Call it China’s peanut butter and jelly. Or the mac and cheese of the Middle Kingdom. It is a Chinese dish universally known, which every Chinese adult, without exaggeration, has made at some point in his or her lifetime.
We’re talking about eggs scrambled with tomatoes, of course, 西红柿炒鸡蛋 (xīhóngshì chǎo jīdàn), so basic that Chinese restaurants in the U.S. don’t bother putting it on their menus — though any restaurant with a real Chinese person in the kitchen should be able to whip it up.
In this, the second of two pilot episodes of SupChina’s cooking show, The Secret Menu, we ask our very own Kaiser Kuo to demonstrate his version of this simple classic. Debate rages over how much sugar, if indeed any, should be added. We encourage you to experiment!
When you’re done, be sure to check out our previous episode, featuring the New Yorker’s Jiayang Fan showing us how she makes spicy and sour shredded potatoes.
- cooking oil
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
*Use two eggs per one large tomato, or a 1-to-1 ratio if using small tomatoes; 4 eggs and 4 tomatoes are used in this video (serves 2).
- Slice the scallions.
- Peel the tomatoes and slice them.
- Crack the eggs and stir them.
- Oil the pan.
- Add the eggs and scramble lightly; remove from the pan.
- Add the scallions and tomatoes to the pan; stir-fry at low heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the salt.
- Add the scrambled eggs back in.
- Add the sugar and stir for a little while; don’t let the eggs brown.