…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? Chinese workers first brought their unique cuisine to America during the gold rush in California and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Back then, the food was mainly for the immigrants Chinese only.
In the 1930’s Chinese-American food (Cantonese-style) was growing in popularity. A rich brown sauce began to be served with many stir-fry dishes. This “gravy,” as it was called, was rich with an array of complex umami flavors. Egg Foo Young (a Chinese omelet) was no exception. Egg Foo Young has become one of the most popular Chinese take-out dishes in America today. But it is so much better to make at home when it can be served fresh and hot right out of the pan.
Don’t cringe at the thought of it—making Egg Foo Young at home is easier than you might think. All you need are some eggs, fresh veggies and your favorite meats (Chinese sausage, beef, pork, chicken, shrimp or a combination—even tofu can work), and you will soon be making delicious, better than take-out Egg Foo Young at home. No need to head out to a Chinese restaurant—you’re now the pro—when you can cook great Chinese food so well at home.
This omelet style dish has become sort of ubiquitous and can be found in the Chinese-American, Chinese-British, and Chinese-Indonesian cuisine. Like many dishes, this one has been adapted depending upon where it is served and the local available ingredients. What is common is that Egg Foo Young is served with fresh vegetables like bean sprouts, spring onions, mushrooms, cabbage, and water chestnuts. This is the perfect dish that can adapted to whatever you have on hand—even leftovers from your visit to a Chinese restaurant (I often include leftover steamed or fried rice—just toss it in). This is an easy meal to make at home.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Additional time to make the sauce: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
For the Egg Foo Young omelet
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion bottoms
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/4 cup sliced white mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2-pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped (or other precooked proteins)
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
6 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons green onion tops
For the Egg Foo Young gravy
1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons chicken stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
To make the Egg Foo Young
ChefSecret: I use two (2) small sauté pans and divide all the ingredients equally. That way I can easily serve two perfect Egg Foo Young omelets.
Quip of the Day: “Recently, I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I just don’t think being an adult is gonna work for me.”
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