Son-In-Law Eggs: The Grisly Story Behind The Classic Thai Dish
Son-in-law eggs are a delicious Thai treat -- but the story of the dish's origin is not so savoury.
The spicy, fragrant meal of deep fried eggs served with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce are a popular street food and were recreated by MasterChef: Back To Win contestant Dani Venn for tonight's ~gooey~ elimination challenge.
The dish is so moreish that judge Jock Zonfrillo admitted he once ate 34 son-in-law eggs at a staff party -- although he might not have eaten them with such gusto if they'd been whipped up by his wife's mother.
The legendary origin story of son-in-law eggs (kai loug kheuh) describes a mother who sends a powerful threat via her cooking to her daughter's badly behaved spouse.
MasterChef alumni Marion Grasby has a recipe for the dish on her website and a video on her YouTube channel featuring her Thai mother Mama Noi describing the meal with a cheeky grin.
"If the son-in-law doesn't look after the daughter, the mother-in-law is going to cook his 'eggs' in a spicy sauce," she says.
"I'd never do that to my son-in-law...yet!" she laughed.
Son-in-law eggs also had a starring role on MasterChef UK last year although contestant Yui Miles described the tale a little more explicitly than Mama Noi.
"It's just the threat of the mother-in-law, if the son-in-law is not being faithful to her daughter he might get his bits chopped off and fried," Yui told the judges.
Chopped off and fried!
It's a dish that makes us realise there should be more recipes that send subtle (or not so subtle) messages to loved ones without having to say a word.
But the next time you tuck into the dish, you might want to avoid thinking about the symbolic "bits" that you're chomping on.