Eggs poached in red curry


Nick Roumel

I recently gave you “pork stuffed with pork.” I now present the coup de grace:  red curry sauce that will make your pork sing, like a co-conspirator offered a sweetheart deal, trilling soprano from the witness box.
The pork tenderloin I had made for dinner, stuffed with Italian sausage, was delicious on its own. Faced with leftovers for breakfast, I did what any other hungry lawyer would do in the same circumstance. I cooked some rice, studded it with slices of stuffed tenderloin, and finished that puppy with a poached egg cooked in red curry sauce. The result was a serious cold weather comfort food with just enough fire to keep the internal furnace stoked.

Eggs Poached in Red Curry

(with a tip of the pan to


1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste, or a 1/2-inch ball of tamarind pulp (1/4 ounce) plus 1/4 cup warm water, or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (NOTE:  I did not have tamarind paste, so I used lemon juice sweetened with a little demerara sugar)

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 shallot or green onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small serrano pepper, minced more to taste, or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice


 freshly ground pepper

 Pinch of cayenne

1 to 2 eggs

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

3/4 cup cooked basmati rice

***yesterday’s leftover stuffed pork tenderloin, please, gently reheated***     


1. If using tamarind paste or a tamarind ball, soak in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 minutes, strain and reserve the water.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy saucepan or a deep, straight-sided skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili pepper and continue to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and stir together for a minute. Pulse the tomatoes with their juice a few times in a food processor or mini-chop, then add to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tamarind soaking water or lemon juice and the cayenne, taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes.

3. For one serving, remove all but about 1/2 cup of the sauce from the pan and reserve for another time. Bring the sauce in the pan to a simmer. Break the egg or eggs into a teacup, and carefully tip into the tomato sauce. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the whites are set but the yellow yolks show through. It’s important that the yolk be runny. Turn off the heat. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with cilantro. Remove from the heat and serve over basmati rice with the leftover pork tenderloin.

This might be extra-enjoyable with a touch of Sriracha sauce; and with a cup of strong black coffee, an excellent way to start the work week on a cold, dark Monday morning.


Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel, PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.