Egg Foo Young with Mung Bean Sprouts, Pork, and Scallions
It’s a nostalgic American egg dish borne of Chinese ancestry, one similar to the Italian frittata filled with vegetables and sometimes meat (but no cheese). Here, it’s cooked with a bit more oil than a frittata in order to conjure up the original deep-fried version of Egg Foo Young invented by resourceful Chinese immigrants to California during the Gold Rush.
Ten years ago I posted my Egg Foo Young recipe. A recipe that is still #trending today. Growing up, on most Sunday nights that I can remember, we would drive with our Dad to pick-up Chinese take-out for dinner. I loved that exotic deep-fried thick pancake then and still do…but what was it exactly?
I thought, of course Egg Foo Young was made with eggs. But it didn’t taste like any eggs that I was familiar with. It was oddly brown and mysteriously kind of crunchy. And who serves eggs with gravy, anyway? Gravy is for turkey.
Mom thoroughly enjoyed a Chinese cooking class back in the 60s and learned, among other wonderful things, that broccoli should be served bright green and crisp, not olive green and mushy. But “mung bean sprouts” did not show up in our home any other time except Sunday nights. The sprouts were also an ingredient in beef chop suey, another of our Sunday night favorites.
Recently I told my brother that I was writing about Egg Foo Young and asked if he had any recollection of it from our youth. He said, “Yes, loved egg foo young. Now I think it is too bland, but I order it anyway; because of the memories.”
Ok then, Donny, here is my updated Egg Foo Young recipe with wholesome ingredients reinvented from our past, it’s less greasy than the take-out version we remember because it is cooked in a pan, not deep-fried. It’s savory and evocative of Sunday nights long ago, and anything but bland.
Egg Foo Young Recipe
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 T. canola oil + more for sautéing mushrooms
2 T. flour
1 c. beef stock (low-sodium)
1 1/2 T. dry sherry (drinking-quality, not cooking sherry)
1 T. tamari (low-sodium)
fresh ground pepper to taste
Sauté shiitake in a small amount of oil until cooked and golden. Add a small amount of water to the pan while cooking, if necessary, so the mushrooms are soft, not crunchy.
Prepare the gravy by heating 2 T. oil in a sauce pan. Sprinkle 2 T. flour over the hot oil. Whisk and continue to cook to achieve a light brown roux. Slowly add a cup of beef stock, whisking continuously. Add sherry, tamari, salt (only if necessary) and pepper to taste. Continue to whisk until a gravy consistency is achieved, add the cooked shiitake and keep warm.
Egg Foo Young
5 extra large eggs
2 T. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 c. scallions, sliced
1/2 c. ground pork – cooked, drained, seasoned
2 c. mung bean sprouts, rough chopped
Whisk eggs with flour and baking powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add scallions and mix well to coat, then add pork, then fold in bean sprouts
This recipe makes two pancakes. Cook in two non-stick 8″ pans.
Heat a good amount of canola oil in pan; enough to cover the bottom and swirl to coat the sides well. Use more oil than you would for an omelet or frittata. Ladle half of the egg mixture into each pan.
Cook over medium heat, covered, until the bottom and sides brown. Finish cooking the top side under the broiler. To serve, place a serving plate on the pan and invert the egg foo young over onto the plate. Ladle gravy over the top and garnish with chives and radish sprouts. Serve extra gravy on the side.
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