By Amy Watsky
You might be thinking Thai and British… what!? It may sound like an unlikely combo but hear me out! Coming from a multicultural background, I’m always trying to find ways to meld together my Japanese and Jewish culture in the kitchen. While the ingredients from both sides could not be more different, they often combine to make something uniquely harmonious; something I see as a sweet reference to my family. And of course, it goes beyond just Japanese and Jewish; there are so many different cuisines in the world that have uniquely delicious components that, when combined, bring out the best in each other.
British cuisine has long been characterized as just plain “bad,” lacking in flavor and visually unappetizing. But I’ve personally fostered an unlikely attachment to this food through fond memories of visiting my boyfriend in London — one of the places where the Scotch Egg proverbially originated.
While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I refuse to deny some gems that this cuisine has hidden. The Scotch egg is a rusty jewel: a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage, and fried — the sort of crispy comfort food you dine on in an English pub on a cloudy day. It sounds slightly gruesome but make that a runny-soft boiled egg and a Thai chicken sausage baked in a panko crust — and you’ve got a totally revamped dish. Inspired by the abundant usage of mint, basil, and cilantro in Isan cuisine from Northern Thailand, I created an Asian-style sausage to replace the fatty pork sausage typically used in the traditional British version.
Thai cuisine is spicy, nutty and vibrant, a slight divergence from British cuisine to say the least. Combine the two cuisines, and you’ll see that British cuisine, with a little boost from Thailand, can be pretty scrumptious.
For this week’s recipe guide, I wanted to highlight a California farm, Thao Family Farms. Aside from the fact that they grow beautiful Southeast Asian vegetables and herbs perfect for this dish, the farm itself represents a historically powerful cultural exchange. A child of Laotian refugees, Kong Thao has grown out and expanded his parents’ American dream through their family farm. The farm grows hundreds of different types of produce in an almost zero-waste process and serves as the backbone to many local LA restaurants, including Venice’s Night + Market and Jeremy Fox’s Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica.
Recently, Thao Family Farms sold a “Peak of Harvest Produce Box” filled with basil, cured Thai shallots, water spinach, and more through their Instagram page and offered pick up locations at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Keep a look out for their produce on their Instagram page (@kongthao03) to get inspiration for your own freshly picked and hand-packaged seasonal box!
Scotch Egg Ingredients
1-pound ground chicken (Pork, beef or turkey will work as well)
A few sprigs of mint, chopped
A few leaves of basil, chopped
A bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
Thai chilies, chopped (entirely optional!)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 teaspoons of fish sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
6 eggs, cold
½ cup of cornstarch
1 to 2 cups of panko
1 heaping tablespoon of red curry paste (I used the brand Maesri)
1/3 cup of coconut milk
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Leafy greens (spinach, watercress, pea shoots)
Chopped up herbs (leftover from the chicken mixture)
½ teaspoon of salt
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon of fish sauce
• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and place the cold eggs in gently, turning the heat down to a simmer. After 6 minutes, immediately put the eggs in an ice bath. Set aside.
• In a bowl, mix together the chicken, herbs, garlic, shallot, salt, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and corn starch until fully combined. If you love spicy food, add in those spicy Thai chilies for an added kick. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. This step can be done the night before for a more flavorful filling.
• Heat a pan with a bit of cooking oil and toast the panko breadcrumbs with a sprinkle of salt over medium high heat until golden brown. For our keto readers, feel free to use almond flour instead! Set aside in a bowl to cool.
• Peel the eggs when they’re fully cooled and dry them off. Bring the chicken mixture out of the fridge, and line up the eggs, cornstarch, chicken and panko next to a lightly greased aluminum-foiled baking pan.
• Coat each egg in cornstarch. Grease your hands and take 1/6 of the chicken mixture and flatten it out into a thin patty. Place an egg in the middle and wrap the meat mixture around the egg. Roll it in the panko breadcrumbs until fully coated, and place on the baking pan. Repeat with all of the eggs, and spray with some oil.
• Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, and then broil on high for the remaining 5 minutes.
• While it’s cooking, combine all of the salad vegetables and mix it together with a squeeze of lime, shallot, salt and fish sauce.
• Combine the red curry paste, coconut milk, peanut butter and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, whisking to combine.
• Eat everything together!