Scrambled Eggs n’ Tomato

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Tasty things often come in deceptively simple packages – or in this case recipes; a great loaf of bread, chocolate chip cookies, whole roasted chicken, and Chinese scrambled eggs with tomato.

I know that you’ve probably had a million brunches with a million omelettes hiding tomatoes inside, or maybe shakshuka with eggs poached on top? This combination of eggs and bright acidic tomatoes in not new to the world of breakfast, however– if you’ve never had this particular rendition popular in Cantonese cooking then maybe you have no idea what a great egg and a great tomato can do for one another.

I ate my fill of this dish on a trip to China at the tender age of 15.  At the time this was one of the tastiest things I had ever tried.  This along with the unbelievable long beans we munched while living in a tiny remote village. Those were a game changer for me.  As a group of American teenagers this egg dish was served to us whether or not we ordered it.  The proprietors assumed that if we were American (and teenagers to boot) we were most likely not going to like some of the unidentifiable things brought to the table. This on the other hand was so easily recognizable that we could devour in confidence.  Looking back I wish I had even an iota of my current interest in food so that I could have gorged myself through the food of that region.

This is not me complaining! I was so fortunate to have had an opportunity to travel at such a young age.  These scrambled eggs are a tribute to that.  Had I not experienced the salty, silky, slightly sweet flavor of these eggs I would never know what a treat it is to sit down to a plate of these suckers.

On a rainy Saturday morning it seemed perfectly appropriate to whip these up.  They satisfy my need for savory breakfast food while remaining light and digestible.   I top mine with generous amounts of siracha to wake myself up and also because it mixes with the tomato juices that pool on the edges of the eggs which makes for a ridiculous sauce.  The beauty of a dish like that is that most often you have the ingredients sitting at home.  If you don’t keep oyster sauce in your repertoire then I recommend you start today. Trust.

There is no real secret, and frankly I’m not even sure if I’m doing it ‘right’. I just gloop some good oyster sauce into my eggs, scramble them until they are barely cooked, replace the eggs with tomatoes, sugar, heat thru for a minute and serve.  Done and done.  When I want to switch it up I will add some bok choy to the wok, or maybe cook off some pancetta first using the rendered fat to scramble the eggs in.  This, my friends, is a genius. Trust.

Want a better set of instructions?  ok, fine. 

Scrambled Eggs N’ Tomatoes *feeds two people

4 large eggs
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
pinch white pepper
pinch salt
1/8 cup vegetable oil
splash of sesame oil
3 tomatoes cut into wedges
big pinch of sugar
1 green onion sliced

If you have a wok this is a great opportunity to whip it out.

Scramble your eggs in a bowl with oyster sauce, salt and white pepper.  Heat wok over medium high heat, add oil and sesame oil.

When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add your egg mixture.  Let the eggs set for a few seconds and then scramble them to your liking.  I like to undercook them slightly because they will continue cooking when you remove them from the heat.  When they eggs are ready remove them from the pan to a plate.

Place your wok back on the flame and add your tomatoes and sugar.  While you stir those around with a wooden spoon you can scrape up any bits of egg that might have stuck to the wok.  After 1-2 minutes the tomatoes should be softened and some of their juices running out. Add the eggs back in, give it a quick stir to soak up the juices and serve with green onion on top. Squirt siracha all over it if you like a bit of spice.