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Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry) with Chinese Long Beans

December 20, 2012

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry) with Chinese Long BeansPin it!

I’m writing today from the midst of a blizzard.

(In fact, our power is out, but thanks to my brother installing a back-up battery for our wireless router, I have internet! …just not heat.)

Today’s weather forecast is: 33 degrees Fahrenheit (“feels like 20”) with (“100% chance of”) heavy snow and wind. And man is this a change from sunny Santa Barbara.

I’m back in Wisconsin, visiting my family. And even though it means an adjustment to dry skin, chapped lips, wearing socks, and constant shivering, it’s good to be home.

Eggs, galangal, and almonds for Indonesian Egg Curry; Chinese long beans

The evergreens and bare tree branches are all coated with snowy highlights, and the ground is bright and white, untarnished by mud, slush, or even snowplows or shovels– for now.*

As often happens in the winter, and around the holidays, it feels a bit like I am subsisting on coffee, baked goods, and chocolate. Oh, and clementines. Oh so many clementines.

The best antidote to this habit of holiday snacking is a hearty, spicy, warming curry. I know just the one.

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

I love eggs in curry. I used to be hooked on an Indian egg curry that I often made with chunky onions and tomatoes, but I haven’t made it once since I met my girlfriend (nearly two years ago now, in Jan. 2011). She doesn’t like the texture of cooked tomatoes (!) or onions. Thank goodness she can at least enjoy their flavors once blended up into a curry sauce, though.

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry) with Chinese Long Beans

Not too long ago, I was flipping through my Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, and this recipe jumped out at me as a tasty vehicle for a decadent amount of hard-boiled eggs.

The idea of adding almonds to the curry sauce struck me as very appealing, too. (Yet another use for the whole, raw almonds from my friends Bekki and Nate at Fat Uncle Farms! …not that this recipe is going to sell very many almonds; it only calls for 15.)

Blanching almonds for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

Surprisingly, though, in a sad, rare Moosewood fail, the curry was nowhere near spicy or flavorful enough. It was also too sweet– significantly lacking in spice and acidity. Unsure whether it’d ever be blog-worthy, I re-made it last week, upped the chili paste, and added tamarind, lime, and tomato to balance things out. It was delicious.

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry) with Chinese Long BeansPin it!

The warm coconut milk sauce has a creamy, almondy, comforting flavor. It’s as if the sauce is aiming to reproduce the richness of egg yolks, but with spicy, tangy hints of chili and tamarind/lime that offset the decadence with a savory bite.

Adobo-style Chinese Long BeansPin it!

I picked up the accompanying Adobo-style long beans recipe from the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook, too. (Unlike the curry, it needed little modification.) It’s a speedy, tasty preparation for long beans, or any kind of green beans really, which is truly addictive and fresh tasting, thanks to the tang of vinegar. It makes for a nice, healthy alternative to that other speedy green bean strategy: vegetables in butter sauce.

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry) with Chinese Long Beans

These two dishes don’t particularly rely on one another; I just wanted something green on my plate.

You might want to make them separately, especially if you prefer your vegetables in your curry, rather than on the side. I bet some bamboo shoots, green beans, eggplant, onions, or broccoli would be right at home in this curry, along with the eggs…

Sauce for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

If you’re adding more than a little handful of vegetables, though, you might want to consider making more curry sauce, too. As it was, I sopped up every last spoonful of the thick sauce with fluffy jasmine rice. I practically licked the pan afterwards. It was that kind of curry.

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

* I just saw a lovely movie called Monsieur Lazhar, which takes place in Montreal. The main character (from Algeria) explains that his city is known as “Algiers the white” and his Canadian student counters back that you could call her city “Montreal the slush”– I think that could easily apply to Madison, too.

Print both recipes. (PDF)
Print Long Beans recipe only. (PDF)


Chinese Long Beans with Vinegar, Pepper, and Garlic
(adapted from the “Greens Adobo” recipe in “Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant”)

(Serves 4)

~ 1 pound (about 4 cups) Chinese long beans (or green beans, or broccoli), washed and trimmed
~ 3 cloves garlic, sliced (or store-bought crispy fried garlic)
~ 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
~ ¼ cup water (or stock)
~ 1 tsp. white vinegar (or Chinese black vinegar)
~ 2 tsp. soy sauce
~ fresh ground black pepper

Adobo-style Chinese Long Beans

How to make it:

1. If making your own fried garlic, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet or wok, stir-fry the garlic slices until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

2. Heat the oil, add the beans to the skillet or wok, and toss over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Then pour in the water, lower the heat, and cover. Allow the beans to steam for another 3-6 minutes, checking them occasionally to make sure they’re not too soft.

