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How to Make Authentic Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry

Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry, originating from the leading Shandong cuisine among the four major Chinese cuisines, is known as the first quick and easy dish and is even referred to as the 'national dish.'

The history of stir-frying eggs in China spans over two thousand years, with detailed records of its preparation method and evaluation found in the book 'Qimin Yaoshu.' This ancient Chinese agricultural treatise, written by the polymath Jia Sixie during the Northern Wei dynasty(386-534 AD). It provides valuable insights into the agricultural and culinary practices of ancient China, making it a significant historical source.

As for the appearance of tomatoes, it happened much later, around the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty when tomatoes were first introduced to China. They were initially brought into the southern coastal cities of China through the maritime Silk Road.

There are different claims regarding the specific origin of Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry. One account attributes its creation to a renowned painter and calligrapher named Yang during the Jiajing era of the Ming Dynasty. According to this version, Yang discovered a new use for eggs and combined his painting skills with culinary techniques to invent this dish.

Another account suggests that the dish originated from Puyi, also known as Henry Pu Yi, was the last Emperor of China. In response to Puyi's request when he lived in Tianjin, a chef modified the original butter-fried eggs, incorporating tomatoes to create the Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry.

Cooking Method
Cuisine
Courses , ,
Difficulty Beginner
Time
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 10 min Total Time: 20 mins
Servings 2
Description

This dish is slightly sour with a hint of sweetness, making it very appetizing. It features the sweet and sour notes of tomatoes and the tenderness of eggs. The combination of these flavors creates a delightful and unforgettable eating experience.

Ingredients
    Beaten Egg
  • 2 pieces egg
  • 1 gram salt
  • 20 grams clean water
  • 20 grams cooking oil (used for stir-fry tomatos)
  • 2 pieces tomato
  • 5 grams cooking oil (used for stir-fry garlic)
  • 5g grams light soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 gram salt
  • sugar (to your taste)
  • chopped green onion (to your taste)
Instructions
  1. Cut a cross on the tomato.

    A slightly softer tomato works better for flavor.
  2. Blanch in boiling water for half a minute.

  3. Peel and remove the core, then cut into chunks.

    Leaving larger pieces adds more texture to the dish. If you prefer not to have large tomato chunks, you can cut them smaller.
  4. Beat eggs with 20ml of water and 1g of salt.

    Add an appropriate amount of water to make the eggs have a tender texture.
  5. Pour around 20g of oil into the pan. Once the oil is hot, pour in the beaten egg mixture.

  6. Make the eggs become as fluffy as possible. Cook until the eggs are slightly set, then put them to the bowl where the beaten eggs were prepared.

    Heating the oil to a high temperature results in a more fragrant stir-fried egg. After adding the eggs to the wok, do not disturb the eggs until the bottom sets. Then use chopsticks to separate. Let the uncooked egg mixture to come into contact with the bottom of the wok for further heating, then cut the eggs into large pieces. If you stir too early after pouring in the egg mixture, the eggs will become too fragmented.
  7. Pour 5g of oil into a wok, when the oil is hot, stir-fry the garlic slices over medium-low heat. Add the tomato pieces, stir-frying and pressing at the same time.

    Pour 5g of oil into a wok, when the oil is hot, stir-fry the garlic slices over medium-low heat. Add the tomato pieces, stir-frying and pressing at the same time.
  8. Stir-fry until the juice starts to come out, then cook over medium-low heat for a while so that the tomato chunks continue to soften and release juices. Pour in 5g of light soy sauce, add 1-3g of sugar, and stir well.

    Add sugar according to the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes. If you don't like it, you can omit it.
  9. Add the beaten eggs, stir well, and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the soup looks reduced.

    In reality, there will be some soup left after serving.
  10. Add salt, sprinkle chopped green onions, and stir well.

    Make sure to reduce the sauce; this enhances the flavor.
Note
  1. Choose tomatoes that are slightly soft; this type has a balanced sweet and sour taste and is juicy. In case you end up with tomatoes that are less flavorful, you can add tomato sauce to enhance the taste.
  2. If you don't like sugar, you can omit it. You can also omit chopped green onions if you don't prefer them.
  3. There are many ways to make tomato and egg stir-fry, and everyone has their own perfect taste. This recipe emphasizes four points: the ratio of tomatoes to eggs, the choice of tomatoes, stir-frying eggs over high heat for better aroma, and ensuring the dish has reduced sauce by the end.
Keywords: Shandong Cuisine, Sour and sweet, Tomato