Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Egg Fu Yung (Chinese-Indonesian Omelette) with a Sesame-Ginger Sauce

A delicious, quick and easy dish, popular in America and the UK - 'gravy' optional!

Although not itself authentically Chinese, Egg Fu Yung (also known as Egg Foo Young, Egg Fo Yong etc.) is a Chinese-American dish which is derived from an authentic dish from Shanghai, known as Fu Yung Egg Slices, made with beaten egg whites and ham slices, or minced chicken if you go further north. You can add your choice of various vegetables, as well as various types of seafood or meat if you like too (see notes below for ideas).

          Egg Foo Young recipe

In this version, I've simply added bean sprouts, straw mushrooms and spring onions (scallions) to keep it simple and quick, but use up whatever you fancy!

In the UK, it is not usually served with a sauce as such, but in America, they frequently serve it with 'gravy'. Whilst I had a little difficulty with the notion of serving a Chinese-style omelette with gravy, I do try to be open-minded where food is concerned, so in a nod to a transatlantic friend of mine, I did make a sauce based on a light chicken stock - which I'm afraid I then just couldn't help flavouring with soy, ginger, oyster sauce and toasted sesame oil. I will put my hand up, and confess that I actually rather enjoyed it, and it gave the dish quite a pleasant new dimension - so thank you, Audra, I'm glad I gave it a whirl! ;)

Obviously, the sauce (or gravy!) is entirely optional, but you might just surprise yourself and like it too!

245 calories per portion for the Egg Fu Yung, serves two as a light lunch, or a meal with other/side dishes.
For the optional sesame-ginger sauce, 64 calories for a large serving (1/2 quantity, about 160ml), 32 calories for a medium serving (80 ml), or logically... 16 calories for a small serving (40ml). I guess it depends how much you like - but I wouldn't want you to not have enough (I'm pretty sure not having enough sauce for your dinner is some kind of cardinal sin!)!

See notes below for other suggestions  to include in your Egg Fu Yung, along with calorie counts for individual ingredients, if you're counting. Although having a ‘gravy’ with this dish was completely alien to us, we gave it a try for a change, and I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to try this element or not - I’d say it’s more of a ‘fusion’ element (but then it's not an authentic Chinese dish in the first place, I suppose), and leave it up to your discretion!


(1 tbsp is 15ml)
  • 4 medium eggs (around 58g each)  [352]
  • ½ tbsp oyster sauce (vegetarian version available, or Wok Mei is gluten free) [14]
  • ½ tbsp light soy sauce (or use Tamari for gluten free) [2]
  • 4 spring onions (scallions) [28]
  • 100g straw mushrooms (drained weight, from a tin, or quarter/slice normal mushrooms) [16]
  • 100g fresh beansprouts, washed and drained [34]
  • 1 teaspoon oil (or more if you prefer and you're not counting calories) [45]

For the (optional) ginger-sesame sauce (gravy!)

  • 1 ½ level tbsp cornflour [54]
  • ½ tbsp dark soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten free) [6]
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (Wok Mei is gluten free) [28]
  • 250ml light chicken stock, or vegetable stock if you prefer [13]
  • ½ to 1 inch grated ginger root, to taste [3]
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil [23]

If you want to have sauce (gravy!) with your Egg Fu Yung, then get the sauce ready first (otherwise, ignore this part!). Mix the cornflour with the soy sauce and 2 to 3 tbsp cold water in a small dish, until thoroughly combined. Add the hot stock to a pan (or heat it up in the pan), over a low to medium heat, whisk in the oyster sauce and add the grated ginger root. Whisk in the cornflour mixture and continue to heat through stirring until it comes to the boil; turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so until thickened. Stir in the toasted sesame oil and keep warm until serving.

For the Egg Fu Yung

Cut 3 of the spring onions into 2-3mm wide slices on the diagonal, including the green parts (wash out any grit first), and the fourth into diagonal slivers, to garnish. Beat the eggs together with the soy and oyster sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Add the mushrooms (if using fresh mushrooms rather than straw mushrooms, you might prefer to cook them lightly first), spring onions and beansprouts and stir in. Pre-heat a large, good non-stick wok (or similar – it’s the non-stick that’s important here!), with a lid, over a medium heat and then spray/add the oil, covering the surface of the pan evenly.

Carefully pour the egg/vegetable mixture into the middle, and use the back of a spoon to quickly and gently spread out the vegetables in an even layer. Turn the heat down to low, and cover the pan with a lid (because we’re using a small amount of oil, we’re trying to cook the eggs through evenly more quickly, keeping the steam/heat in the pan with the lid, so that the bottom doesn’t burn. You wouldn’t normally use a lid, but you’d use a lot more oil! This helps cook it without the bottom burning, as it concentrates the heat inside the pan).


Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then open the lid for a look (it will most probably still be very liquid on the top (as in photo 1), but if not, bypass the next part, turn over, turn up the heat and cook for about 30 seconds then serve!), gently run silicone/plastic fish slice (something that won’t scratch the non-stick surface!) around the edges to loosen them, and see whether a gentle, twisty shake will loosen it all yet, don’t worry if not!

If not nearly cooked and very runny on top, re-cover, and cook for a further 2 to 4 minutes, checking halfway, or until only slightly runny on top still, then loosen all the way around (if necessary) until it slides/moves freely in the pan; tilt the pan and slide it right to the edge, then use a large fish slice/spatula or similar to flip it over into the middle of the pan (second photo – see, bottom not burnt!).

Turn the heat back up to medium/high, and cook for a further 30 seconds or so, until the egg is just cooked through, then flip or slide it onto a board, and cut in half, or wedges to serve.

You don’t have to cook it this way, if you don’t fancy flipping it – you can toss it, push the edges in (like cooking an omelette), break it up like scrambled eggs… it’s not a formal dish, and is serves all kinds of ways (just search it on Google and look on images!) with all kinds of fillings (further suggestions below). Just cook it through, then serve.

Enjoy (with or without sauce/gravy)!

Other ingredients you may like to include in your Egg Fu Yung:

•    Bamboo shoots, cut into matchsticks (tinned, drained) – 13 calories per 100g
•    Red or green (bell) pepper, de-seeded and cut into thin strips – 26 calories per 100g
•    Shredded Chinese leaf/napa cabbage – 12 calories per 100g
•    Finely julienned carrot – 26 calories per 100g
•    Babycorn/Baby sweetcorn, sliced/quartered lengthways – 24 calories per 100g
•    Finely julienned courgette – 18 calories per 100g
•    Peas/petit pois (defrosted) – 68 calories per 100g
•    Mangtout, sliced diagonally – 38 calories per 100g
•    Water chestnuts, sliced – 17 calories per 100g
•    Large red chillies, finely sliced – 7 calories each (approximately 10g per chilli)
•    Cooked shredded chicken (breast), without skin –  approximately 110 calories per 100g
•    Cooked peeled prawns – average 80 calories per 100g

Well? There you go, plenty of ideas - and a great way to use up veggies waiting in the fridge!


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