Egg foo young is a timeless Chinese American dish that has captured the hearts of restaurant-goers with its simple ingredients and big textures and flavors.
Along with chop suey, egg foo young is considered one of the O.G. Chinese American classics. At its core, egg foo young is an omelet—but not just any omelet. It has a soft and tender interior with perfectly browned and crisped edges. A spoonful of gravy adds layers of textures and a pop of flavor as it soaks into the crispy crevices.
Using a Wok for Egg Foo Young
Although you don’t need a wok for egg foo young, a wok is the best vessel for this recipe. Since woks have a small base with steep walls, this allows the egg foo young to shallow fry without adding too much oil. Since the base is smaller than a frying pan, it also helps prevent the omelet from spreading too quickly and thinly.
Use the Chopstick Trick
A thermometer is the easiest method for determining if the oil is at the right temperature. If you don’t have one handy, use this trick favored by Chinese cooks. Stick a wooden chopstick or the thin handle of a wooden spoon in the hot oil to see if there is any bubbling action.
If there is light bubbling, it means that the oil is close to 325°F. If there is vigorous bubbling around the chopstick or handle, the temperature has reached 350°F, which is great for most frying.
What Is Cornstarch Slurry?
Cornstarch helps to thicken liquid, like gravy, without imparting any flavor. Cornstarch slurry is made by dissolving cornstarch in a small amount of water, usually at a one-to-one ratio. For example, one tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in one tablespoon of water will make one tablespoon of cornstarch slurry.
Mixing and dissolving the cornstarch is crucial since it tends to clump when it is added to a lot of liquid. By mixing and dissolving it in a small amount of water, it makes it easier to distribute without having globs of gooey cornstarch floating around the broth.
Tweaking Egg Foo Young
Just like any other omelet, egg foo young is a clever vessel for restaurants (and you!) to use whatever they have on hand and create a delicious new meal out of it.
Feel free to substitute the shrimp with a protein of your choice. Pre-cook the protein since egg foo young just takes a few minutes to fry on each side, but not enough time to cook raw meat without burning the omelet. Toss in other thinly sliced, quick-cooking veggies like finely shredded carrot or cabbage.
More Eggy Main Dishes
Egg Foo Young
For the gravy
1 cup unsalted beef stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
For the omelet
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 green onion, green and white parts sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts
20 medium peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed if frozen and patted dry
2 to 3 cups vegetable or canola oil, as needed, for frying
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
Make the gravy:
In a small saucepan, add the beef stock, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and white pepper powder over medium heat. Whisk together and bring to a simmer.
Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve. Add to the saucepan and whisk until the gravy thickens and coats the back of the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the saucepan with a lid and keep it warm on the lowest possible heat.
Make the egg foo young batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until dissolved. Add the eggs, salt, and sugar. Whisk until well combined and there are no more egg white clumps.
Add the green onion, bean sprouts, and shrimp. Stir until everything is evenly coated.
Fry the egg foo young:
Add the vegetable oil to a large wok; it should reach about 2 inches up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F, or until vigorous bubbles form around an inserted wooden chopstick.
With a ladle, gently and slowly add 1/4 of the omelet batter. Egg foo young should immediately bubble and puff up like magic. Fry until golden brown and crispy on each side, about 2 minutes per side. If there are any light spots, use a ladle to gently baste it with hot oil.
Egg foo young can be a bit tricky to flip. The easiest method is to put a tool in each hand (a spider, slotted spoon, tongs, and large chopsticks are all good candidates) and gently coax the omelet over, pulling up on one side and pushing down and around on the other.
Remove the omelet and place it on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining batter to make 4 omelets. If needed, add more oil to the pan between batches.
Serve and enjoy:
Plate each egg foo young over a bed of rice. Spoon the warm gravy over the top and serve immediately.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 43g||55%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||29%|
|Total Carbohydrate 31g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||22%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|