It’s another rare cloudy day in Austin. Spring seems to be wakened by vernal rain this week. Temperature is gently climbing up. The exuberant colors of the early spring in Austin this year reminds me of a simple yet delicious Chinese comfort food dish-tomato and egg stir-fry. It is definitely my favorite dish amongst Chinese cuisine. Back in my undergrad life, winter in Wuhan is bone-chilling, smoggy, and depressing. But when I was scarfing down stir-fried tomato and eggs at the university cafeteria, I felt like being in the subtropical warmth.
Tomato and egg stir-fry is simple to cook: just oil and salt can make it really delicious. And it tastes especially fresh with very original flavor with rich nutrition. The most important point is that it saves thousands of cooking beginners from messing up their first cooking attempts, which should be awarded as “the Great Savior of Novice Chef”!
It is said that there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes. I wanna say that a thousand people can make a thousand different kinds of tomato and egg stir-fry dishes. There have always been disputes about whether to peel the tomatoes, whether to cook the egg tender or old, whether to add sugar, green onions/scallions, ketchup or starch. It can be added on top of rice, or eat with lo mein, or mix with spaghetti. There are just so many variations and flexibilities in this simple dish, thus making it most popular.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 4 medium tomatoes (peeling is optional but it will give a better taste)
- 3 large eggs (beaten with 1/8 teaspoons of salt)
- Some green onions/scallions
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoons of sugar (optional)
- Some starch mixed with water (optional)
- White pepper (optional)
- Prepare tomatoes. Clean them with water and then cut into 6-8 wedges. Tips for peeling tomatoes: put tomatoes into boiling water for about 10 seconds and then put them into cold water for about 10 seconds.
- Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and mix with salt. Use all your strength to stir the eggs. How much strength is needed? Stir just like it’s the last time you stir eggs.
- Cut up the green onions/scallions.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the wok and slowly pour in egg mixture. Let the mixture firm up a little, and after about ten seconds use a spatula to gently direct the mixture, allowing the remaining liquid to flow into the space left at the sides of the wok.
- Continue to cook for another minute or so until the egg mixture holds together. Use the spatula quickly divide the omelette into bite-sized pieces. Then put omelette pieces into a bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same wok. Stir-fry the tomatoes with 1/8 teaspoons of salt until they just began to become soft and juicy. Return the egg omelette pieces to the wok and stir-fry just until the ingredients are mixed.
- (Optional) Adjust taste with sugar, white pepper, water starch, and chopped green onions/scallions.
- Immediately remove from wok and put onto the serving dish.
The sweet and tangy sauce is just the perfect companion for rice, lo mien, and spaghetti. It’s really a simple and delicious dish to start the day! いただきます!