Two disclaimers: I have never been to China and I’ve never had this dish in a restaurant. Its sole claim of authenticity, however, is even better–this was made for me by my friend Danni (who is also known as my wife in some circles), who is the coolest Chinese girl I know and who cooks like no one’s business. She kindly shared the ingredients and so I pass them along to you. I have listed in parentheses the range of each amount I use; Danni didn’t measure anything and neither do I, but as you can see this recipe is adaptable to suit all tastes in garlic and spice.
Also, there’s no picture of this because my camera REALLY can’t make this look pretty. But what it lacks in looks, it makes up in taste.
To make this, put the following on your counter:
- Eggs (I usually use 5 so I get a full meal plus a bit of leftovers), lightly beaten
- Garlic, minced or crushed (I use about 6-8 cloves of garlic)
- Ginger, minced or crushed (I use 2-3 1-inch pieces)
- Tomatoes (if canned, I usually use one and a half 14-oz. cans; if fresh, anywhere from 2 to three cups; unless your tomatoes are absolutely ripe, I’d stick to canned)
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Red chili paste (I usually throw in sambal oelek, but any Asian chili paste you like will work)
- A pinch of sugar
Then you get cooking:
Heat up some oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat; when it’s hot, add the eggs and let cook as if you were making an omelette, flipping when it’s almost cooked through. If it breaks up, don’t worry–you are going to chop the omelette up anyway, so less work for you.
When the eggs are done, remove from the wok or pan, chop into strips or small pieces, and cover to keep it warm.
Add a bit of oil to the wok or pan, then add the garlic and ginger, stirring for a few seconds until it starts to sizzle and begins to color, then add the tomatoes and soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, and a pinch of sugar to taste. Let it come to a boil, then let it simmer for about 5 minutes so that the flavors meld nicely, stirring occasionally and turning the heat down if it’s boiling crazily.
Once it’s turned saucy, add your chopped omelette, stir, and let it cook for a few minutes more on low heat to warm it all up together. Check for seasonings, adjust, serve, and chomp.