Egg foo young, egg fu yung, egg fooyung; whichever you are familiar with, they are all the same delicious dish. It’s not a traditional Chinese dish, but rather an exciting hybrid of American and Chinese cuisine and culture.
Have you ever noticed and wondered why your filling is different each time? Well, that is because this dish’s’ sole purpose on the menu is to get rid of leftover vegetables and meats the restaurant has in stock. Before you worry too much, these ingredients did not spoil. There are either too many or too few of them to do anything with, so they are used in egg foo young to prevent spoilage. Would you have thought that a dish that’s made of leftovers would be such an irreplaceable item on menus?
This origin, to me, is simply mind-blowing and I truly appreciate the “zero-waste” drive this dish has brought to the restaurant industry – however small.
So what is this wonderful dish? The best way to describe it is a savory pancake-omelet hybrid. Classic vegetables used in egg foo young include mushrooms, beans, carrots, peas, bell peppers and onions. This dish is mostly vegetarian but you can easily include or only use meats such as chicken, beef, shrimp and pork if you are a family of meat-lovers. Experiment as much as you like to discover new flavor combinations.
The difference between an omelet and egg foo young is the way the filling is added (during cooking for an omelet and before cooking for the egg foo young). The other difference is the color. An omelet is removed from the pan before it gains color while an egg foo young is cooked until brown.
Another component to this dish that it is sometimes served with is a rich hearty gravy. This is entirely optional and some people prefer an egg foo young without it.
How to Make Egg Foo Young
This dish might sound complicated, but it is incredibly easy and quick to make.
To make the gravy, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk until the gravy has become thick. If you want to store it, cool off completely and place it in the fridge in an airtight container.
To make the egg foo young, whisk together all the ingredients except for the sesame oil. Heat a teaspoon of sesame oil at a time in a pan and add a 1/3 cup mixture. Allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot for breakfast, lunch or dinner with delicious gravy or as an appetizer with gravy on the side.
6 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories168
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 13g 20%
- Saturated Fat 3g 15%
- Cholesterol 246mg 82%
- Sodium 262mg 11%
- Potassium 147mg 5%
- Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
- Sugars 1g
- Protein 9g 18%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Tips & Tricks
- If you are making the gravy in advance and want to store it, allow the gravy to cool completely. Place in an airtight container or a Mason jar and store in the refrigerator. The gravy can last for 2-4 days. You can also freeze the gravy for a couple of months and reheat once ready to use.
- When serving Chinese egg foo young as a meal (entrée or main course), add the gravy on top. You can also serve it as an appetizer, placing the gravy on the side for dipping.
- If you do not have sesame oil, use regular olive oil, although you might miss that umami flavor the sesame oil adds.
There is a reason this dish made it into the hearts of millions of consumers. It is so easy to make that you can even teach your kids to make it for themselves after school. It is also the perfect meal to make if you are expecting last-minute guests or you are running short on time.
If you don’t have exactly these ingredients, don’t skip this recipe. Raid your fridge to see what leftovers you have and use them instead, making this recipe very cost-effective as well.
This dish has an endless amount of ingredients to choose from so you will also never get bored with it. You can let your creativity take the reins. Take-out food made at home has never tasted this good!