Popular Post abcdefg Posted March 10, 2017 at 03:54 AM Popular Post Report Share Posted March 10, 2017 at 03:54 AM Tomatoes and scrambled eggs 番茄炒鸡蛋 is one of those simple, "go-to" dishes that even newly-wed brides and bachelors with tiny efficiency kitchens can easily whip up. The ingredients are available in all parts of China from the rural deep south to the industrial frozen north. It can be served at breakfast as a meal by itself, or at supper as a side dish which furnishes both a vegetable and a protein colorfully combined. You will find some variations, but the fundamentals are pretty well established. I made it this morning; let me show you how it went. Two large free-range eggs 土蛋 from Mr. Yang at the local market. Two small vine-ripened tomatoes 番茄 or 西红柿。Decided after starting that they were a little small, so I added a third one. One smashed and chopped garlic 大蒜/蒜茸。 I had a crisp stalk of celery 芹菜/西芹 left over from last night. A word about proportions 比例。Some cooks prefer a one-to-one balance of eggs and tomatoes, but most opt for having a little more tomato. I usually add a bit of minced scallion 葱花, but this morning I didn't have any in the fridge. Sometimes I will use a small palm-full of pre-cooked green peas as a color and texture ingredient. Today the celery served a similar purpose. Whatever you add, it need to be just a small amount and mild of flavor so as to not overpower the other two "star" ingredients. Remove the skin of the tomatoes by dipping them for half a minute or so in boiling water. Cool quickly under the tap and the skin will slip right off. This improves the texture of the finished dish as well as making the tomatoes release their juice more easily during the final sauté. But, truthfully, it isn't the end of the world if you omit this step. Core and coarsely chop the peeled tomatoes. Then turn your attention to the eggs. Crack them into a small bowl and add two tablespoons of cooking wine 料酒。 It's fine to use water if you don't have cooking wine on hand. Stir them up well with a fork or pair of chopsticks, but you do not need to actually whip them like you would for a soufflé Oil a wok that you have preheated over a medium flame. You do not want the wok to be too hot, because you only want to cook the eggs a little bit. Stir them quickly a few times until about 70% done, and remove to a warm dish you have placed nearby. (I rinse that dish with warm water, so it doesn't cool the partially-cooked eggs.) This egg stage is where you can go wrong; if you cook them too long or too hot, they will be tough 老 instead of fluffy and soft. Still with medium heat, stir-fry the celery and garlic together until you can smell the garlic aroma, then quickly add the tomatoes. (You don't want to burn the garlic because it will develop a bitter taste.) Add a sprinkle of salt and half teaspoon or so of sugar. Chinese think of tomatoes as a fruit more than as a vegetable and they always worry that it will be too sour. If this dish were Italian, French, or Greek, I would use more salt than sugar. But since we are cooking Chinese, we will follow the local custom and preserve the traditional seasoning properties. Now add back the egg, stir it all up, giving it another half minute or so. Serve while still slightly soupy. Some recipes call for adding a couple tablespoons of catsup, but they are in the minority and a traditional cook would consider that overly trendy. Serve it up; that's all there is to it. Some Chinese dishes are fine made ahead and eaten at room temperature, but this one is best enjoyed right away, while still nice and warm. This is available in just about every Chinese restaurant all over the world. But you can just as well give it a whirl at home for yourself. Ingredients are readily available in the west as well as in the Middle Kingdom, and the results are attractive as well as tasty. Last but not least, it's even pretty healthy. 14 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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