Egg Foo Young

In my book—albeit unpublished—Sunday evenings are appropriate for substantive egg dishes, omelets and their ilk, which are on the whole light, versatile and easily prepared and this old Asian fusion dish—Chinese-Indonesian /British/American, what have you—fits the bill. The name derives from the Cantonese for “hibiscus egg”, and in Asia is usually served with a sweet-and-sour sauce, in the western hemisphere more often with a simple brown gravy (and why not?).

For each serving, beat two large eggs loosely; I (for one) think it’s important that the whites are still visible as a component in the final product and use more oil than you would for an omelet. Pour the eggs onto the hot oil and working quickly with a fork pull the eggs apart as they cook until the mixture is almost firm, then add your ingredients; here I’ve added shrimp, scallions and bean sprouts, but ham is frequently used, as is pork, chicken, cabbage and mushrooms; in fact, the only omelet-esque ingredient you’ll not find in a foo young is cheese.

After the additions have cooked into the surface of the eggs, flip the ‘cake’ and cook to light browning. As to the gravy, use your favorite gravy recipe—brown or otherwise—and if you’d like an Asiatic twist, add sugar and vinegar in equal parts for a sweet/sour effect.

 

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