June 22, 2014
0 Ratings
Author Notes

This recipe is from Irene Kuo, whose book "The Key to Chinese Cooking", published in 1977 by Knopf, is out of print, but is well worth ordering from Amazon for $1. Of this recipe she says: "The Old-fashioned Egg Fu Yung, as old as the history of Chinese cuisine in the United States, may not be totally authentic, since in China it is never served with a sauce, but it is delicious and extremely easy to make." —JohnL

  • Serves 2-4
  • Brown sauce
  • 1.25 cups chicken or meat stock
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2-3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • Sprinkling of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 TB water and 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Egg fu yung mixture
  • 1 cup finely diced cooked chicken, such as leftover rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup defrosted frozen peas or fresh, parboiled 3 minutes
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh or canned mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 eggs, well beaten. John's note: I prefer not to beat the eggs; instead I simply stir the eggs with the other ingredients until mixed. Less likelihood of the omelets breaking apart.
  • 3 cups oil or much less if using an electric skillet as described below
In This Recipe
  1. Make the brown sauce: Bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan; add the sherry, soy sauce, and pepper. Turn heat low, give the cornstarch mixture a big stir, pour it into the broth, stirring in circular motions until it is thickened and smooth. Turn off the heat, cover, and keep it hot. John's note: I like to have a little extra cornstarch/water slurry at the ready in case it is needed to thicken the sauce properly (Sometimes the amount given in the recipe produces a sauce that needs extra thickening). Add only enough of the cornstarch slurry to do the job. Combine the chicken with all the vegetables and seasonings in a large bowl, adding the eggs last. Mix well.
  2. Heat a wok or deep heavy pot over high heat for 30 seconds; add the oil and heat until a cube of bread foams snappily, about 350 degrees. Ladle in a fourth of the egg mixture; when it forms an omelet, ladle in another one. Deep-fry until the bottoms are light brown, then turn and brown the other side. Sandwich each between 2 spatulas, pressing lightly to extract excess oil, and lift out to a hot serving platter. Do the other 2 omelets. Reheat the sauce until piping hot, stirring, and pour it over the omelets. John's note: a garnish of a little finely slivered scallion scattered over the sauced egg foo young at serving time will perk up the appearance of this dish.
  3. Note from John: I like to prepare the omelets in a 10-inch electric skillet; fry in 1/4 inch of oil heated to 350 as follows: either pour the egg mixture in free-form or do as I do and use a 4-inch round metal cookie/dough cutter set in the pan and pour in egg mixture and with a fork drag around the solid ingredients to distribute evenly; when the egg has partially set, remove the ring, and continue in the same way with the remaining mixture. You can do all four omelets in a single batch.
  4. Kuo's sauce is excellent, but I will offer one variation that I have found to be delicious as well (good egg foo young sauces are not easy to find!). This one is from the California Cooking Academy: 3/4 cup chicken stock (broth), 1 TB oyster sauce, 1/4 tsp sugar, pinch of white pepper, 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 TB water, few drops Asian sesame oil. Bring the first four ingredients to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and add cornstarch mixture, stirring continuously until sauce thickens (about 30 seconds). Blend in sesame oil. Makes approximately 1 cup. Believe it or not, sometimes I will make a batch of this sauce and (don't laugh!) sip it out of a mug like soup. Very tasty!
  5. Variations: the filling may be varied with cooked turkey meat, roast pork, crab, lobster, cooked or raw small shrimp, or cubed fish fillet; A combination of 2 or 3 meats is NICE. Shredded celery and bamboo shoots may be added to or substituted for the vegetables, but don't omit the bean sprouts--they give the eggs the right amount of moisture and lend a light crunchiness that is essential.
  6. A final note: this recipe looks long, but it is really nothing more than (1) sauce and (2) the omelet mixture fried up into little cakes. Try this recipe--if you like the "classic" version you've had in restaurants, you will love this recipe.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • NotTooSweet
  • Pat Kurtz
    Pat Kurtz
  • emcsull
  • JohnL