You undoubtedly know this from the local Chinese restaurant. No idea what number it is on the menu in your area. But it is called “Fan qie chao dan” in Chinese, or better understandable to us: Chinese scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes. It is also very easy and quick to make at home. They say it is the first dish Chinese children learn to cook. Because of its simplicity, it is also very popular with students.
How to make Chinese scrambled eggs with tomatoes?
As mentioned earlier, this recipe is more than easy. That is why you should really not go for a delivery. It is faster and cheaper to make it yourself. And more satisfying of course.
A few preparations
We'll start with the eggs that we whisk in a bowl. We also add one tablespoon of rice vinegar, as well as pepper and salt to taste. If you don't have rice vinegar at home, you may also use an alternative like white wine vinegar, or even white wine.
Next we finely chop the tomatoes. First we cut them in half and remove the hard part of the stump. Then we cut the tomatoes into small pieces. It is important that the tomatoes are ripe. Then they bake quickly and have the best flavor.
Finally, we finely chop the shallots. We remove the skin and then cut them in half. Then we cut them horizontally and vertically. Finally cut them into fine pieces. Alternatively, you can also use scallions. Traditionally Chinese scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes are finished with scallions. But because I didn't have any at home, I used shallots. And chives for the green finish.
Cooking the rice
The traditional side for Chinese scrambled eggs with tomatoes is of course white rice. You can use portions that you cook in the water. But I always have loose rice at home. Then you need exactly the double amount of water in comparison to rice. Very easy. One small cup of rice (3.5 oz) is normally enough for two people. So we need two cups of water.
We first bring that water to a boil. Then the rice goes in and the lid on. After about ten minutes of simmering, the rice will be cooked and will have completely absorbed the water. While the rice is cooking we make our Chinese scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes.
Stir-frying the Chinese scrambled egg with fried tomatoes
While the rice is cooking, we heat a tablespoon of oil in the wok. Once it's hot, add the beaten egg. We stir-fry this until the egg is completely solidified. To do this, constantly stir the egg mass with a fork or spatula so that the solidified scrambled egg consolidates in the middle. Then we take the scrambled eggs out of the wok and put them on a plate.
In the same wok we now heat another tablespoon of oil. We briefly fry the shallots in it. Then we add the chopped tomatoes. And also a tablespoon of rice vinegar. Or similar, as while preparing the egg. Now we bake this until the tomatoes are done. Then we add the scrambled eggs again. Mix everything well and then let it simmer under a lid for a few minutes. Until the egg is heated through and all the ingredients integrate well.
And we're done! The rice will also be ready now. I usually arrange them at the bottom of a deep plate. Then I spread the Chinese scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes over it. Optionally finish with some chives or scallions. And already we're ready to enjoy it!
About Chinese scrambled eggs with tomatoes
You would expect that this is a very ancient recipe. A classic dish for hundreds or even thousands of years. But surprisingly, it isn't. On the contrary, it is in fact relatively new.
Eggs are a classic ingredient in Chinese cuisine. But not tomatoes, they were only introduced in the 16th-17th century during the Ming Dynasty. Literally translated from Chinese, they are even called "foreign eggplant".
It wasn't until the 1920s and 1930s that more Western-oriented restaurants started putting them on the menu in China. Because it was not only tasty, but also simple, it quickly found its way into the home kitchen a few decades later. And now people all over the world enjoy this classic red and yellow recipe. You can read more history in the following articles:
- Stir-fried tomatoes and scrambled eggs – Wikipedia.
- Classic Chinese tomato egg stir fry (I am a food blog).
- Chinese scrambled eggs with tomato (Serious eats).
Chinese kitchen is not only very tasty to eat, but the recipes are also very easy to prepare. Double luck! You may find some more surprising Chinese recipes in the following articles:
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.