Chips Mayai means “French Fry Eggs”. I first had Chips Mayai in Tanzania. Where I had it, they would fry french fries in a bunch of oil, then pour beaten eggs over to form an omelet. It would be served with Kachumbari (tomato, onion, cabbage slaw) on top with ketchup and pilipili (hot pepper sauce). Delicious! In this rendition, I’m shredding red potatoes up to use as hashbrowns instead of french fries. I’m also adding jalapeno pepper because I had one in the fridge that needed to be used. On top, again, in the face of not wanting to be wasteful, I’m being forced to add some shredded cheddar cheese and perfectly crisp bacon. If you don’t have any leftover cheese like me, try to make yourself feel better by saying “it’s more authentic”. That will convince anyone, including you. In the end, you had better have some avocado because that is authentically Tanzanian and it makes it feel a little healthy and tastes amazing. Remember when avocados were “too fattening”? What a sad time! You’ll also notice in this recipe that I’m going to instruct you to beat your egg mixture exactly 80 times. This is probably the most direct you’ll ever hear me be. I once heard on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen that 80 strokes were the precise amount to beat eggs for omelets. This, they say, is called science. And also, it was Christopher Kimball talking, plus a French woman, and with that combination, you know they know way more than you.
chips mayai- Tanzanian street food and breakfast food
Serves 2 really hungry people (or 4 people)
4 medium red potatoes
1/2 small onion chopped
1 jalapeno deseeded and sliced (I like to leave one half with the seeds and ribs intact)
3 eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and Pepper
Heat your cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Place your 3 strips of bacon in the pan to fry. Meanwhile, shred the potatoes with a box grater or in your food processor with the large shred attachment. Finely chop your onion and halve, de-seed, and thinly slice your jalapeno. Once the bacon is done to your liking (not too dark because of the carcinogens), set it to the side. Pour out most of your bacon grease and put it in your bacon grease jar to use later. With a little bacon grease left in the pan, spread out your shredded potatoes, onion, and jalapeno in the pan and make sure it’s on medium heat. Season with garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook the veggie mixture for about 6-7 minutes on one side. Take a spatula and peek that it’s browned before you flip it over the brown the other side. Let that side cook for about 5 minutes until browned. t While the second side of the hash browns are cooking, crack your eggs into a medium sized bowl and add a little water or half and half if you have extra like I did. Why do I always have an excess of fatty dairy products? Beat your eggs for 80 strokes.
Pour your egg mixture over the browned hashbrown. Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes, then grab a lid that fits your pan, turn the heat to low and cover the chips mayai until the egg has set but is still a little loose and shiny on top. This way you know that you haven’t overcooked your eggs. Then, sprinkle your toppings on top. If you’re using cheese you may want to cover it again to melt it. Also, crumble up your bacon as you sprinkle it on. Cut the chips mayai into four pieces like a pizza pie. Serve with sliced avocado and fruit. It’s also best with a little ketchup and hot sauce on top.
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 people with willpower.