Chinese Comfort Food: Stir-Fried Egg and Tomato
Before the Beijing Olympics end, we want to share this dish, which we found out about from a friend who lived in China for many years. She describes it as Chinese comfort food, something children would learn to make at an early age — sort of the equivalent of tomato soup and a grilled cheese in the US…
The dish is simply scrambled egg with slices of juicy tomato, and it’s a traditional Pekinese dish that’s extremely common all over Beijing but relatively unknown to Americans. The photo above, which we found on Flickr, shows the dish with kale and garlic scapes added. Our friend Tricia makes hers with scallions and claims it’s great over Udon noodles.
Here’s how she makes it:
Crack two eggs (the fresher the better) into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of oil (peanut is best; vegetable oil will do). Whisk everything together until well-blended and set aside.
Slice a green onion or scallion and divide the white from the green parts. Set aside.
Roughly chop a fresh, ripe tomato.
Heat a wok or a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1/2 tablespoon of oil (if nonstick, more if not), and add the tomatoes. Stir-fry the tomatoes at least until they sizzle and lose some water, 1-2 minutes. Take out the tomatoes, setting aside, and clean the skillet.
Heat the skillet again, add 1 tablespoon oil, then add the eggs. On a gas stove, turn off the heat to slow the cooking process; on an electric stove, remove the pan from the heat. Take a spatula and push the egg away from the side towards the middle (the eggs should not stick to the sides), tilting the pan as you do so.
Add the white scallions. Once the cooking process has almost stopped, put the skillet back over low heat. After the eggs have started to firm up, add the tomatoes and green scallions. Turn up the heat to medium-low. Add 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar and cook, stirring, until the eggs are somewhat firm but still a little runny.
This dish is wonderful in a bowl with noodles, such as fresh-cooked Udon noodles here in the U.S. You can make the dish soupier by adding the leftover juice from unsweetened, canned tomatoes to the skillet after the sugar. If the noodles are cold, you can serve the egg and tomato dish at room temperature.