Friday, May 27, 2011

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young.

This is one of those dishes we used to order in Chinese restaurants when I was a little girl.

Is this Chinese food or Chinese-American food?

I'm not sure--but it's a dish from my childhood that's easy to make and remains a favorite of mine.

You don't have to put the vegetables on top, but it gives you an idea of what's inside.

Basically, it's like a veggie omelet, served over rice with gravy.

I like just about anything with gravy.

It's easy to make and doesn't take much time--you can have it done within the time it takes to cook rice!

You can use anything you like--basically, in an omelet--but to make it what I think of as Chinese-style, here are my ingredients:

Bean sprouts, cilantro, zucchini, bok choy, sweet onion, eggs, and shiitake mushrooms.

I'll post a printable recipe at the end of this post--but it's a bit of a challenge for me to edit the HTML to get that to work properly.

I liken editing HTML to piano lessons when you're old--it takes a little longer to get the notes in your brain.

I am grateful for my patient teachers.

 Back to making the egg foo young!

Slice half a sweet onion thinly, and put into a large bowl.

Julienne cut 1/2 a large zucchini and 1/2 a carrot, thinly slice the bok choy and mushrooms, then rinse a handful of bean sprouts.

A handful or more--I like a lot of bean sprouts.

Add all the vegetables to the bowl except the cilantro, and mix with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mince 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger root and 1 small clove of garlic.

I used the coarse salt as an abrasive to crush the garlic.

Toss garlic and ginger in with the vegetables and mix well.

Let those wilt for a few minutes while you make the gravy.

I make dashi gravy for egg foo young.

I use the konbu dashi powder (the green one), or the katsuo dashi (red one made from bonito fish) is good too.

I like this brand because it doesn't have added salt or MSG.

Add one package of either dashi powder to 3 cups water and heat to simmer.

Add 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon each shoyu (soy sauce),

And mirin--Japanese sweet cooking wine.

Or you can add the Chinese version of mirin.

Add sugar, shoyu, and mirin to the dashi and bring to a boil.

Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a little water and mix to make a slurry.

That's going to thicken the gravy.

When the mixture boils, slowly add the cornstarch and water, stirring constantly.

Add it a little at a time, and stop when you've reach the desired consistency for gravy.

Turn heat to low.

Set your frying pan on the stove to pre-heat for the egg foo young.

Next, you're going to add the eggs to the vegetables.

Crack 6 eggs in a bowl and mix with a fork.

Drain any liquid at the bottom of the vegetable bowl, add the eggs and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

Mix well.

When your pan is hot, add a 1/2 teaspoon of oil and lightly coat the pan.

Drop 3/4 to 1 cup of the veggie/egg mixture into the pan--like pancakes.

See that little stray finger forming?

Take your spatula and push that back to the center.

It doesn't really matter if they're round or not, but that's something that I just do.

Not that I'm an overly orderly person.

Because I'm not.

I know people that are, though.

I could stand to move in that direction a little, even if I do say so myself.

When the egg starts to set on the bottom of the pancake, flip them over and cook for a few more minutes until egg is set.

The vegetables will be crisp.


Serve over hot rice with the gravy on top.

Garnish with bean sprouts, mushrooms and/or green onions.

Serve it this way if you've got vegetarians, or on Meatless Mondays.

You can add some shredded, cooked chicken or cooked sausage crumbles to the veggie egg mixture, or on top as a garnish.



These are our friends Pam and Mark.

We met on our trip to Yosemite when our kids were all young.

And it was the first time I had carne asada.

Back then, their son Brock was only about 18 months old.

Now he's all grown up.

And graduating from high school.

Pam asked me to say a little something about Brock at his graduation party.

I'm going to try and not make it too embarrassing for him, but do remember when he was about 4 or 5 and loved horses.

He used to carry around a array of plastic horses, some of them were pretty, and very realistic-looking.

The first thing he would ask was if you'd like to know if the horses were a boy or a girl--then he'd turn the horse over, look, and tell you.

And being a curious youngster, he would take off any removable parts.

Such as the horse's eyes--or tail.

If you saw the horse with no eyes, and asked him about it, Brock would say, in his little boy accent, "His eyes are in his butt!"

Then he'd shake the horse and you could hear something rattling around inside there.

He had picked off the horse's eyes, taken off his tail, and put the eyes in the hole.

Because you know what's under a pony's tail, right?

Congratulations on your graduation, Brock!


Egg Foo Young


6 eggs, beaten

1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced bok choy
1/2 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger root


3 cups water

1 packet dashi powder, or 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce) and mirin (Japanese sweet cooking sake)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Put all the vegetables into a bowl, except the cilantro, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

To make the dashi gravy, put a dashi packet into 3 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to simmer. Add shoyu, sugar and mirin. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a little bit of water to make a slurry, and add to the gravy mixture when it boils, stirring constantly and adding a little at a time. Stop when the gravy has reached its desired consistency. Turn down the heat and keep warm until the egg foo young is done.

To make the egg foo young, pour off any water at the bottom of the vegetable bowl, crack the eggs into a bowl, beat them, and add them to the vegetable mixture along with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Mix well.

Heat a frying pan and add about 1/2 teaspoon of canola oil into the pan and spread it evenly. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of the vegetable-egg mixture, keeping the egg from spreading out by pushing the little egg fingers back into the circle with a spatula. Turn the egg/veggie pancake over when the egg on the bottom is set and the bottom is golden brown. Cook for a few more minutes, and remove to a platter. Repeat until all the veggie/egg mixture is gone. You can scramble any leftover egg at the bottom of the bowl or discard.

Serve with dashi gravy over hot rice and garnish with green onions, cilantro, bean sprouts and/or mushrooms.


  1. This looks like my kind of meal! I love anything with gravy or beansprouts. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I love your photography and your writing.

    Your story about Brock and the horses had me in stitches!

  3. That egg foo young meal looks so good!