I envy bloggers who are in touch with their culture and its food and traditions, much like the ladies at The Glorified Tomato. Despite being half Chinese and actually growing up for 14 years in Hong Kong, I still can’t say I know much about Chinese food and culture. But this weekend is Mid-Autumn Festival according to the lunar calendar, and I’m feeling inspired to think about my roots.
I celebrated this every year as a kid, and loved it. We would eat mooncake (pictured above), a Chinese pastry filled with a sweet paste, usually lotus seed, and a salted egg yolk in the middle. Don’t let the ingredients fool you–this is not a healthy dessert. An average sized mooncake is about the size of my palm but has about 1000 calories! We would serve them in small slices, washing down the dense, sweet dessert with hot black tea. At night we’d go out with lanterns and admire the full moon. My favorite part was burning candles down in an empty mooncake box until you ended up with a huge cake of wax–thrilling for a child.
I did buy a box of mooncakes this year, but felt compelled to cook some Chinese food for myself, even if the dish had nothing to do with Mid-Autumn Festival. I pulled out my dusty wok and made the very first dish I ever learned how to make: stir-fried eggs with tomatoes. This dish got me through college. It sounds absurdly simple, but try this classic comfort dish served in the homes of many Chinese families. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
Stir-Fried Eggs with Tomatoes
Makes 2 servings, or part of a multi-course meal
Note: I’m not an expert in stir-frying, but what I do know is you cook quickly, over high heat. Make sure you have all ingredients measured out and ready to go before you start, and that you use an oil with a high smoke point. If you waste time fumbling for ingredients, you may end up overcooking your food!
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 scallion, white and green parts chopped and separated
2 medium tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
Pinch of sugar
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the sesame oil and salt.
Heat a wok (or large skillet) over high heat. Swirl in the peanut oil, coating the base of the wok. Add the garlic and white part of the scallion. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle sugar over them, and stir-fry for about 1 minute until the tomatoes start to soften. Pour the eggs in and stir-fry for 1 minute until the eggs are set but not overcooked. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with green part of the scallion. Serve over rice, or part of a multi-course meal.