Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fan Qie Chao Dan (Stir Fried Eggs with Tomatoes)

Stir fried eggs are a staple all over China.  This is hardly surprising, given that chickens and stir frying have been ubiquitous on the mainland for centuries.  Fan qie chao dan (literally, tomato fried egg) is very different from the famous Chinese-American egg dish, “Egg Fu Yung.”  (The name “Egg Fu Yung” is derived from the Chinese fu rong, or Cantonese fu yuhng, meaning cotton rose hibiscus, and refers poetically to the similarity of this flower to fluffy, whipped egg white used in Mainland fu rong dishes.)  The moisture of the tomatoes lend this dish a creamy, rich softness, and the addition of white pepper and sesame oil will further distinguish it from Western scrambled egg preparations.

5 large eggs
2 scallions, slivered diagonally
2 small tomatoes, approx 6 oz., roughly chopped
Ground white pepper to taste
Coarse salt to taste
Sesame oil garnish
Cilantro, slivered carrot or slivered red pepper for garnish

Place the whole eggs in a bowl and set aside until they attain room temperature.
In a medium hot wok, heat two or three tablespoons of peanut oil until it begins to smoke; add green scallions and stir fry briefly until edges just begin to brown.  Raise heat to high, and slide in the eggs; as soon as a skin forms on the bottom, add tomatoes and begin breaking up the yolks and tossing the mixture until the eggs are barely set.  Remove wok from heat and add dashes of salt and white pepper to taste.  Plate the eggs and drizzle sesame oil over the top.  Garnish and serve.

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