There is one dish that everyone in China knows how to cook, and it isn't noodles or fried rice, it is Tomato & Egg. In the north of China it is called 西红似鸡蛋(xihongsi jidan) and in the south and Taiwan it is called 番茄鸡蛋 (fanqie jidan). These are just different ways to say tomato and egg and that pretty much is what this dish is.
This dish makes a great healthy light meal (depending on whether science this week is saying eggs are healthy or not), but it can also be served as an additional quick dish for a Chinese meal. You see when Chinese cook a meal with many dishes, they will have a couple of complex and expensive dishes to impress and several cheap and easy ones to fill up the table and people's stomachs.
Preparation Time: 1 minute
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1 (also makes a great side dish)
Ingredients 1 egg
1 tomato (roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese vinegar (I use Shanxi Provnice's famous East Lake vinegar, but that can be hard to find, so really any Chinese or Asian vinegar will do)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
Note: I made this recipe as a quick meal for one to serve with rice. Add more eggs and tomatoes to serve more people.
Beat the egg thoroughly and pour evenly into a lightly oiled non-stick pan on medium heat.
Cook as you would scrambled eggs. That is, let the egg go a little hard, then stir the egg to break it up. Keep cooking until there is no runny egg left.
Remove the egg from the pan. We will add it back in at the end of the recipe.
Now if you are not lazy (and I know that I certainly am), you will want to clean the pan before adding a little more oil and then adding in the chopped tomato. For those feeling lazy, which for me is more often than I would care to admit in a public forum such as this, I just scrape off as much egg as a can, then add a little more oil and then add in the tomatoes.
Add in the crushed garlic.
Cook the tomatoes over a medium heat until they start to go soft, but not mushy.
Add in a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of Chinese vinegar. I am using a very dark soy sauce and as well as a dark vinegar, which is why the end result is fairly dark. If you use a lighter soy sauce and vinegar, as they would use in the south of China, the result will be lighter in colour.
Cook for another minute and then either serve with rice as a nice quick meal for one, or in a bowl as a side dish to accompany other Chinese dishes.
This is a very versatile dish. You can supplement or replace the tomato with other vegetables. A popular one is egg and capsicum (green capsicum is the most common for this dish), or egg and thinly sliced carrot. Though you can combine all these and other vegetables and the eggs into a great vegetable dish.