It’s the first time I’m cooking this dish. My mum introduced it to me quite a long time ago and I remember it looked very strange to me. I’ve never grown up eating tomatoes with omelette, so it was awkward trying to think about how it would have tasted together. To me, tomatoes always must go with ketchup and maybe bean sprouts and bean pods; omelette should be eaten by itself or at the very most stir-fried with cucumbers. Tomatoes should never be stir-fried with omelette because omelettes are supposed to be enjoyed in their purest form, or with lighter tasting ingredients.
I learnt from a Chinese friend when I was still studying in Durham that tomatoes in Mandarin is called ‘西红柿’ (or what we would refer to as ‘蕃茄’), and that this dish of tomato and egg stir-fry is one of the most common stir-fry among the Chinese population in China. Even though we belong to the same race and possess a common historical root, our language, dialect and culture could differ so much, even in this time and day when globalisation is mercilessly removing all traces of differences and identity. There are so many ways to call a vegetable and so many different preferences of cooking an ingredient it’s amazing. I wish I could have more opportunities to learn more about such cultural intricacies.
So tomatoes and egg stir-fry it shall be for this weekend. I know my boy loves his tomatoes when he sees one. Eggs and omelettes aren’t tested grounds yet but we shall see. Hopefully, the bright colours of the dish would work effectively to lure him to the dining table obediently as does a bee to pollen. Buzzzz!
- Oil: 2 tbsp
- Egg: 4
- Tomato: 2, wedged
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Sugar: 1 tbsp
- Spring onion: 1 stalk, chopped
- Heat oil in wok.
- Beat eggs together lightly. Pour into wok.
- Stir-fry the egg until about 80% cooked. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Add tomatoes and salt into wok. Stir-fry till soft and juicy.
- Return omelette to wok. Add sugar and spring onions.
- Switch off heat. Plate up dish and garnish with remaining spring onions to serve.
- Don’t hesitate to use more tomatoes in the dish. It may look like it’s a lot to begin with, but after they get into the wok with salt, they will start to lose their water content and in turn make the dish more runny and soupy and sweet. This, ladies and gentleman, is the secret to making a great tomato and egg stir-fry!