Every Thai child's favorite dish: The aroma of palm sugar and Indian spices, plus the tenderness of the meat and smoothness of the eggs.-Find out what makes this dish so good!

Did you read Brown Eggs and Me - the background that leads to this famous egg dish?

This dish is quite easy to make. Try it out and please come back to share with us how this works out for you!

Have yourself the most wonderful Chef-Me-Not day!

Best regards,

Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit

For the Children and their Parents

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As I mentioned in my story -Brown Eggs and Me- that led up to this Thai egg dish recipe, I remember the days when my mother used to bribe me to eat, up until we both discovered that I fell for the heavenly taste of kaipalow. Then, there wasn't any more need to bribe me with toys! My happiness would be heightened even more when she offered me 'Baby' kaipalow, using braised quail eggs instead of the usual chicken or duck eggs. Thai braised brown eggs -or kaipalow -is usually made with cubes of pork tenderloin (cooked long enough to melt in the mouth), tender pork cartilage, or, my favorite, chicken drumsticks. Tofu skin is also used often because it absorbs the flavor really well, therefore releasing just the right taste once in the mouth.

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The Tradition Continues

My mother made me kaipalow when I needed soothing. Now, I make it for my children because this is the one dish that brings everyone together and puts smiles on their faces. I stick with chicken eggs and never attempt the dangerously high cholesterol quail eggs.

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As you may remember from my Chef-Me-NOT!!! introduction, I mentioned to you that I am unorthodox. Today, I will perform my unorthoox act on one ingredient that I will add to my braised brown eggs, and that is bamboo shoots- Just because I like them and happen to have a few cans sitting in my food pantry. What I love about bamboo shoots is that they are high in fiber. Since this is a brown dish, and no green vegetable is involved (cilantro leaves don't count!), bamboo shoots will definitely lighten up the load.

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I choose to make this recipe which serves 10, even though I only have five in my family at the moment. I freeze a few large portions and save them for my "lazy" days when I don't feel like cooking!

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18-24 hard boiled eggs - Fresh farm eggs are recommended. We had eighteen eggs left and I used them all. Let the boiled eggs sit in cold water for ten minutes, or until you can get around to peeling them. Peel as gently as you can so you have good looking eggs. A hint - I often call my available troop, aka, my children. It's time to practice focus, patience, and attention-paying to details. Or, should I call it "peel-man-ship"?

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1 bag of 16 oz palm sugar - Ah, yes, we will use the whole thing.

Nampla - the ratio between salty and sweet taste is 3:4 Make sure you have enough nampla, and we'll do our tasting test at the end. And please, don't do the math - just because you put in 16 oz of palm sugar doesn't mean that you will put in 12 oz of nampla!! NO!!!!!! We will apply our senses, include common sense and cooking instinct, to perfect the taste of our braised brown eggs!

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Your ground-mixed-blended GPC - 3/4 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn (if you have small children) or more (I put in as much as black peppercorn as I can get away with before my whole family threatens to divorce me.), and 10 tiny roots of cilantro, 4-5 if your clantro roots are slightly larger.

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Spices* - "As many Indian spices as possible," was how my mother put it. I have to add, "But without yellow curry, cumin, paprika or chili pepper." In this particular pot I use 4-5 pieces of star anise, about a teaspoon of cloves, less than a teaspoon of coriander seeds, and one cinnamon stick.

*You can opt out from any or all of the spices and your kaipalow will still be delicious. You will be missing only the aroma and some digestive help, but it really isn't a big deal.

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  • 2 cans of sliced bamboo shoots, rinse the liquid, soak in water and drain.
  • One family size pack of chicken drumsticks - about 12-14 drumsticks, maybe?
  • Sometimes, I garnish with cilantro leaves, but not today.
  • Oh, you'll need a little bit of cooking oil. Extra virgin olive oil is my choice, and has been, for the last several years.

Cooking process

1. On medium high, heat a large pot with oil, then put in your blended GPC. At this point, if you are not accustomed to using mortar and pestle, and prefer to use a chopper, blender, or whatever, that's quite alright. It's your cooking, do what pleases you - as long as they're blended well together then you're good to go.

