Egg Foo Young: The Westernized Version

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 1 egg white
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) groundnut oil, or 480 ml (16 fl oz) water (see variation) and 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 40 g ( oz) diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 115 g (4 oz) fresh water chestnuts, peeled and diced, or 4 pieces canned water chestnuts, diced
  • 55 g (2 oz) diced celery
  • 55 g (2 oz) bean sprouts
  • 30 g (1 oz) seeded and diced green pepper
  • 40 g ( oz) diced fresh tomato
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • teaspoons toasted sesame oil

For the Sauce

  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) Chinese Chicken Stock or store-brought fresh stock
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Method

Combine the chicken with the egg white, ½ teaspoon of salt and the cornflour, mixing well, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add the groundnut oil. When the oil is very hot, remove the wok from the heat and immediately add the chicken pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white, in about 2 minutes, quickly drain them in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Reserve 6 tablespoons of the oil.

Reheat the wok and add 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil (you need fresh groundnut oil at this point if you used water). When the wok and oil are hot, toss in the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then chuck in the water chestnuts, celery, bean sprouts, green pepper, tomato, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper and stir-fry the mixture for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Whisk the eggs lightly with 1 teaspoon of the salt, the white pepper and sesame oil. Then toss in the chicken and the cooked vegetables, drained from the wok, and mix well.

Heat the wok and when it is hot, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of reserved oil (you need to add fresh groundnut oil if you used water for cooking the chicken). When it is hot, ladle about one-fifth of the egg mixture into the wok and fry until it is crispy and brown. Turn over and fry the other side. Remove and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat four or five times, until you have used up the mixture. Put the omelette on a heatproof platter and keep warm in the oven.

In a saucepan, heat the chicken stock, soy sauces, salt and pepper. Once it is hot, turn the heat down and slowly drizzle in the cornflour mixture, stirring all the while. When the sauce has thickened, stir in the sesame oil. Ladle this gravy on each egg foo young and serve.

Variation

If you choose to use water instead of oil, bring it to the boil in a saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the chicken pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white, in about 2 minutes, quickly drain them in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Discard the water.

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