Egg Foo Young (芙蓉蛋)

These quick, shallow-fried eggs are your new favorite side dish and snack!

flodesk gif
Prep Time
8 min
Total Time
15 min
Yields
4 servings

A Recipe by Daddy Lau

My dad's been cooking Chinese food for over 50 years - as a kid fending for himself in Guangzhou, as the head chef of his own restaurant, and as a loving father in our home.

Hopefully, by learning this recipe, you'll get to experience some of the delicious joy we felt growing up eating his food!

- Randy

Egg Foo Young was once a staple of all Chinese American menus. For some reason, it's been quietly fading and is less commonly found now.

But did you know about Egg Foo Young's place in Chinese American history? Specifically, it's one of the dishes that played a big role in the restaurants that Chinese immigrants opened in America back during the Gold Rush. The familiar format of an egg omelette appealed to white Americans, while exposing them to new flavors and seasonings. Can you say... gateway?

Don't let this piece of history disappear! This shallow-fried egg dish is delicious, full of complementing textures, and super easy to make at home.

Thanks From Here To Sunday!

FROM HERE TO SUNDAY began in a fake bodega within a real museum by artist Diana Ho with the simple act of sharing baked goods. This gesture is at the root of the business, which values creating an inclusive community through artful gift-giving. 

Each product is lovingly made in limited quantities by talented artists – ranging from paintings, to zines, to jewelry, to baked goods, and beyond. This small business continues to evolve in different contexts, whether it is a pop-up shop or an art exhibition.

Now with a brick-and-mortar space in Brooklyn, NY, From Here to Sunday strives to utilize its platform to uplift marginalized artists through a decolonized lens. Thanks so much From Here To Sunday for partnering with us on this recipe! Go to https://www.heretosunday.com/pages/mwl and use the code MWL10 to get 10% off the shirt Randy is wearing in the recipe video!

Check out their socials here!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heretosunday/

Website: https://www.heretosunday.com/

Check out a quick story summary of our recipe!

Ingredients

Weight: US
oz
g
Volume: US
cup
mL
Servings
4

Main Ingredients

  • 4 oz shrimp (

    31/35 size

    )
  • 4 egg
  • 5 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 oz red onion
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 2 tbsp oil

Egg seasoning

  • 0.50 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp white pepper
  • 0.50 tsp sugar

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 0.25 tsp white pepper
  • 4 oz water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water (

    optional; to thin the sauce if needed

    )
  • 1 dash sesame oil (

    just a few drops, or to taste

    )

Cornstarch slurry

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Other

  • 2 cup boiling water

Layering texture

In Yin Yang Fried Rice, we talked about how the ultimate goal in Chinese cuisine is to appeal to the five senses: taste, smell, sound, sight, and touch/texture. Texture is a big one to nail for this recipe!

You want eggs that are tender inside but with a fried, golden brown crust on the outside. To achieve that, be generous with the cooking oil, start on high heat, and finish cooking on low heat.

The filling needs to be cooked but still crunchy. Blanch the vegetables very quickly, keeping in mind that they're going to get a little more heat as they cook with the eggs.

The gravy should be the perfect consistency, and that's up to you: thin it out with water if necessary, but dilute it slowly so you don't accidentally make it too watery.

Oyster sauce gravy

My dad calls this oyster sauce gravy, because the oyster sauce is the main flavor for the sauce. The other ingredients are there to boost and complement the oyster sauce. If you prefer a vegetarian or gluten-free version, those are available too!

We like to serve the gravy on the side so that everyone can choose how much to put on their own portion.

Peel the shrimp (4 oz). Start by pulling off the third segment from the tail. Then, it'll be easy to pull off the back and the tail completely. To peel the rest, hook your finger under the segment next to what you just removed, and pull the shell away. It should come off quite cleanly!

Of course, if your shrimp is pre-peeled, you can skip to de-veining.

Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise, and put into a small bowl of water to rinse off any debris and errant bits of shell. Pull off the veins as you remove the shrimp from the bowl and transfer to a plate to dry off.

