So it’s a little early for a second post, but a friend of mine has a very similar blog called Jake the Foodie. Please don’t skewer me for the shameless plug because I’d like to highlight his article on the Chinese comfort food, scrambled eggs and tomato. This is a dish I was introduced to while working in a Chinese restaurant called “Hunan by the Falls” (this place is amazing, by the way, if you happen to live in Cleveland, OH) as a young woman. We ate it for dinner on occasion, and it was by far the most comforting food I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. This dish is simple, deceptively simple, as Jake describes in his article,
Confused, my mother asked me why, of all things, I wanted to learn to make that. She gave me many reasons for why she should teach me something else: the dish was simplistic, too easy to make, not that complex in flavor profile, and so on. Not to put words in her mouth, but she may have been thinking to teach me more difficult things that would automatically cover the simpler dishes such as this. I had no response. I just wanted to know how to make it–and how to make it well.
Jake, if you read this, please tell your mother that although simple, I’m envious that she can create this dish so flawlessly, as I cannot and never have been able to replicate the correct texture and subtle flavors of this meal. I have searched high and low for a recipe that does this meal justice and have failed, utterly and repeatedly.
I’ve heard that the key is a very, very hot wok, or that the ingredients must be added in the correct order. I have tried a number of different techniques and still, my egg isn’t quite fluffy or runny enough, my tomato isn’t juicy enough, the dish just runs… flat. There is something about this meal that can only be taught, not learned second-hand. The wisdom of a technique and family recipe passed down from generation to generation.
All the more reason for us to share what we know.