Fried Egg and Tomato – Chǎo Jīdàn Xīhóngshì – 炒鸡蛋西红柿
Egg and tomato might sound like an odd combination, but this is a really common Chinese dish which can be found on the menu at every cheap and cheerful Chinese eatery in Beijing.
It takes about five minutes to make and is really straightforward. It’s tasty, but pretty bland, so it’d probably combine nicely with something spicy, a vegetable dish and plain rice.
To make it all you need is egg, tomato, garlic and oil. Roughly equal numbers of eggs and tomatoes, maybe one or two more tomatoes than eggs. Salt and tomato ketchup are optional extras. Beat the eggs and throw about one third of the garlic (chopped up small) into the beaten egg with a dash of salt.
Heat up some oil (more than you’d use to make a fried egg), and throw the egg in. It should cook really quickly. Stir it around a bit so that it’s all cooked, and take it out of the pan again.
Take the tomatoes, chopped into sixths or eighths, and fry them with the garlic until they start to lose their shape. Now put the egg back in, and fry it for a few more minutes, adding salt and a few squirts of tomato ketchup to taste.
If you stir it too much, or cook it for too long, it’ll disintegrate into mush which tastes ok but is not visually appealing. The bits of skin should fall off the tomatoes as they cook, you can then fish them out with chopsticks.
Well done, you just cooked some real Chinese food.
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