My friend Ali and I are both responsible, mature adults. However, for a brief period, before we met our husbands, she and I got together regularly for an after work cocktail or seven. We often ended those less-than-sober nights dining on what we affectionately referred to as “cheap Chinese.”
Several years ago, after a glass of wine, we returned to the scene of youthful excess, excited to once again dine on some of DC’s best Chinese food. It was an epic mistake. Rule #1 of drunken dining: don’t ever go back sober. The food was terrible.
Unfortunately, Chinese food, which can be fresh, bright and rich, often disappoints, salty, fatty and limp. Egg fu yung, is perhaps one of the worst perpetrators, laden with a corn (starch and syrup) gravy. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Farm fresh eggs and toasted sesame oil makes this Asian omelet rich. Lightly stir-fried cabbage delivers the crisp crunch missing in mung bean sprouts, while Shitake mushrooms provide the umami depth typically derived from MSG. Our gravy, thick with cornstarch is bright with vinegar, soy and homemade stock. So sober up, and get ready for some amazingly good Chinese!
Egg Fu Yung
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 tbs peanut oil
- 2 cups cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups Shitake mushrooms, slice thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs corn starch
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs Sherry Vinegar*
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or Asian stock
*For a more complex flavor with a hint of sweetness, use 1 tbs Sherry vinegar and 2 tbs of Sapore’s Serrano Chile Honey vinegar.
- Whisk together eggs, sesame oil and green parts of scallions in a large bowl.
- On medium heat, warm 1 tbs peanut oil in a 12” skillet. Sauté white part of scallions until softened. Add cabbage and stirfry until tender but still firm. Add to egg mixture.
- Return skillet to heat, add 1 tbs peanut oil and shitake mushrooms, sauté until softened and browning on edges. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir into egg mixture.
- Heat 2 tbs oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in eggs, cover and cook.
- While omelet cooks, mix together sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until thickened. Keep warm.
- When the top of the omelet is set, loosen the Egg Fu Yung with a rubber spatula, slide onto a platter, and serve with gravy. (Or just eat it right from the pan.)