Scrambled eggs in Chinese cooking
… Eventually coming to talk about scrambled eggs in a ‘real’ Chinese dish. Well, in Chinese, scrambled eggs are called ‘chao jidan he’, or ‘ji dan chao… ‘, both mean stir fried eggs with something else :))
As I mentioned in my about eggs in Chinese cuisine , stir fried eggs with vegetables or meat are one of the most popular home made dishes in China. In fact, whenever I run out of cooking ideas, a stir fried egg dish would be served. :)
Stir-frying eggs was my very first cooking lesson ever. It was taught by my dad, just like most of the ‘first lessons’ in life he taught me. I was probably 6 years old, he held my hand, taught me this first cooking lesson, from how to light up a match, turn the gas switch nob, to how to crack an egg, get the eggs into the bowl, and how to beat the eggs with chopstick, to how to stir fry … When I grew up, after being able to cook independently, seeing him eat my food became one of the satisfying things in my life. But now, I am too far away from him, only wish I could cook for him all the time.
There are many combinations when it comes to stir frying eggs.
One of my favourite Northeastern Chinese dishes is stir fried eggs with ‘garlic sprouts’, (I checked up online, but there is apparently no such vegetable in the West).
In Chinese, garlic sprouts are called Suan tai or ‘Suan Hao’. You can get them in any markets in Northern China. In Spain, my mother-in-law sometimes cooks garlic shoots, which taste very similar to ‘garlic sprouts’, but the texture is different.
Since I could not find garlic sprouts, I adapted the original dish and used asparagus instead. Although the taste is completely different, the appearance, I would say 30 % lookalike? :)) And its health properties are certainly also different. Garlic sprouts share many of garlic’s antibiotic properties, and also is rich in fibre, which is good for constipation. Asparagus, however, is good for “cleansing and healing”. Not bad for a quick fix as alternative. :)
In fact asparagus combines quite nicely with stir fried eggs. For example, asparagus omelette is quite popular in Spain. Also, three weeks ago, in Paris, in a smallest Korean restaurant you can imagine, they served an omelette dish, which looked very similar to Spanish ones, but with the whole asparagus, rather than chopped ones.
The recipe: Chinese stir fried eggs with asparagus
The dish is very simple and light, no extra seasonings, just salt and vegetable/mushroom/chicken essence/msg (optional).
Eggs (I used 2-3 eggs)
Asparagus (Just a usual bunch sold in the supermarkets)
Oil, (Since the dish does not need any other seasonings, using good oil can make it more tasty. I prefer to use soy oil, or groundnut oil.)
Salt, cooking wine, salt and vegetable/mushroom/chicken esstence/msg (both optional)
1) Beat around 2-3 eggs.
2) Wash and chop the asparagus into around 4cm.
Cooking the eggs
1) In a heated wok, pour in around 3 tablespoons of oil, keep the fire medium strong.
2) When the oil is hot, pour in well beat eggs, and keep on stir, so the eggs form up into smaller pieces.
3) Then put chopped asparagus in and stir with eggs together.
4) Add in a few drops of cooking wine, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and vegetable/mushroom/chicken esstence/msg (optional).
5) When the asparagus is softer, but still keeps a bit crispy and juicy in the centre, it is done. (If you like it softer, turn down the fire to smaller, and keep it longer in the wok.But it is probably good to keep it a bit ‘raw’, so it won’t lose any ‘healthy properties’.)
I like it with rice, Chinese steamed bread or beer.)