This egg foo young recipe makes the original Cantonese style egg foo young – or egg foo yung and egg fu yung in English and fu yong dan or fuyong dan in Cantonese – a deliciously crispy omelette filled with pork, spring onions and bean sprouts, that originated in Southern China in the 18th century during the Ching Dynasty.
Our egg foo young recipe will make you the wonderful Cantonese crispy filled omelette from Southern China that was traditionally filled with char siu pork, spring onions and bean sprouts and called fu yong dan or fuyong dan in Cantonese, but in English is known as egg foo yung or egg fu yung, and a handful of other variations on both of those spellings.
Just to be clear, this egg foo young recipe or fuyong dan recipe does not make the make the Chinese-American egg foo young which is a popular Chinese restaurant takeout dish of crispy pancake-like omelettes drizzled in gravy. As delicious as that sounds, we live in Southeast Asia so we’ll save the Chinese-American take on the dish for another day.
Our egg foo young recipe or Cantonese fu yong dan recipe is this week’s recipe in our Weekend Eggs series on recipes for quintessential breakfast eggs dishes around the world, which we launched with Grantourismo over a decade ago and revived earlier this year. Although it has to be said that egg foo young can be eaten at any time, for breakfast, lunch or dinner or snacks in between.
If you haven’t visited us in a bit, recipes published in our re-booted breakfast eggs series include a breakfast burrito, a classic Mexican huevos rancheros, a Mexican migas recipe with a twist for a ‘Migas tortilla’, fried eggs breakfast taco with chorizo, crunchy potatoes and spicy chorizo oil, scrambled eggs breakfast taco recipe with avocado and chorizo, Basque fried eggs with chorizo and potatoes recipe for ‘messy eggs’, Mexico City-inspired chorizo eggs, Thai fried egg salad recipe for yam khai dao, and pesto scrambled eggs, and a Japanese rolled omelette recipe.
We’ve also published recipes for scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms on sourdough, soft scrambled eggs with Chinese pork and chives, Indian egg bhurji, Chinese marbled tea eggs, corn fritter breakfast burgers, Russian devilled eggs, Turkish çılbır poached eggs and menemen scrambled eggs, Calabria’s take on ‘eggs in purgatory’ with ’nduja, Thai son-in-law eggs, Thai omelette kai jiaw, Cambodian steamed eggs, and Malaysia and Singapore’s half-boiled eggs with kaya jam and toast.
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Egg Foo Young Recipe for the Original Cantonese Style Crispy Omelette Fu Yong Dan
We mostly make this Cantonese style egg foo young recipe or fu yong dan recipe with savoury pork mince instead of char siu pork and it’s absolutely delicious. Don’t get us wrong, we adore char siu or Chinese barbecued pork and have had a char sui pork recipe on the site for many years. Pork is fantastic here in Cambodia and it’s affordable.
But we’re still in a pandemic after all and we all have ground pork in the freezer and making char siu pork might be something of a luxury when minced pork is more readily available, hence our collection of ground pork recipes. Plus not everybody has the luxury of time these days and we find ourselves making dishes with minced pork more than barbecue pork.
Another thing that we need to point out is that while almost everything written about this egg foo young recipe that’s online in English claims that egg foo yung recipes make a Chinese-American dish that was invented in the USA and has long been a popular Chinese takeout dish, it’s important to recognise that this crispy omelette originated in China, is an old Cantonese dish, and is cooked in Chinese diasporas all over Southeast Asia.
Just a few quick tips to making this egg foo young recipe for the original Cantonese crispy omelette recipe called fu yong dan or fuyong dan in Cantonese.
Tips for Making this Egg Foo Young Recipe for the Cantonese Crispy Omelette
I only have a few quick tips to making this egg foo young recipe for the original Cantonese crispy omelette recipe called fu yong dan or fuyong dan in Cantonese.
There are several different proteins that you can use when you make this egg foo young recipe. We’ve used pork mince in this recipe, but you can use char siu pork, which is more traditional, or even small pork pieces, chicken pieces, prawns (shrimp), or even make a vegetarian egg foo young recipe.
Note that you do not need to cook out the minced pork before placing it into the egg mixture, but for health and safety reasons we have done so here. The Thai style puffy omelette kai jiew, sometimes has raw minced pork in the egg mixture and it gets cooked at such a high heat that the mince is cooked before it hits the table.
And, of course, in China, particularly in Hong Kong and mainland Southern China, they use small chunks of char siu pork which I thoroughly recommend if you – amazingly – have some leftover in the fridge.
One factor that can affect the outcome of this egg foo young recipe is your heat source. I assume that if you’re making this in a wok, you’re using gas as a heat source.
Your burner’s size, and whether it has an inner and outer ring, can affect the amount of heat reaching different parts of the wok.
For instance, one of my burners has a quite wide outer ring that gets a huge amount of heat, but the inner ring can barely keep water at a simmer. This means that the outer part of the eggs will cook before the centre.
If you can relate to that, then we recommend using a more even heat source or really give the egg mixture a good swirl around to get that uncooked egg to the outer part of the wok.
I’ve found that this egg foo young recipe is one that needs practicing so that you know when there is enough structure to the final egg mixture to fold or slice the eggs to finish cooking. Don’t worry, though, even if you overcook the bottom of the dish, it’s still incredibly delicious!
Egg Foo Young Recipe for the Cantonese Crispy Omelette
- 6 eggs large, total of around 275 g
- 150 g pork mince
- 8 pieces spring onion
- 80 g bean sprouts blanched and dried
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds for garnish
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp white pepper ground
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 ½ tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
- ½ tsp light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- Marinade the pork mince and leave out at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Quickly cook the pork mince off in a small amount of vegetable oil until just cooked. Allow to cool.
- While this is cooling, separate the eggs, keeping the whites in a mixing bowl. Whisk the egg whites until foamy.
- Add the whites to the yolks and stir to combine. Stir in the sugar, white pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch slurry.
- Chop the bases (white parts) of the spring onions into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths. Chop the rest of the spring onions finely for garnish.
- Add the pork mince, spring onion pieces and most of the bean sprouts (save some for garnish) to the egg mixture.
- Heat a wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil when it starts to shimmer, add the egg mixture. Leave for 30 seconds and then swirl the wok around to redistribute the uncooked egg.
- At this stage you can fold the eggs into an omelette shape or cut into quarters and flip the pieces. If you do try to flip the whole omelette it will probably fall apart.
- If it's an omelette style you're going for, you can remove the eggs once it reaches the colour you like. If you're cutting up the eggs cook them on the flip side for just a minute.
- Serve with spring onions, bean sprouts, white sesame seeds and with steamed rice. You can add a little soy sauce if you want more of a savoury flavour.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make this egg foo young recipe for the original Cantonese style of crispy omelette as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.