On this first Fryday of the New Year, I’m sharing a recipe for 西红柿炒鸡蛋, aka, tomato-fried rice, a dish very near and dear to me and my Chinese heart. It’s a childhood favorite, and knowing how much I love it, my mom always has this waiting for me when I come home from the airport. Bless her soul.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this three different times in my blissful 12 days at home, and on the third and final time had the foresight to snap some pictures and learn how to make it myself. It’s about as traditional and easy as Chinese home cooking gets, so I hope you work up the courage to give it a try yourself. It probably won’t have that same made-with-love-by-mom taste, but if you follow these instructions, you ought to come close.
Thanks for the lesson, Mom, and for everything else.
Here’s what you need and it’s not very much at all: equal numbers tomatoes and eggs (we used 3, but you can use 2), a chopped green onion, oil, salt, sugar and optional chicken bouillon powder if you have the stuff on hand.
The first and most important step to this dish is heat. “Eggs like heat,” my mom kept saying, so do the woman proud and place a large nonstick pot or pan on the stove and crank it up to high.
As the pot is heating, slice the tomatoes, chop the green onions and scramble the eggs. If you want to be really authentic in your egg scrambling, use chopsticks.
Check out my mom’s adorable Chinese slippers. Adorable and Chinese just about sum her up.
Once the pot is hot to the touch, pour in the oil and let it do some heating up of its own for about a minute.
Toss in the scrambled eggs and scramble them around some more using that same trusted pair of chopsticks. “Eggs like oil, too,” my mom said, so let them soak up that hot oil and cook until light and fluffy.
Other recipes will tell you to take out the eggs and cook the other ingredients separately, but there’s really no need for that here. We live by a no-muss-no-fuss mantra in the Yang household. So in the same pot, throw in the sliced tomatoes and stir things around for a good 30 seconds, before dropping in the chopped green onions, salt, sugar and chicken bouillon powder.
Stir things around a little longer until the tomatoes are tender and all of the flavors come together, about 30 more seconds. This is a dish you don’t want to overcook. You’ll know you’ve overdone it when all of the juice starts running out of the tomatoes, so don’t let that happen!
Turn off the heat and transfer the tomato-fried egg to a dish and serve with white rice.
That right there looks like home to me, and because I can’t invite all of you back to visit my parents, this recipe will have to do. I hope you give it a try. My mom does too.
Have a great weekend, TGIFryday.
- 3 round tomatoes
- 3 eggs
- 1 green onion
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, optional
- Heat a large nonstick pot or pan over high heat.
- Prep the ingredients: slice tomatoes, chop green onions, and scramble the eggs. Set each component aside.
- Once the pot is heated through, pour in the oil and let it sit for about a minute to heat the oil for frying.
- Throw in scrambled eggs and stir them around until light and fluffy.
- Next, add sliced tomatoes to the eggs and stir to cook and combine for about 30 seconds.
- Finally, add green onions, salt, sugar and optional chicken bouillon powder. Stir for another 30-60 seconds until of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Turn off the heat and transfer tomato-fried egg into a dish to serve.
- Enjoy this Chinese classic with white rice.