3. If the beans seem cooked enough but not all the liquid has been absorbed yet, then use a large pot lid to “drain” the extra water off into the sink, then put the pan back on the burner, but turn off the heat. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, and black pepper, and toss until the beans are coated well.

4. Transfer to a serving dish right away while hot (or serve in the skillet), and sprinkle with the fried garlic before serving.

Print this recipe (Long Beans only)! (PDF)
Print both recipes! (PDF)
Print this recipe (Indonesian Egg Curry only). (PDF)

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)
(roughly adapted from “Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant”)

(Serves 4)

~ 3-4 pieces dried galanga (laos root)
~ 1 Tbsp. pureed frozen (or fresh) lemongrass (or use dried lemongrass)
~ ¾ cup water
~ 15 almonds, peeled (see Step #2 below)
~ 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
~ 1 small tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
~ 3 cloves garlic, peeled
~ 3-4 Tbsp. sambal oelek (or other chili paste), or to taste
~ 1 tsp. tamarind paste (or fresh lime juice)
~ 2-3 Tbsp. peanut oil
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1 tsp. brown sugar
~ 1 can coconut milk (use slightly less for a thicker curry sauce)
~ white pepper (or black pepper), to taste
~ 6-8 hard-boiled eggs (see Step #1), or use fried tofu!
~ 2 scallions, sliced, to garnish
~ lime wedges and/or tomato slices to serve on the side

Hard-boiled eggs for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

How to make it:

1. Hard-boil the eggs by placing them in a pot, filling it with enough water to cover the eggs, and bringing it to a strong boil. Once boiling, put the lid on, and remove the pot from the burner. Let sit with the lid on for 10 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl or colander and run cold water on them for a minute to stop them from cooking more. Peel the eggs once they’re cool.

2. Peel the almonds: Boil water in a kettle (or bring the water from the eggs back to a boil). Place the almonds in a heat-resistant bowl and pour hot water over them. Let them sit in the hot water for 1-2 minutes until their peels loosen enough to pop them off easily.

Blanching almonds for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)Galangal and lemongrass for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

3. Use a very small saucepan to simmer the galanga, lemongrass, and water, until the liquid reduces by at least half, or to 1/4 cup. Pour through a tea strainer into a container (or don’t bother straining out the lemongrass, and just remove the galanga).

Blanched almonds, onion, and sambal oelek for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)Sauce for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

4. Use a food processor to purée the almonds, onion, seeded tomato, garlic, chili paste, and tamarind or lime juice. Once Step #3 is complete, heat the peanut oil in a wok or large deep skillet, then add the liquid from Step #3 and the puréed mixture to the pan. Cook the sauce over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated (no liquid remains behind in the path when you push the sauce around with a wooden spoon). Be careful of splattering.

5. Then add the salt, sugar, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season with white pepper, or additional salt, chili, or tamarind/lime if necessary. Add the eggs and let simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve warm in individual dishes over rice, with tomato and lime wedges on the side. Garnish with scallions. This curry is nice with a side of steamed vegetables, such as Chinese long beans, broccoli, or green beans.

Print this recipe (Indonesian Egg Curry only)! (PDF)
Print both recipes! (PDF)

Sauce for Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry)

Sambal Goreng Telur (Indonesian Egg Curry) with Chinese Long BeansPin it!

Related recipe posts:
> South Indian Green Bean Curry with Shredded Coconut
> Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)
> Simple Lemongrass Laksa with Shrimp

24 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2012 9:32 am

    I love eggs, so this really makes me curious!

    • December 20, 2012 10:42 am

      I love eggs, too! And they are so nice in spicy curries, since they provide a mild and tasty little respite from the spice. I also like adding them to dal (lentil curries/soups).

      • December 20, 2012 10:52 am

        Wow. I love adding eggs (poached) to soups, but had never even thought of putting eggs in my Dals! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Wonderful ideas

      • December 20, 2012 1:52 pm

        You’re welcome! Hard-boiled eggs are wonderful in spicy noodle soups or thick dals. I love poached eggs too, especially with kale over rice.

