Sometimes you have days when a quick lunch or dinner dish is all you feel up to, or it’s been a busy day and you’re not feeling like the usual longer meal prep. Our favourite dish to make on days like these is Egg Foo Young.
This quick meal entails some easy veg prep, optional leftover cooked pork or chicken if you prefer (we usually have it vegetarian as I’ve made it here) beaten eggs, oil, soy sauce and you’re good to go. I like it peppery finished with lots of finely ground white pepper. I did not have any spring onions to garnish with today though!
- 1 thumb fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves peeled and chopped garlic
- 1 small onion or shallot finely sliced
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper (or a few mini peppers)
- Finely sliced cabbage, red and green, about 3 cups
- 1 finely julienned carrot
- 7 – 8 eggs, beaten
- 2 tblspn Grapeseed oil
- 4 tblspn good soy sauce
- 1 tsp black bean sauce
- 1 tsp shichimi togarashi spices (my little touch!)
- 1 tsp dry Sherry
- 1/2 tsp fine white pepper
- Chopped spring onion to garnish
We’re going to work fast in a hot flat skillet, steel preferred. Make sure to have a nice big spatula and all your ingredients prepped. Have your warmed plates ready as we’re going to be eating in less than 9 minutes!
- Heat your pan until hot on high and add the oil, then quickly add the ginger and then the garlic
- When fragrant, toss in the shallots or onion
- As they sizzle after 2 minutes add the thinly sliced bell pepper (you’d add your shichimi spices around now if you have)
- Once that starts sizzling add the rest of the veggies
- When veg start to just about look nicely cooked but still fresh, around 2 minutes, make a large well in the centre (see photo)
- Important! Add the soy sauce into this well. and let it bubble and boil (do not toss in veg!!!) until almost looking thickened and not runny, almost like the water is steamed off (this is where you could add a tsp of Sherry if not keto let it also boil away with the soy sauce)
- Then toss in the veggies, into the almost thickened soy sauce quickly and lightly, the soy sauce should have been almost blackened and “burnt”, it adds flavor
- Turn down the pan a teeny bit!
- Spread out the cooked veggies in the pan
- Keeping your pan hot, pour in the beaten egg and let it spread out evenly
- Let the egg cook 2 minutes, you want a nice browned egg underneath your veg
- Slice in quarters in pan when egg is just starting to bubble on top and cooked underneath (take a peek!) then flip each quarter over to cook the other side
- Cook another 2 minutes pressing down with your spatula to make sure all the egg is cooked through – this is where I crank the stove to high again for 10 seconds to give that final browning of the underneath of the egg
- Remove from stove and sprinkle with the white pepper pepper (optional)
- Serve 2 quarters each onto a hot plate and if you like extra soy, a dash of black bean sauce or extra soy sauce.
- Serve with keto noodles if you have, I meant to and totally forgot.
- Eat up, as it does not keep well!
Here is the quick photo trail of how I made it. I was working fast so the photos are not the best. My apologies.
Growing up we used to go to an incredibly good Chinese Restaurant called … Happy’s Canton Restaurant. The gentleman that owned this restaurant was called, yes, Happy. But he was the most serious, quiet, subdued man you could wish to meet! Happy spoke very little English and I rarely saw him smile, but I really liked him. He had a beautiful face and I was a little in awe of this quiet, kind man in his freshly ironed white shirt bulging at the belly like a Buddha. The restaurant was tucked away in an area that was more on the industrial side of town and I remember there used to be a man that guarded the parked cars. I’m talking mid to late 1960’s when we started going there.
There was an altar with burning incense, a rotund laughing stretching Buddha, silk flowers and lucky cat, and beautiful Chinese decor and red lanterns. There was also a glass counter with Chinese candy, bowties and other exotic goodies and gifts; chopsticks, incense, beautiful painted lacquered boxes and scarves, behind which Happy sat on his chair when not busy. Just high enough to keep an eye on his patrons and through the kitchen cubby hole, and sometimes he would smoke a cigarette. To this 6+ year old, an extremely cool place to be.
You entered the restaurant on the lower level into a big banquet hall where the large Chinese weddings were held (we were lucky enough to see them sometimes) and walked on the edge of the hall’s pillars to the restaurant which was up a few stairs above the banquet hall. I do believe we even attended a wedding there when I was very young, a pal of my Dad’s from his business.
Happy took care of the front of business and took orders and his family were in the kitchen and oh, the delicious food aromas. There was a mysterious little window Happy would peg the orders onto, or mutter quietly into, and oh how I wished I could get into that kitchen of mystery and delicious delights. This restaurant was one of the cities best kept secrets. The Cantonese food was divine. The Best Chinese Food I’ve Ever Tasted. We had many meals there from when I was very little until Happy passed away and the restaurant closed down. I have incredibly good memories of this place and wonderful family meals and celebrations there. My parents loved good food and knew many people in the industry and to this day I have them to thank for my love of delicious and exotic food.
Years later after I was married I discovered my husband went there with his Dad when he was little, who used to get take-out, or his parents used to go there with their friends for … well, quite the parties!
Happy’s made an incredible impression on me and my dream is to recreate the delicious Egg Foo Young Happy used to make for us with that elusive smoked soy-sauce flavoured Chinese flair. Thank you, Happy. 🏮🥢❤