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Malaysian Sweet and Sour Eggs Recipe (Eggs Masak Branda/Belanda)

Sweet and Sour Eggs

After my brief but intense love affair with Japanese food, I am ready to get back to my culinary root. I miss my savory, fiery, rich, sweet, sour, salty, and pungent Malaysian food. As much as I love other cuisines and am constantly infatuated with various exotic dishes from other countries, I am not about to ditch the color and taste of Malaysian food anytime soon. Fret not, I am back and will be serving up even more Malaysian delights.

I made this dish but I am not sure what to call it. My mother and aunt call this “masak berana” which is supposedly a type of Nyonya cooking style with tamarind juice and onions as the two main ingredients. However, “berana” doesn’t make much sense to me literally but I have no way to prove it. The other challenge to verify the real name is that–other than my parents’ and my aunt’s home–I haven’t seen this egg dish elsewhere, except at Cafe Sambal (a very popular Malaysian restaurant) in Beijing. If you do make this at home and know its name, please drop me a comment and let me know. (The real name of this cooking style is called “Masak Branda/Belanda.” Pixen – Thanks for leaving me a comment; mystery solved and I am forever thankful…)

This is easily one of my favorite egg recipes. A few eggs drenched in the ever-appetizing sweet and sour sauce served with steamed white rice plus dollops of sambal belacan (a Malay style sambal with roasted shrimp paste), I am in food heaven…

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44 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous

    i’ve not seen this dish before, but my nanna used to make it with a bit of rice wine, ginger, minced meat…hehe

    mm..can’t wait to see the recipe


  2. Lyrical Lemongrass

    It’s amazing how something so simple can looks so delicious. But then again, I’ve always liked my eggs. :-)

  3. Anonymous

    i guess you’re from penang, right? me masak berada. the real nyonya food. my mom used to made with salty fish, pork belly, chilli, garlic and asam. so yummy. i guess you name it right. not too many malaysian known. only from penang. can you post eggplant with shrimp with coconut milk. did you have that before? forgot the name.

  4. Kok

    Rasa Malaysia,
    I think this dish is quite easy to cook right? I’m waiting for your recipe so that I can try it myself. :)

  5. Oh for the love of food!

    This looks and sounds like something ming and I would absolutely LOVE! Is this dish Peranakan in origin?

  6. Kenny Mah

    Simple = good + fast! :)

    Again, gorgeous photos. I think you can take a picture of a phone book and we’d want to eat it! :D

  7. TrueBluePenangite

    I love eggs and I have had this dish before but my grandma just calls it “nui lam sui” Don’t know if this is even the same dish. She also makes fried eggs with dark soy sauce. Have you had that before as well?

    Great pics though. I think the camera is a good investment :)

  8. Tony

    This is very similar to a Thai dish known as “Son-in-law Eggs.”

    The major difference between the two is that in the Thai version the eggs are first hard-boiled and then deep-fried, which produces a very interesting crisp-chewy texture. They’re served with rice and a tamarind-fish sauce, fried shallots or onions, garlic and chiles.

  9. Passionate Eater

    Every time I visit your blog, I learn something new. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    Like your other commenting friends, I also love eggs. This dish looks so colorful and vibrant and the way you explain the process makes it sound easy to do. Could you also leave the eggs a little runny, or would that ruin the dish? It seems like it might interfere with the sauce.

  10. Anh

    Rasa Malaysia, this dish sounds so unique. Another egg recipe for me to try.

    And thanks for the advice on curry mee. Now I am so curious to try it out.

  11. bayi

    Simple dish, easy to cook and very appetizing. I have eaten this dish on many occasions. One variation I can think of is that the yolk is either well done (as you recommended) or half cooked, which means it is still in liquid form. I like it this way. Of course, many people would recommend it cooked for health reasons.

