Chinese tomato egg stir-fry is a beloved classic dish that holds a special place in my heart. Growing up, it was a weekly staple at home. In fact, it is one of the few dishes my dad enjoys cooking because it has a short list of simple ingredients that transform into something delicious. This is one of those special recipes that rewards low effort with high reward.
Chinese tomato egg is commonly served with a bowl of jasmine rice. The saucy tomatoes will infuse and permeate through the grains, making each bite of rice exciting. The tomatoes add a slight tang that is balanced with a little sugar, and the gently scrambled eggs add a soft, silky, and velvety texture and soak up all the delicious flavors.
The Best Tomatoes for Tomato Egg
While you can use other tomato varieties, this recipe works great with Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes. Plum tomatoes have the perfect balance of firm and soft, which allows them to hold their shape under the quick and intense heat while also releasing just enough tomato juice without making this stir-fry too wet. They’re also affordable and easy to find at your local grocery all year long.
To prepare the tomatoes, I recommend first cutting the tomato in half lengthwise. Trim the stemmed indent where the tomato connected to the vine. That part tends to be fibrous and firm, even after the addition of heat. Cut the tomato halves lengthwise into thirds.
Tips for the Best Tomato Egg
Tomato egg is all about timing. By starting the process with a cold pan, the eggs will cook over slow and gradual heat, creating the softest scrambled eggs. It will also prevent them from browning. Overcooked eggs can taste coarse and rough, which makes it harder for them to absorb all the delicious tomato juices.
It is also very important to slightly undercook your scrambled eggs during this step. Remove the scrambled eggs when they are just barely soft scrambled since they will keep cooking after they’re removed from the heat. This will help prevent them from overcooking when we add the eggs back to the tomatoes for a quick toss at the end.
An Easy Substitution
Chicken bouillon powder is a wonderful way to add a boost of umami with a touch of sodium. My favorite brand is Lee Kum Lee’s Premium Chicken Bouillon. This recipe accounts for the sodium already present in the bouillon, so you won’t need any additional salt.
If you prefer to use chicken broth, just add 1/4 cup along with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water at the end. Don’t forget to season with salt to taste since sodium levels in chicken broth can vary by brand. The cornstarch slurry will help bind the broth to create a thicker consistency so that the stir-fry does not become tomato egg soup.