Cut the onion (2 oz) into slices, and then cut the onion slices in half so that the strips are not overly long.

Cut the green part of the green onion (2 stalks) into short pieces, about 1 inch long. Dice the whites, and keep them separate from the greens. The greens will go into the egg mixture, and the whites will be for final garnish.

Crack the eggs (4 ) into a bowl, and season with salt (0.50 tsp), white pepper (0.25 tsp), and sugar (0.50 tsp). Don't beat the eggs yet; save that for right before they're ready to go into the wok.

Sugar is our secret ingredient for fluffy fluffy eggs! Don't worry, it's not enough to make the eggs taste sweet.

In a small bowl, mix together oyster sauce (1 tbsp), light soy sauce (1 tbsp), dark soy sauce (1 tsp), sugar (1 tsp), white pepper (0.25 tsp), water (4 oz), and cornstarch (2 tsp). Stir well to dissolve clumps now to avoid texture problems later.

Separately, mix together cornstarch (1 tbsp) and water (1 tbsp) to create a thickening slurry. This slurry will go into the egg mixture and give the omelette a lot of additional structure.

Turn the heat on to high, and add boiling or hot water (2 cup) to the pot. Once it comes to a boil, add the shrimp and boil for a quick 15-20 seconds. This is enough to cook them about 90% through. Remove the shrimp and set them aside.

Add the bean sprouts (5 oz).

Wait 10 seconds, then add the onions.

Cook them for 30-40 more seconds, then drain the vegetables into a strainer or colander.

Heat the wok on high. While it heats up, beat the seasoned eggs. Add the cornstarch slurry and whip it into the eggs. Add oil (2 tbsp) into the wok and give it a quick swirl to coat. Don't skimp on the oil! In fact, feel free to add a bit more if you think it'll help.

As Daddy Lau says, this omelette is half pan-fried, half deep-fried; so basically, shallow-fried. It's how you get fragrant, golden brown eggs that won't stick to your wok as you cook.

While the oil heats up, add the blanched shrimp and vegetables into the eggs and mix well. Daddy Lau gets in there with his hands to make sure they're incorporated evenly.

Once the egg mixture is ready, pour it straight into the wok. You can gently move the ingredients around so it’s evenly spread out on top, but be careful not to move it too much, as we want the bottom to fry into a beautiful layer of golden brown crust. Letting the bottom fry peacefully, undisturbed, is the best way to prevent stickage.

Let the egg mixture continue frying on high heat for about a minute, at which point the bottom should be golden brown. Then, turn the heat to low. You can carefully rotate (not flip) the egg, which should be a fairly solid piece by now, for even cooking.

After about a minute of pan-frying on low, it should be ready to flip. To flip, push your spatula under the omelette so that it's supporting most of the omelette's weight. Pull it to the side of the wok to create a broader landing spot, and decisively flip it!

Nudge it into place and poke any straggling bits back into the omelette.

Pan-fry on this side for about 3-4 minutes. Again, it's fairly solid and won't need meticulous tending, but you can rotate it every now and then to make sure it cooks evenly, and to make sure it's not sticking. You can also slide it around. Check the bottom occasionally to see if it's turned golden brown yet.

Flip once more when the color looks good, and cook for another 30-40 seconds.

Turn off the heat and plate the omelette.

Pour the sauce into the still-hot wok. Then, turn the heat on to low and continuously stir to avoid lumps. Our family prefers a thinner gravy, so we add water (1 tbsp). You can add however much water you like according to your own preferences.

Once you're happy with the consistency, add sesame oil (1 dash), turn off the heat, and pour the sauce out into a bowl. You can sprinkle the diced green onion whites on the gravy, or the omelette, or both. Enjoy!

