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2009.07.01

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Mila

Thank you for this take on xihong shi chao dan, I have been trying to make a good one for the past couple of months and tried a couple of basic recipes online. The soupiness of this version is quite unique!
And I love cucumber salad! I've added some strips of jicama to my cucumber salads for extra crunch.

Gastronomer

Yay! Recipes! I really loved the Chinese Sausage Salad, and I'm positive I will love this one too.

Just to clarify - is bean curd tofu?

J2Kfm

the one my grandma does, is simply fry them omelette style. i could finish my plate of rice, with that alone. :)

Robyn

Mila you're welcome, I hope this works for you. This was the only xihong shi chao jidan (is that 'western red-style'? just guessing from the pinyin) we ate on Taiwan, so I've no idea if others are soupy. But it certainly was different enough from the mainland versions (tastier too) to get my attention.

Cathy - yes, there are still some pple in the W world who know it as tofu/dofu as 'bean curd'! You should be able to get some really good artisan stuff in S Cal.

J2Kfm - I appreciate this one for its lack of oil. But a good omelette is hard to beat as well!

vixar

Wowo precise recipe, thanks for sharing! haha i love chinese sausage (lap cheong) fry with omelet.

The Curious Cat

Sounds interesting! My old uni housemate who spent a year in China was constantly trying to make us eat tinned tomatoes with eggs mixed in...it looked/tasted awful (vom-like texture springs to mind) and I was never convinced...you have helped me to realise it wasn't just an awful weird idea that she strangely took to, but that she is just rubbish at replicating it...!

Pete

A Shanghainese university mate used to cook this tomato-egg soup during our college days. She used quite a bit of MSG for seasoning - said it's indispensable for the taste!

Rasa Malaysia

Interesting that it's almost--or practically- a soup! I had an egg drop soup (not the starchy gooey kind in the US) in Shanghai recently, with clams. Such a great idea, talking about which, I have to try to recreate it on RM.

Ming

Xihongshi is tomato in Beijing- and I am guessing that is what Mila means. We have tomatoes and egg here a lot, usually as a topping for noodles. It really works! My ayi (who is from Sichuan) also makes it for us for dinner (to be eaten with rice). Both versions are not soupy though.

Chris

When we did the Silk Rd a few years ago we had this tomato-egg dish almost every day! Sorry, I never did learn to appreciate it. There is a Jap movie out there(with excellent subtitles) that features this dish. It is one of the best foodie movies around...I haven't been able to get it here via Amazon, perhaps it is available in the far east. Title of the movie is "Flavour of Happiness".

Jennifer

Just catching up here now that my last exam is over. I'm so going to try to make this for dinner soon!!

Bordeaux

I used to have this dish often at lunchtime at my kindergarten and loved it. It's an example of one of those dishes that to several 'Western' minds just does not sound or look right, but once you get over your ideas of what you think should be food/ a meal and dig in you realize how absolutely brilliant it is. I've discovered this with a lot of food in Taiwan, it might sound strange, but once you've taken that first bite you just want more.

Katy

Xi Hongshi 西 红柿 - Western red Kaki (or Chinese persimmon. Though I think Kaki is from the Chinese) is the old (or Northern China) name for Fanqie 番茄- Foreign Eggplant.
I don't think the soupy version is particular Taiwanese - they should have that in China too, just preference. I don't remember eating it with that amount of broth myself but it was pretty much a home dish in my days, so I didn't take much notice what they did outside. Hsinchu is a major Hakka town, so I don't know if there is a connection about the style.
That amount of broth seems too curious to have been from those 5 ingredients - similar to the juice in the Taiwanese Dan Huang Rou, couldn't have been simply from steamed meat and soy sauce. I would have bet he had added at least a 6th ingredient- commonly chicken stock (or a stock). It’s not uncommon the addition. Though in Taiwan, a restaurant would be under scrutiny if they claim it a vegetarian dish and probably would have gotten away in China. Also, brown sugar is commonly used here - that might have made some difference in taste.
Maybe next time, ask in a way so you would be taken a little more seriously - ask why there is more soup than what you had had elsewhere – you might be spared of a‘shake head’, or you might get a ‘water la’!
(Incidentally, your post on 2007.03.15 the Shanghai Daily Sort of kept me amused for a good while! You must be seeing the comments about China & Taiwan differently now that you’ve been to Taiwan.)

Robyn

Hi Katy -- I don't think he was brushing me off. We ate there 3 times and he was a very nice guy, happy to chat. And was quite specific -- eggs, bean curd, tomatoes, sugar, salt. I was surprised and asked him to confirm that and he did. I've made it at home many times with no broth and ended up with a version just as soupy ... all depends on the tomatoes you use.

Katy

OK, I just couldn't help giggle when I pictured he shook his head! Actually now that I read your step 1 - to 'stew' the tomato first, that would have made the soupiness difference. I don't remember Mom or other Mom ever cooked it that long to wait for the juice. It is called (in Taiwan anyway) fanqie chao dan - chao to stir fry, and I think people commonly prepare it more like omelet- the drier version. The chicken stock if added on, either powder or with liquid, normally is dumped in the egg - like some people put milk in the western omelet. More Xiang 比较'香', we say it. Interesting! might try it with big Spanish tomato here, I don't like the skin in the dish btw, might remove it.
It is such a humble simple dish, never thought about it when at home, but it is healthy and 'quick' and the soupy version might be more child friendly too without the scallion.

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