Egg Foo Young has been a popular item on Chinese menus in America since the mid-1800's yet some have argued that it's really not a Chinese creation at all. Well, that's just crazy talk because history tells us otherwise and our little town of Jacksonville might have been here when it all began.
According to Time Magazine, "many of America's first Chinese restaurants started in mining towns to feed those involved in the Gold Rush." Egg Foo Young appeared in America when immigrants from Canton (Guangdong) settled in California and north into Oregon and I figure it would have been a popular dish to recreate because eggs would have been plentiful. So what's with the name? In Cantonese, Foo Young translates to "hibiscus egg" which according to legend is how the egg seems to bloom when it hits the frying pan. So there you are, and there you have it. Egg Foo Young is Cantonese cuisine at its finest!
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tblsp oyster sauce
1 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
In a small saucepan, combine the broth, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Set aside and keep warm.
8 ounces of protein of choice (shrimp, chicken or ham are great), chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2/3 cup bean sprouts
1 scallion (green onion), sliced thin
6 eggs and 2 egg whites, beaten just until they start to bubble
1 Tblsp soy sauce
3 Tblsp oil, divided (grapeseed or canola is best)
Instructions for 6-8 pancakes
In a large skillet, sauté protein, mushrooms, sprouts and onion in 1 tablespoon oil until meat is cooked through and veggies are still ender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites and soy sauce then combine with the veggies and protein of choice.
Heat remaining oil. Drop mixture in batches into oil about 1/3 to 1/2 cups each depending on how large you want them to be. Cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. You may have to add more oil to the pan as you go.
Serve with sauce and a sprinkle of some extra scallion if you're feeling fancy.
Smashed Asian Cuke Salad
2-3 English cucumbers
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tblsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp chili oil
Optional: crunchy chili
Dry your cukes and place on a cutting board and carefully crush it with something heavy like a cleaver or a meat mallet. Why do we smash it? Because it's fun! And also because it brings out a sweetness while creating little nooks where the other ingredients can hang out.
Cut the cukes into bite size piece and place in a bowl
Add the garlic on top and give that a toss.
Mix all the other ingredients (minus the crunchy chili oil) in a separate bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Right before you serve, toss it all together and dust with a little sesame seed.
Add the optional crunchy chili oil on the side and see if you like it... points if you do!
NOTE: Any of the Asian ingredients that you can't find in your supermarket can be found at the Asia Grocery Market next to Tosu in the Winco plaza. They've recently upgraded their selection and it's just a gem of a place. Support small business!!
Items available at the Pot Rack to assist in the making of this cocktail:
Wusthof Chinese Cleaver
Helen Chen 14 inch Wok
Helen Chen 7 inch Spider