Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young, Shiitake Gravy

Egg Foo Young with Mung Bean Sprouts, Pork, and Scallions
Shiitake Gravy

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

Continue reading “Egg Foo Young”

Inspired by Egg Foo Young: Bay Shrimp & Bean Sprout Omelette

Inspired by Egg Foo Young: Bay Shrimp and Bean Sprout Omelette

Inspired by Egg Foo Young:

Bay Shrimp and Bean Sprout Omelette
Mirin, Tamari, and Sesame Dipping Sauce
Chive and Chinese Chive Blossom Garnish

As a kid, one of my favorite dishes on “Chinese Take-Out Sunday Night” was the mysterious egg foo young. Back then, the only ingredient that I knew it contained for sure, was egg. I adored those deep-fried thick egg patties smothered in gravy. It was years later that I would re-create egg foo young in my own kitchen. Mystery solved. The filling was mung bean sprouts. Really?

I often fill my omelettes with bean sprouts now, they are high in protein and low in calories. They have a delightful crunch and a mild sweet earthy flavor. Here I pair them with bay shrimp for a light and lovely filling. A dipping sauce of mirin, tamari, and sesame oil takes the place of egg foo young’s traditionally rich gravy. The sweet, salty, toasty flavors are a refreshing complement to the omelette.

Bay Shrimp and Bean Sprout Omelette Recipe

Continue reading “Inspired by Egg Foo Young: Bay Shrimp & Bean Sprout Omelette”

Mushroom Egg Foo Young with Gravy

mushroom egg foo young

Mushroom Egg Foo Young
I grew up in Chicago.
Every Sunday we would have Chinese take-out for dinner.
As a kid, one of my favorite dishes was the mysterious egg foo young.
Back then, the only ingredient that I knew it contained for sure, was egg.

Blend 4 eggs with 2 T. flour, then add a finely chopped shallot, a couple sliced scallions, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

Add about a cup each of chopped bean sprouts and cooked brown mushrooms.

Heat vegetable oil in an omelette pan then ladle in half of the egg mixture. This recipe makes 2.  Cook over medium high heat until the bottom browns. Finish cooking the top side under the broiler.

Meanwhile prepare the gravy by making a light brown roux with 2 T. each vegetable oil and flour. Slowly add a cup of beef (or vegetable) stock, finish with a splash of dry sherry, salt and pepper to taste.

Place a serving platter on the pan and flip the egg foo young over onto the platter.
Top with gravy and garnish with scallions and parsley.
Egg Foo Young, demystified and delicious.
Do you remember an exotic dish from your childhood?