Friday, January 18, 2013

Happiness is...Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young at Ballard Mandarin
Egg Foo Young has got to be my favorite American Chinese dish.

What's not like?  Eggs? Vegetables? Sauce? It's a triumvirate of tastiness! 

In fact, I had it for Christmas dinner at Ballard Mandarin Restaurant, and was never more happy.

Another fact, it was well worth the 45 minute wait where they kept bringing us platters of Egg Foo Young and right before we could dig in the platter would be pulled away because our teeny-tiny waiter kept giving food to the wrong tables, but that's another story...

Fact three, my two favorite Chinese Restaurant Lounges have Egg Foo Young on the Bar Menu and super cheap Happy Hour drink prices.

Egg Foo Young at Louie's Cuisine of China
Louie's Cuisine of China, in Ballard, has a lounge where you step over the threshold and *poof* you are transported right smack dab in the 1970's. Rattan furniture, stone fireplace, mirrored wall, disco floor...

But, it's the Egg Foo Young (and cheap drinks) that keeps me coming back.

They deep fry it here, so it's golden and crispy
on the outside and souffle like on the inside.

The traditional brown sauce is thick but not heavy, and not too salty.

Shrimps Egg Foo Young at Peking House
Peking House Restaurant, in Shoreline, is a great place to go for a drink after work (especially since it is 5 minutes from work).

The lounge is large and worn in, but the bartender pours a stiff drink and the Shrimps Egg Foo Young is always good.

Loaded with big shrimps and crispy vegetables, this egg pancake is large enough for 2-3 people to share, and I like that they serve the sesame infused sauce on the side.

All that said, my only gripe with Egg Foo Young in general is that it is only ever served Family Style.

So, if you are a single and want Egg Foo Young you must be prepared to eat a lot of Egg Foo Young! I'm pretty certain that eating 6-8 eggs in one sitting is not going to be good for you.

Truth be told I had never made Egg Foo Young at home. For some reason I always assume anything Chinese is going to be difficult to make, and it's just best to get it in a restaurant.

But Egg Foo Young is just and omelette! A stinking veggie or meat omelette!

Now that I have figured this out I am equipped to make my favorite dish all the time, and it is just as good as any restaurant could make. Well, except for the deep fried version at Louie's. I haven't figured that one out yet...

Egg Foo Young for 1

For the Omelette:
1 T. Vegetable Oil, for frying
1/2 c. Fried Tofu, in julienned strips*
1/4 c. Bean Sprouts**
1/4 c. Celery, diced small
1/4 c. Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of Kosher Salt
2-3 Eggs, scrambled (hungry or really hungry)

In a small bowl, mix together the Fried Tofu, Bean Sprouts, Celery, Yellow Onion, and Kosher Salt.

Stir the scrambled Eggs into the vegetable mixture and set aside.

For the Sauce:
1/4 c. Chicken Broth ~or~ Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 t. Soy Sauce
1/2 t. Cornstarch
1 1/2 t. Water
1/2 t. toasted Sesame Oil
Small Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

In a small cup combine the Chicken Broth and Soy Sauce together; set aside.

Place the Cornstarch and Water in a small cup; stir to combine and set aside.

Have at the ready the Sesame Oil and Cayenne Pepper.

Heat Vegetable Oil in a small non-stick skillet over med-high heat.

Add the Vegetable/Egg mixture to the hot pan; reduce heat a little, stir briefly then let cook for 3 minutes, so that the eggs start to set and get golden brown. Flip omelette over and cook for another 2 minutes until eggs are cook to your liking. Transfer to a plate.

Add the Chicken Broth/Soy Sauce mix directly into the hot skillet and bring to a boil. Slowly add in the Cornstarch/Water slurry (you will need to re`stir before adding), stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in the Sesame Oil and Cayenne Pepper and pour directly over the waiting omelette. EAT!

*You could also use diced Ham, BBQ Pork, shredded Chicken, cooked Shrimps, or cooked ground Pork. I just needed to use up some Tofu...

**You have tons of options for veggie add~ins! Green Onions, Bamboo Shoots, Mushrooms, and shredded Carrots are all delicious. Peas! Peas would be good in this...

So easy! The eggs are fluffy and the veggies remain crispy.  A light and savory meal I no longer have to go out to a Chinese Restaurant to get.

I bet bacon would be good...

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