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2. Wait until your GPC sizzles and smells delicious, put in palm sugar and let it melt. Then pour in about 10 'ka-plong' or, 1 spatulaful of nampla. Please keep close watch, you want the nampla with the sugar and GPC mixture to brown, not burn. You may want to turn down the heat just a notch, we'll turn it up after we add other ingredients.

3. Put in drumsticks when the mixture melts completely and is bubbly boiling. Use the spatula to stir so the chicken is coated with the mixture. Put in your nice-looking peeled boiled eggs. Gently coat them with the mixture as we don't want them to break, in which case you will end up with floating filmy egg yolk.

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4. Add cold water - the cold will bring out the sweetness of the chicken. Make sure that water covers your ingredients. At this point, the liquid should look a little brown.

5. Add your Indian (spices!). Perhaps it's time to add another 10 ka-plongs of nampla. Do not taste - you still have raw chicken in there.

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6. If bamboo was your choice (and/or tofu skin), this is the time to put it in.

7. Bring the heat back up to medium high. Do not cover.

Now you can go tweet about your Thai braised brown eggs! Please don't forget to mention Chef-me-NOT!!!

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8. If you have an hour or more, give it that much time. If you're running late like me (all the time!) check it after 30 minutes. First, see if the eggs have turned light brown, and, second - more importantly - if the drumsticks are tender enough that some start to fall off the bones when you gently nudge them with a spoon or spatula.

9. Now you can taste the broth. If you only used 20 ka-plongs or 2 spatulaful of nampla, you will need to pour in more. Remember the 3:4 salty to sweet taste ratio? If it still tastes very sweet (like dessert) add more nampla - try 5 ka-plongs or 1/2 spatula at a time. But try not to let the salty taste outdo the sweet taste, or you will have to add more sugar!! The perfect taste should be a balance between the saltiness and sweetness with a more definite, defined edge on the sweet side.
The authenticity of "Thai" kaipalow is judged by how one browns it. Sometimes, ingredients other than palm or coconut sugar are added to speed up the browning of the eggs -usually by those who do not understand the roots of Thai Cooking- but real Thais would never do this.

10. Technically, when cooked with chicken drumsticks, kaipalow should be bubbly for 60 - 80 minutes. The eggs will get as brown as they get, PLEASE LET THEM BE. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT add Black soy sauce, aka, sweet soy sauce, in Thai kaipalow JUST FOR THE SAKE OF TURNING THE EGGS BROWN. The aroma of black soy sauce will practically murder the nice aroma of GPC and the other spices, and the taste will become very bittersweet (haha-not funny). I have also heard that some recipes call for oyster sauce, or nammunhoy. As good as oyster sauce is in a lot of my dishes, braised brown eggs is NOT where it belongs.

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11. (You have the option of garnishing with a few leaves of cilantro.) This dish is best served with jasmine rice. Eggs, drumsticks and the broth are poured over the aromatic jasmine rice. I'd like to suggest using spoon and fork as your utensils. This way, you get the egg, the meat, and enough liquid soaked into the rice.

12. Have the amount you have for the meal. Pack the rest of your yummy kaipalow in freezer bags (make sure it has cooled down first). Braised brown eggs can be frozen for months. When you want to use them, thaw, then pour the contents in a pot and re-heat at medium heat. I don't recommend microwave re-heating.

Be confident: you can make this marvelous dish! Try it, and you will add one more dish to the family's favorites! Enjoy! OMG, I'm salivating.... Buon apetito!!

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Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit - La CoffeeMelodie Suite

Pradichaya Gafaae Poonyarit:

A Thai soprano from head to toe with an attitude of a no-nonsense entrepreneur with innovative ideas and, sometimes, shocking approaches, who fits the phrase "been there, done that" perfectly, and is looking forward to new challenges. A leader, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and, a chef-ME-NOT. All makes a person who turns every situation into a learning experience, and, is super charged with positive energy.

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