Malaysian Sweet and Sour Eggs Recipe (Eggs Masak Branda/Belanda)
April 14th, 2007 44 Comments

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

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


4-5 eggs (fried “well done”)
1 onion (cut into rings and then cut into half)
1/2 red chili (sliced thinly)
1/2 stalk scallion (sliced diagonally)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fish sauce (optional; if you don’t use fish sauce, add extra salt)
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Tamarind pulp (the size of a small ping pong ball)
1 cup water

  • Fry the eggs “well done” and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, add one cup of water to the tamarind pulp and soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind pulp to extract the juice. Use only the juice and discard the pulp.
  • Heat up your wok and add in the cooking oil.
  • Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes until they turn slighly brown or aromatic.
  • Add in the fried eggs and do a quick stir.
  • Lower the heat, add the tamarind juice and bring it to boil.
  • Add in sugar, salt, fish sauce, scallion and chili. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve hot.
  • Cook’s notes:
  • It’s not easy to get the perfect sweet and sour flavor so you have to taste the sauce a few times in order to get that perfect balance. This dish is supposed to be both sweet and sour, and a little salty. When I made this in Penang, I used less sugar because the sugar in Malaysia is a lot sweeter/stronger than in the US. So, please let your taste bud guide you during the cooking process. If it’s not sour enough, extract more juice from the tamarind pulp. If it’s too sour, add more sugar and some water.
  • My mother also makes masak branda with salted fish. I will have to share the recipe one day.
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    44 comments... read them below or add one

    1. Anonymous says:

      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 says:

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

    3. Anonymous says:

      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 says:

      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. bea at la tartine gourmande says:

      This looks really delicious. Love the look of this egg!

    6. Oh for the love of food! says:

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

    7. Kenny Mah says:

      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

    8. TrueBluePenangite says:

      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 :)

    9. Tony says:

      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.

    10. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

      That’s a recipe for me! This dish looks very yummy..

    11. Passionate Eater says:

      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.

    12. Anh says:

      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.

    13. Jackson says:

      U r really sifu la! A simple fried egg can be well cooked n nicelt garnished like 5 star fine dining food!

    14. bayi says:

      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.

    15. pixen says:

      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.. :-)

    16. tigerfish says:

      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

    17. Claude-Olivier says:

      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 ;-)


    18. PrincessJournals says:

      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?

    19. babe_kl says:

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

    20. wmw says:

      Yay, another egg dish! I love this style too….

    21. Rasa Malaysia says:

      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!

    22. valentinA says:

      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

    23. Sweettooth says:

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

    24. Kenny Mah says:

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

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

    25. Victoria says:

      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.=)

    26. UnkaLeong says:

      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 :)

    27. Rose says:

      It looks soo beautiful with the eggs floating on top. Gorgeous pictures.

    28. elmomonster says:

      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.

    29. Glory says:

      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! :)

    30. Mallika says:

      Yum, this looks lovely!

    31. Helen says:

      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.

    32. alia says:

      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.

    33. Anonymous says:

      try this with fried fish….ikan parang.. yum yum.. remind me of my mom’s cooking.

    34. aili says:

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

    35. Cluelessbaker says:

      I made this today ~~ really nice .. i love the sweet and sour combination !!!

    36. Teo Lily says:

      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…

    37. Joyce says:

      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.

    38. Li Kheng Poh says:

      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.

    39. Christina says:

      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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