Summary

Egg Foo Young (芙蓉蛋)
These quick, shallow-fried eggs are your new favorite side dish and snack!
  • Prep Time: 8 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings

Main Ingredients

  • 4 oz shrimp (

    31/35 size

    )
  • 4 egg
  • 5 oz bean sprouts
  • 2 oz red onion
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 2 tbsp oil

Egg seasoning

  • 0.50 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp white pepper
  • 0.50 tsp sugar

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 0.25 tsp white pepper
  • 4 oz water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water (

    optional; to thin the sauce if needed

    )
  • 1 dash sesame oil (

    just a few drops, or to taste

    )

Cornstarch slurry

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Other

  • 2 cup boiling water

Step 1 - Prepare shrimp

↑ Jump to details

Peel the shrimp (4 oz).

Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise, and put into a small bowl of water to rinse off any debris and errant bits of shell. Pull off the veins as you remove the shrimp from the bowl and transfer to a plate to dry off.

Step 2 - Prepare veggies

↑ Jump to details

Cut the onion (2 oz) into slices, and then cut the onion slices in half.

Cut the green part of the green onion (2 stalks) into short pieces, about 1 inch long. Dice the whites, and keep them separate from the greens.

Step 3 - Prepare eggs

↑ Jump to details

Crack the eggs (4 ) into a bowl, and season with salt (0.50 tsp), white pepper (0.25 tsp), and sugar (0.50 tsp), but don't beat the eggs yet.

Step 4 - Create sauce & slurry

↑ Jump to details

In a small bowl, mix together oyster sauce (1 tbsp), light soy sauce (1 tbsp), dark soy sauce (1 tsp), sugar (1 tsp), white pepper (0.25 tsp), water (4 oz), and cornstarch (2 tsp).

Separately, mix together cornstarch (1 tbsp) and water (1 tbsp) to create a thickening slurry for the eggs.

Step 5 - Blanch ingredients

↑ Jump to details

Turn the heat on to high, and add boiling or hot water (2 cup) to the pot. Add the shrimp and boil for a quick 15-20 seconds. Remove the shrimp and set them aside.

Add the bean sprouts (5 oz).

Wait 10 seconds, then add the onions.

Cook them for 30-40 more seconds, then drain the vegetables.

Step 6 - Heat wok & prep egg mixture

↑ Jump to details

Heat the wok on high. While it heats up, beat the seasoned eggs. Add the cornstarch slurry and whip it into the eggs. Add oil (2 tbsp) into the wok and give it a quick swirl to coat.

While the oil heats up, add the blanched shrimp and vegetables into the eggs and mix well.

Step 7 - Pan-fry omelette

↑ Jump to details

Once the egg mixture is ready, pour it straight into the wok. You can gently move the ingredients around so it’s evenly spread out on top, but let the bottom fry undisturbed.

Let the egg mixture continue frying on high heat for about a minute, at which point the bottom should be golden brown. Then, turn the heat to low. You can carefully rotate (not flip) the egg for even cooking.

After about a minute of pan-frying on low, flip the omelette to the other side.

Pan-fry on this side for about 3-4 minutes. Rotate it for even cooking and check the bottom occasionally to see if it's turned golden brown yet.

Flip once more when the color looks good, and cook for another 30-40 seconds.

Turn off the heat and plate the omelette.

Step 8 - Cook sauce

↑ Jump to details

Pour the sauce into the still-hot wok. Then, turn the heat on to low and continuously stir to avoid lumps. Add water (1 tbsp) to thin out the gravy if necessary.

Once you're happy with the consistency, add sesame oil (1 dash), turn off the heat, and pour the sauce out into a bowl. You can sprinkle the diced green onion whites on the gravy, or the omelette, or both. Enjoy!

Step 9 - Take pictures
Whip out your camera (1). Begin taking photos (1,000,000). Pick your favorites!
Step 10 - Share and tag us on Instagram @madewithlau #madewithlau!
Did you have fun making this recipe? We'd love to see & hear about it. (Especially my dad. He would be THRILLED!)

Enjoy!

We have many, many happy memories of enjoying this dish growing up.

Now, hopefully, you can create your own memories with this dish with your loved ones.

Also, I cordially invite you to eat with us and learn more about the dish, Chinese culture, and my family.

Cheers, and thanks for cooking with us!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the recipe.