Eggs are popular in Eastern cookery. In China, the tradition is to contrast the softness of the eggs with firm or crisp textures. In this recipe, I combine two varieties of dried firm mushrooms, one of them cloud ears, with eggs. Do try to obtain the Chinese variety. You may use fresh button mushrooms, but be sure to cook them until most of the moisture has gone. This is easy to prepare and goes wonderfully with rice or as a filling for Chinese Pancakes.
Soak the Chinese dried mushrooms and cloud ears in separate bowls of warm water for about 20 minutes, then drain. Rinse the cloud ears well and leave whole. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the dried mushrooms, discard the tough stalks, then shred the caps and set aside. Finely slice the onions. Combine the eggs with 2 teaspoons of the salt and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Put in the onions and stir-fry for 4 minutes until soft and translucent. Remove them and wipe the wok clean. Re-heat the wok over high heat and add the remaining oil. Add the mushrooms, cloud ears, rice wine, soy sauce and remaining salt and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and return the cooked onions to the wok. Continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the egg mixture and stir several times. The dish is ready when the eggs have set. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the spring onions and sesame oil.
© 1995 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.