Healthy Egg Foo Young is a delicious Chinese omelette which was created by the economical Chinese kitchen cooks to use up meat and vegetable leftovers, as was Fried Rice. Most Chinese restaurants generally have omelettes on the menu, and they are also delicious as a takeaway, however you can easily make them at home, as a welcome change to the normal cheese and herb omelette. You might have even eaten omelette at a Chinese restaurant, but not realised what they are called. The ingredient possibilities are endless, depending on what you have in your refrigerator. I keep a stock of standard Chinese sauces on hand at all times as I cook a lot of stir fries and Asian food, so that makes cooking a meal like this one very easy to bring together with eggs and leftovers. I always enjoy eating an omelette, don't you? Where would we be without eggs in our kitchens?
I've deconstructed this omelette as I wanted to taste all of the amazing Chinese flavours and ingredients separately, as much as possible. When I saw a photo of Pork Egg Foo Young presented in this way by the Australian Eggs website, I had to try it. The 4 omelettes are made separately in a non-stick pan, the pork mince is cooked up with the vegetables and sauces and kept warm, and the pouring sauce is made separately in a small saucepan.
Egg Foo Young can be served as a thicker omelette with the meat and vegetables cooked within the egg mixture. I've given some ideas on that later in this post. I prefer the deconstructed version as everything can be cooked separately and kept warm in advance, and then assembled when you are ready to eat.
Being able to prepare all of the ingredients in advance is one of the advantages of Chinese cooking and why I love it. There is often lots of vegetable chopping involved. I also love that so many fresh ingredients are used. I chopped the vegetables, whisked the eggs, measured out all of the sauces, and I was ready to start cooking. Mr. HRK cooked the pork mince for me and that was a great help as I had chopped all the vegetables and made the sauce by this stage. I could clean up around him and think about the photos I needed to take. I'd made my Wombok salad during the week and I still had 1/2 a wombok (Chinese Cabbage) needing to be used, some of it was perfect for this omelette. Womboks are always available at our supermarkets and generally quite economical to buy. A whole wombok can be made into a very large salad.
Egg Foo Young Sauce:
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine or Mirin
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1 tablespoon cornflour
METHOD FOR SAUCE;
Combine soy, Mirin, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, chicken stock cube, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and stir over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add the cornflour and cook for 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens to almost a thin syrup consistency.
The sauce can also be cooked in the microwave.
Place all the ingredients in a small microwave proof jug. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes until thickened. Stir really well, and then give it another whirl for 1 1/2 minutes until thickened. Mix again ensuring there are no lumps.
PORK FILLING FOR OMELETTE:
300 g pork mince
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste, or grated fresh ginger
100 g white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cups (160 g) finely shredded Chinese cabbage or Wombok
3 green onions, shredded, plus extra for garnish
2 cups (110 g) bean sprouts, plus extra for a garnish
2 teaspoons each Soy sauce and Oyster sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: Add 1 teaspoon sugar
METHOD FOR OMELETTE FILLING:
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan.
Add the ginger and garlic. Cook stirring for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Now add the Pork Mince and cook, stirring, breaking up any lumps, until browned.
Add the cabbage and the mushrooms, stirring for another 4-5 minutes just until they are softened.
Add the Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, sugar and salt to combine.
Finally add the green onions and bean sprouts, stir, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Taste the pork and if you would like a little more flavour add another 1/2 teaspoon each of soy sauce and oyster sauce until it is to your liking.
Set aside and remove from the pan to a heatproof bowl and cover.
I used the same pan to make the omelettes in. Wipe the pan clean.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and a light drizzle of sesame oil in the non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add 2 beaten eggs and cook for 2-3 minutes, tilting the pan to form a round omelette. I used a plastic spatula to lift the omelette around the edges.
Flip over carefully and cook for 1 further minute until the egg is set and lightly browned.
Lift out onto a plate.
Repeat and make another 3 omelettes.
To serve, spoon the cooked pork and vegetable mixture on top of the 4 omelettes covering 3/4 of the omelette surface. Turn the remaining 1/4 of the omelette over the filling.
Garnish with extra sprouts and green onions.
Drizzle over the sauce.
Scatter with sesame seeds if desired. I don't use sesame seeds with mine.
Replace the pork mince with peeled and deveined raw prawns, or chicken or turkey mince.
Everyone has different preferences with the amount of flavour they prefer with Chinese food. Because I have added the cooked pork separately onto the egg omelette, it's important to taste the pork after cooking and add a little more Soy sauce and Oyster sauce if you wish. I needed to, but I like lots of flavour.
Serve with a side of rice if you wish, and some steamed vegetables.
Substitute the green onion with finely chopped white, brown or red onions, or even cooked leeks.
A note about the sauces:
Don't use a dark soy sauce or kecap manis. A light soy sauce is preferable. Kikkoman is what I used.
I used Mirin instead of Chinese cooking wine as that's what I had on hand. It substitutes well.
Here's a couple of Omelette variations:
I have chosen to serve the cooked pork and vegetables separately over the egg omelette for the above recipe. However, if you prefer, as some takeaway Chinese restaurants do now, the pork and vegetables can also be mixed in with the eggs and cooked as four thicker omelettes.
Cooking 4 separate omelettes using just 6 eggs mixed with a filling is achievable. If you prefer this idea, I would use a combined quantity of 2 1/2 cups of protein (pork mince, chopped prawns, or chicken mince) and chopped vegetables with the eggs. However, the vegetables should be finely chopped and cooked separately before adding to the egg mixture, particularly if you are using various vegetables such as capsicum, onions, eggplants, sliced mushrooms and garlic.
Method for combined protein and vegetable omelettes:
- Whisk the eggs into a large bowl. Add the bean sprouts, finely chopped green onions, minced pork and other cooked vegetables.
- Heat about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and a splash of sesame oil to a non-stick skillet on a moderate heat. If using garlic, add 2 crushed cloves to the oil and saute quickly and move to the centre of your pan.
- Add your batter to the pan using a ladle. Ladle in just one quarter of it to start with. Form it into a round shape with a spatula.
- When the base of the omelette is a light golden, this should take about 2 minutes, flip it over and cook the other side for 1 minute.
- Repeat this process with the remaining egg mixture to make 4 omelettes.
- It will be easier if you can use two pans at the same time.
- Slide the omelette onto the plate when cooked. Pour the sauce over the omelette and garnish as you wish, with green onions and some extra beansprouts. Add some sesame seeds but I don't eat them. Those little seeds can cause gut problems.
Vegetarian Chinese omelette?
A vegetarian omelette sounds good too doesn't it? Use all the sauces and vegetables from the previous ingredient list.