  12. pixen

    This style of cooking is called ‘masak branda’ or ‘masak belanda’. At home my family used either salted Kurau Fish or fresh kurau fish to cook this style. So, its called Fish Belanda/Branda or Ikan Masak Air Asam :-P Sometimes cinnamon sticks is added but the main ‘player (s) ‘ is the Tamarind pulp, garlic and ginger.

    The basic gravy can use to cook eggs, fish or chicken patties… the rest is up to your imagination.

    Not sure why is called Masak Branda/Belanda… perhaps influence from the Dutch as in Indonesia.

    Slamat maken.. :-)

  13. tigerfish

    Have not tried this combi before. I love kueh neng and such simple kueh neng, can be so posh-looking. I can imagine the sweet and sour taste already :P~~~~
    I don’t see this being served in Nyonya eateries in SG. Guess this is another of those home secrets. :D

  14. Claude-Olivier

    Just beautiful as always with you….something more ??? Your pictures are more than nice, just perfect and the recipe sounds really good. LA grande classe in French ;-)


  15. PrincessJournals

    iv never had my eggs done tht way. usually, if fried (msian style) il eat them w lingham cili sos or sweet soy sauce (habhal!).
    btw, have u tried frying hard boiled egg (w/o the shell of course) and cook w sambal?

  16. babe_kl

    i dun usually cook this as its easily available at those Malay mixed rice stalls. i tend to take this dish very often!

  17. Rasa Malaysia

    Pegs – I know another egg dish with pork, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce. It’s very good too and I will have to make it soon.

    Lemongrass – sometimes simple is the best.

    Anonymous – yes, I am from Penang. I am not sure about the dish you mentioned: egg plant + coconut mil + shrimp…hmm, is it perut ikan?

    Kok – yes, this dish is quite simple to make at home…but perfecting the balance between sour, sweet, and salty is a bit tricky but you should try making it. :)

    Bea – thanks. Eggs are just so pretty, whether it’s fried, boil, baked, stir-fried…they are still good looking. :)

    For the love of food – I think it’s Nyonya food because my family makes them so often. ;)

    Kenny – thanks for your compliment. OK, I will try to take an edible phone book shot. Hehe.

    TruebluePenangite – Yeah, I think this is nui lam sui, but I have never had fried eggs with dark soy sauce…sounds like something I would love. The camera is good, yeah, it’s not a bad investment at all. :)

    Tony – correct. I have had son-in-law egg and loved it. It’s the same principle, one being hard-boiled and then deep fried but with lesser sauce, and this has more sauce which is better with steamed rice. Both are equally good.

    Rosa – very yummy indeed.

    PE – I think you can have the eggs runny, but I love my eggs well done. The runny egg yolk might get in the way of the sweet and sour sauce, which is very divine. ;)

    Anh – I will make “Penang curry mee” hopefully soon. :)

    Jackson – you want to open a 5-star Malaysian restaurant or not? I can be teach your chef, hehe. :P

    Bayi – looks like you are like Passionate Eater who likes the eggs half-cooked. I don’t like those for some reason…they taste too “eggy” for my taste. LOL!

    Pixen – thanks so much for your comment. I am forever thankful to solve this mystery. :)

    Tiga – this is definitely a special and secret recipe. Hehe.

    Claude – Oui. Merci merci. LOL!

    Princess – yes, I love Malay sambal telur, and have tried making them but not Malay enough…you will have to teach me how to make it the authentic Malay way. :)

    Babe – is it? I never see this dish at Malay mixed rice stalls in Penang, there are something similar but not quite, perhaps I will have to venture more the next time I go home. :)

    WMW – I love eggs…I think it’s one of the most versatile yet delicious ingredients ever!

  18. valentinA

    Hello Rasa Malaysia,
    thanks for visiting my blog & leaving your comments:)
    What a gorgeous sweet & sour eggs dish you’ve whipped out! It reminds me of the times my Malaysian friends introduced me to Malaysian food when we were studying abroad. I had to get used to all the spices they put in their dishes, I learnt that chilli & plenty of salt are indispensable!:P

  19. Sweettooth

    I think the one babe_kl meant was ‘telur bistik’. I thought it’s telur bistik too when i 1st saw ur pix.

