This egg foo young with gravy recipe makes the Chinese American restaurant specialty of crispy omelettes doused in gravy and sprinkled with scallions, sesame seeds and bean sprouts. Served with rice, the fantastic, filling omelette can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner and is just as delicious as the Cantonese original.
A few weeks ago, we published a recipe for the original Cantonese-style egg foo young – or egg foo yung or egg fu yung or the Cantonese fu yong dan or fuyong dan – a delightfully crispy omelette filled with pork, spring onions and bean sprouts, with provenance in Southern China during the 18th century Ching Dynasty.
As the recipe was so well-received by readers, we thought we’d share a Chinese American egg foo young with gravy recipe, which makes a popular Chinese takeout dish that originated in Chinese American restaurants in the 19th or 20th century. There are numerous origin stories. Similar egg foo young variations exist in Chinese diasporas around the world, each with their own tweaks, and they’re all delicious.
We’re sharing both recipes as part of our Weekend Eggs recipe series, however, like a lot of dishes here in Asia, the original Cantonese egg foo yung is eaten at any time of day – breakfast, brunch, lunch, a snack, afternoon tea, high tea, dinner, or supper – whereas the Chinese-American egg foo young is typically ordered as takeout (takeaway) or eaten at a Chinese restaurant for dinner or lunch.
If you haven’t visited us in a while, Weekend Eggs recipes we’ve 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 eggs 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 with Gravy Recipe for the Chinese American Restaurant Favourite
Our egg foo young with gravy recipe will make you a version of the original Cantonese omelette that has evolved in Chinese diasporas right around the world, as the dish has been tweaked to suit local tastes and availability of ingredients.
You’ll find egg foo young everywhere from London to Kuala Lumpur but this egg foo young with gravy recipe makes a Chinese American version that has long been a Chinese restaurant favourite that’s especially popular as a takeout dish – or take-away dish for those of us outside the USA.
The main difference between the original Cantonese egg foo young recipe from Southern China and the Chinese American egg foo yung with gravy recipe is that the American dish consists of smaller omelettes rather than one large omelette that’s sliced or broken apart with chopsticks.
Another difference is that the original Cantonese crispy omelette is often eaten with a little soy sauce – it doesn’t need a lot as there’s so much flavour within the omelette itself – while the Chinese-American omelette is doused in a thick brown savoury gravy, which is also delicious.
Just a few quick tips to making this egg foo young with gravy recipe for the popular Chinese-American restaurant takeout dish.
Tips to Making this Egg Foo Young with Gravy Recipe
We only have a few tips to making this egg foo young with gravy recipe for the Chinese-American omelette that’s long been a popular Chinese restaurant takeout dish in North America.
And while I say ‘North America’, this recipe makes the US dish, as the Canadian egg foo young is often described as “soft and fluffy”, which this is not.
Most importantly, you need a wok to make this crispy omelette. We recommend a seasoned carbon steel wok. And you really need your wok hot for this dish to work.
Use a decent thermometer because if the oil temperature is lower than 190°C (375°F), you’ll be making a soggy mess of an omelette, which you definitely do not want. The egg mixture should puff up like it does with a Thai omelette. You will need a good high smoke-point oil such as peanut oil for this.
Have a sheet pan with rack covered in kitchen towels (or kitchen wipes as they’re sometimes called) ready for the finished omelettes. I use a fish slice for this dish to shape and flip the egg because tongs can break up your omelette when you’re flipping it over.
If you’re making this egg foo young with gravy recipe for a large group and you don’t have a massive wok to do the omelettes in big batches, put your oven on low-medium heat to keep the finished omelettes warm while you cook the others.
Don’t forget to increase the amount of gravy that you’re making if you are cooking breakfast or brunch for a group of friends or family this weekend.
Note that you also want to really reduce the sauce down, otherwise it just makes the omelette soggy rather than enhance the flavour.
Egg Foo Young with Gravy Recipe
- 6 large eggs
- 150 g char siu pork chopped into small chunks
- 80 g bean sprouts blanched
- 6 green onions bases removed and cut into 4cm sections, tops chopped finely for garnish
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste
- 4 tbsp cooking oil like peanut oil that has a high smoke-point
- 200 ml chicken broth
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly. Add the light soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch slurry and mix to combine.
- To make the sauce, combine the chicken stock, light soy sauce, cornstarch slurry and sesame oil. Mix over low heat and reduce to a thick sauce while making the eggs.
- Add the bean sprouts, green onion bases and char siu pork to the eggs and mix well.
- Heat the oil up to 190°C in a wok. Carefully add a small ladle of the egg mixture to the wok, making sure to get a little of each ingredient in the mix.
- The egg mixture should bubble up and start to brown on the bottom in around 30 seconds. Carefully flip the egg mixture over at this stage – if it's ready it should turn over easy with a fish slice.
- Cook the other side for around 30 seconds and drain on kitchen towels. If you're doing a large amount of eggs you can keep the finished pieces warm in an oven over low-medium heat.
- Serve with rice, top with the reduced gravy and sprinkle with some bean sprouts, white sesame seeds and green onions.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make this egg foo young with gravy recipe for the Chinese American crispy omelettes as we’d love to know how the dish turns out for you.