  2. December 20, 2012 7:16 pm

    Looks delicious! Much better than the quesadilla I had for dinner tonight! Love the addition of the eggs. My boyfriend makes doro wat, an Ethiopian dish, and he always adds eggs to the sauce. Sometimes he pierces the eggs so that some of the sauce gets absorbed inside. Thanks for the dinner inspiration!

    • December 20, 2012 7:38 pm

      I love doro wat! (And yes, I thought about piercing or slicing the eggs while cooking them in the curry sauce, but I guess I didn’t get around to it since I was busy taking photos.) Does your boyfriend also make injera? (I’d love to hear your recipes for either of those; there are sadly no Ethiopian restaurants in Santa Barbara, or for miles surrounding it– I’ve investigated!)

  3. December 20, 2012 7:43 pm

    These sound delicious, and delicious together! I love egg in curries too.

    • December 21, 2012 9:20 am

      Yes, eggs in curries are such a happy, cozy combination. (And usually I think hard-boiled eggs are a bit boring, but this is where they shine.)

  4. December 21, 2012 8:26 am

    I’ve never seen or had an egg curry. It looks amazing and I’m sure the richness of the eggs would go wonderfully with a curry. Great idea! I look forward to trying it out!

    • December 21, 2012 9:22 am

      Yes, exactly! Egg curries can be a bit doubly rich, as you can imagine, but it’s also an awesome, easy, and cheap way to mix up the main protein in nearly any curry dish, and with this recipe I cut through all that richness with extra chili, and tamarind/lime. Hard-boiled eggs + spiciness is the greatest combination.

  5. December 21, 2012 10:56 pm

    You had me at sambal! It looks deeeeelicious!

    • December 24, 2012 8:34 am

      It was! :) I could eat the sauce with a spoon… I’ll be making it again at the next opportunity.

  6. December 23, 2012 6:33 am

    This looks delicious. I adore Indian egg curry so am sure I would love this too.

    • December 24, 2012 8:35 am

      Yes, same here! This is not that different from Indian egg curries really– still has onions, tomatoes, spices– just a different set of flavors with the lime and the coconut milk.

  7. December 24, 2012 10:40 am

    This looks incredible! I’ve never seen anything like this with cooked eggs in sauce but I can’t get enough of Indian food so I’m sure I’d like it.

    • December 27, 2012 9:31 am

      Thanks! Yeah, if you like Indian food, eggs, and Thai coconut milk curries, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to love this. :)

  8. December 26, 2012 9:43 pm

    I used to have an Indonesian roommate back in college and I remember her mom made this or something similar which was so delicious. I love eggs, and curry + egg combination sounds good… I can imagine egg yolk and white sucks up nice curry flavor… oh so yummy!

    • December 27, 2012 9:33 am

      Oo, it sounds like you lucked out, getting to eat delicious Indonesian food from your roommate and her mom. Egg yolks and whites are both so tasty in spicy sauces. (Like how hard-boiled or fried eggs are often served with spicy Korean food! :)

  9. Dani permalink
    January 2, 2015 6:43 am

    we don’t use sambal oeloek for our sambal goreng recipe. We use fresh chili, lots of them! That’s what gives the kick. Not store bought sambal oeloek. That’ll be sad taste. Most of Indonesian food requires fresh ingredients. Fresh galangal, fresh lemon grass, and we don’t use almond, instead we use kemiri aka candlenut, it is most similar to macadamia nut than almond.

    • January 2, 2015 8:26 am

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, the sambal oeloek is just a shortcut, and it’s definitely better with all fresh ingredients, like you said. (I can’t always find fresh galanga, though — I can only find it in the store about 50% of the time that I look for it…)

      As for the candlenuts, those used to be impossible for me to find in the small city where I live (Santa Barbara, CA), so I substituted almonds in this recipe, but recently one of the little Asian markets in town finally started stocking candlenuts, so now I can buy them! :)

      • Dani permalink
        January 4, 2015 12:05 am

        Hi Allison, thanks for the reply. I admit some Indonesian egg curry are yellow from the turmeric too, I might differentiate the sambal goreng and curry. But, I hope you can try next time, both version, the red version of sambal goreng with fresh chillies and the yellow version curry like this one, all with fresh ingredients. And yay for the Asian market. I also live in a small city in Denmark and have to travel to the capital to get some spices. Happy cooking!


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