  20. Kenny Mah

    Trust me, if anyone can do it, you can! :)

    (Now the only question is whether to braise or bake the phone book..)

  21. Victoria

    OOh, I’ve never tasted this before but the sound of it is absolutely enticing. mmmm, fried eggs with sauce and rice. thats all I really need.=)

  22. UnkaLeong

    Does this have any relation to Belanda Bak (Pork) If you replace eggs with pork meat..Hmm…I think that’s the recipe for my moms belanda bak.

    Oh, Alignment all fixed ;) Now I just have to get the colour scheme right. Do let me know what you think :)

  23. elmomonster

    I think Pixen might be right. Belanda is the Indonesian word (or is Dutch), for “Dutch”, as in “The Netherlands”. “Masakan Belanda” is the Indonesian term for “Dutch Cooking”…although I’ve never seen this dish either. Although, some dishes that are Dutch in origin has sweet and sour sauce reminiscent of this recipe.

  24. Glory

    hi, first visited your blog a few days ago.. tried this dish last nite, easy & nice, thanks 4 the recipe! anyway, i’m a malaysian but have never eaten this before! :)

  25. Helen

    Hi there, really looking forward to your salted fish masak branda recipe. My late Mum used to cook it but I’ve forgotten the recipe.

  26. alia

    I know this dish! My mom used to serve us telur masak belanda too but I never knew how to make them. I guess with your telur masak belanda recipe, I ca show my mom that I know how to cook. lol.

  27. aili

    hey..thanks for the recipe and the photos, my granny used to cook it and she put salted fish as well….i missed that.

  28. Teo Lily

    I think i try to cook it also … i am a chef students.. i try cook ur dished for my pratical class ya… i will let my chef taste too… thx for ur recipe ya… if u dont mind we can share some recipe…

  29. Joyce

    OMG this is a wonderful dish., I ate this some 40 years ago during my mum time when she was alive. I just forget about this simple dish which my mum used to prepare during my younger days. Now that I have yr receipe I will definately prepare for my family this simple dish. hmmmmmm droollllllliiiiinnnnggggg now. Never imagine how can I misss this mouthwatering dish.

  30. Li Kheng Poh

    I have also been wanting to understand the origins of the Dutch word (Belanda)in this dish. I read quite a lot on historical stuff and since I am obssessed with food and have a horticulture background, I have read quite a lot on origins of food. I don’t know if the Dutch cook meat with vinegar but in Portugal/Spain the idea of cooking meat (e.g. pork) with vinegar, in a historical sense, is common. Vinegar preserves the dish at a time when there was no refrigeration. Hence, you see the European influence in Chicken Adobo (dish form the Philippines); and in the Malaysian Eurasian dish, Devil’s Chicken Curry. However, the idea of cooking seafood with sour tamarind comes from Southern India; and if I am not mistaken, primarily from Kerala, even though it is pretty universal in Southern India for those who do eat and cook seafood to combine sour tamarind with seafood. So, my speculation is that the Masak Belanda name might be a name made up by the nonya because the concept of cooking with sour tamarind originated in Southern India but the concept of combining meat with vinegar came to Southeast Asia via Europe. As in all things “ROJAK” in Malaysia, somehow in that translation/passage across several cultures, we get the name “Masak Belanda” based on the two borrowed ideas/technique of Southern India and Europe!

    • You might be right. I for one can never understand why this cooking style is called Masak Belanda because there is nothing Dutch in it. Anyway, a great dish is a great dish, regardless of its name and recipe.

  31. Christina

    I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for months and finally got to make it recently. I also added some plum sauce, chili sauce and a few dashes of Worchestershire sauce. It turned out great, and so easy to make. I’ll definitely be making this again :)

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