Breakfast can be a bit of a divisive moment in our household – I normally wake up hungry to the point of ravenous, I am fully awake and charged, and ready to eat anything. Mr. HW instead is less of a morning person, waking up slowly and often not really keen on eating…or I suspect, to cook.
Also, as you can imagine, our respective upbringing mean a different idea of what is considered breakfast food – the Italian standard is milk and toast with some jam at home, or “cappuccino and cornetto” (croissant) at a café, or even milk and cereals. In Malaysia, breakfast may range from noodles to spicy chicken, to flaky paratha with thin curry (sambar), but it is definitely savoury. And as for our common home Britain’s breakfast essentials, well – the full English is not really something for everyday, although we’re both partial to a nice rasher of proper bacon (or two).
So after this lengthy introduction, here it is, the dish that somehow reconciles our differences by mish-mashing bits of our childhood favourites into something that’s not quite European, not quite Asian, but wholly delicious and easy to whip up in the morning– even for groggy Mr. HW.
British eggs and creamy avocado are lifted to a new level by the addition of South-East Asian staple condiment, sambal; good bread provides the comforting carbs I so need in the morning, together with a sprinkle of sugar I add to the avocado.
You can scramble the eggs like in the picture below, or poach them and leave the yolk runny – it will melt into the toast and bind with the sambal for a decadent, creamy-spicy – sweet hit that will just hit the spot. And I found chilli wakes me up much more than caffeine!
There are lots of variations of this dish, and you can even skip the avocado if you’re concerned about the double fats (I’m not!), but I have descided to write down the recipe for the poached eggs version. As it can be quite tricky to master the poaching eggs technique (cue: I never did), I use a very handy tool – the silicon poaching pods by Lakeland , making it impossible or at least very hard to fail at the task.
You may need to experiment a bit with your preferred level of cooking for the eggs, but once you’ve found it, you’re never going to have broken, messy egg whites or have to use vinegar to poach eggs. And if you can do it without help, well you have all my respect!
A note on sambal: here I used hand-made sambal by the lovely ladies at SambalShiok, a great London Malayian-inspired street food trader; if you can’t get your hands on a jar of the proper stuff, it is worth making your own sambal as it keeps quite well and it has 1,000 uses.
- 2 medium or large size eggs
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 2 slices of bread (I use rye bread, but any good quality bread will do; I prefer to avoid sourdough with large holes in the texture as it doesn't hold the topping)
- 2 tablespoon of sambal, preferably homemade
- salt, pepper, sugar to taste
- TOOLS (optional): egg poaching pods
- How to use the poaching pods:
- Boil 2inches of water in a small pot, lower to a simmer.
- Lightly oil two pods and place them in the simmering water, then break an egg in each. Cover with a fitting lid and cook for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. I found 6 minutes is perfect for me as I prefer them slightly more set than usual for this recipe.
- Use the tool or a spoon to lift the pods out of the water and gently slip the edge of a spoon around the egg to detach it into a plate. Make sure you get rid of any water from condensation that may have gathered in the pod.
- While your eggs boil. put the bread in the toaster and mash the avocado flesh with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to taste.
- Assemble your toast: spread the mashed avocado on toasted bread, place the egg on top and drizzle with the sambal. Grab and enjoy!
Disclosure: I received the egg poaching pods courtesy of Lakeland.