Eggs and tomatoes: The most popular home-style Chinese dish

Society & Culture

In this opening edition of our new weekly food column, Lu Zhao brings us a popular recipe that basically every Chinese person can make (and probably has made). Try it yourself!

Welcome to SupChina Eats, our new weekly food column that will run every Thursday.


As one of the simplest Chinese recipes, stir-fried tomatoes and eggs (西红柿炒鸡蛋 xīhóngshì chǎo jīdàn, or “eggs scrambled with tomatoes”) is popular in Chinese families and college canteens alike. It’s also a good way for overseas Chinese to cope with homesickness. Growing up eating stir-fried tomatoes and eggs, I learned to make it before any other dish, and now it’s a regular on my cooking list.

Derived from Shandong cuisine — commonly known as Lu cuisine (鲁菜 lǔ cài), one of the eight Chinese regional cuisines — this dish is now ubiquitous across the country, and is said to be a national dish of China.

The recipe may be slightly different depending on your resources. I personally like the sweet-savory version that goes very well with rice.

YIELD

Serves 3 or 4, with rice

TIME

15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Steamed rice

PREPARATION

  1. Mix the eggs well.
  2. Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch wide wedges.
  3. Heat a nonstick frying pan over high heat with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When it is hot, add the tomatoes. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes until the flesh is softened and the juices come out.
  4. Pour the eggs to evenly cover the tomatoes.
  5. Add 4 teaspoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  6. When the eggs are just set but still runny, stir eggs and tomatoes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning with soy sauce and sugar. Cook until eggs are done. Serve with steamed rice.

Our very own Kaiser Kuo is on video here showing us how to make this dish: