Son-in-law eggs

Son-in-law eggs |

The first time I heard the name of this popular Thai dish, the horrific image that formed in my mind is something that any newspaper editor will probably censor. But after a search for the history of this dish, it seems that the horrific image was not exactly far-fetched.

A fellow food blogger, Ellie, found two versions of the history of Son-In-Law Eggs. One story goes that when a man is not good to his wife, on a visit to the mother-in-law, the latter will serve him this dish with the very plain message to straighten up or his “wedding tackles” will replace the eggs in the dish.

A second story goes that while a wife was on vacation, her mother visited her home and the husband scrambled to impress her. With only leftover hard-boiled eggs and basic ingredients in the kitchen, he reheated the eggs by deep frying them. Then he threw what he could find — water, tamarind juice, sugar and fish sauce — into a pan to make a sauce, forgot about it so that the mixture simmered until it was rich and thick. He poured the sauce over the fried eggs and served them to his mother-in-law who was truly impressed.

I don’t know which version you like better, I still prefer my version based on my sometimes overactive imagination which I sure can’t tell you about. I can, however, share with you the recipe for this wonderful dish with the photo taken by my daughter, Sam (she’s taking up A.B. Photography and she likes to practice by taking photos of what I cook).


  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled
    1 onion, finely sliced
    4 cloves of garlic, chopped
    1 c. of vegetable cooking oil
    3 tbsps. of tamarind paste (available in supermarkets) or 6 tbsps. of fresh tamarind extract
    2 tbsps. of patis (fish sauce)
    3 to 4 tbsps. of muscovado sugar
    ½ c. of water
    1 to 2 chili peppers (siling labuyo), finely sliced
    snipped cilantro, for garnish



    Start by making the sauce so that by the time the sauce is rich and thick, the eggs will still be hot. In a small pan, stir together the tamarind paste (or juice), sugar, patis and water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to medium and continue boiling, uncovered, to reduce.

    Crack the eggs and peel off the shells. Cut each egg in half lengthwise.

    Heat the cooking oil in a wok. Fry the garlic until lightly toasted. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels (see related entry). Do the same with the sliced onion (click here for detailed instructions).

    Reheat the oil. Fry the eggs, cut side down, until golden. Depending on the size of your wok (and the depth of the oil), you may have to flip the egg halves for even browning. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and arrange, cut side up, on a plate or shallow bowl. Son-in-law eggs

    When the sauce is thick, ladle over the eggs. Sprinkle the toasted onion, garlic and sliced chili peppers on top and around the eggs. Finally, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve hot.

Cooking time (duration): 20 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 2 to 3


  1. emy M says

    That’s unfair,you’re not sharing your version.
    I bet it’s funny.

    Anyway,the eggs are cheap these days.
    18 for $1.77…my co-workers will feast on eggs
    this coming days.


  2. kulasa says

    This I’ve got to try. Mom used to serve us hard boiled eggs with left over spaghetti sauce (tomato) with some boiled cabbage. My sibs and I love it and we still cook it. Now my nephews and nieces love it too. We call it spaghettegg!

  3. says

    Tita Connie,

    Can I use sinigang mix instead? I know you don’t like using pre-mixed stuff, but in case lang I don’t find the tamarind paste, would the sinigang mix suffice? Thanks po. :)