Chinese-style sizzling stir-fry of tomato and egg is a quintessential dish, often making a regular appearance at many family dinner tables across China. The charm of this classic preparation lies in its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and reliance on everyday pantry ingredients.
Its delightful flavors may come as a pleasant surprise. The interplay of succulent tomatoes with rich, scrambled eggs, a dash of sugar, and aromatic sesame oil and Shaoxing wine results in an inviting (and vegetarian-friendly!) dish, perfect when served over steamed rice. It’s my fallback option when I find myself wondering what to prepare for a weeknight meal!
The Homely Charm of Tomato Egg Stir-Fry
The humble stir-fry of tomatoes and eggs may not sound exciting to those unfamiliar with it, but for many Chinese, it embodies the essence of comfort food, or 家常菜 (jia chang cai). Each family puts a unique spin on it, resulting in countless versions of this cherished dish.
This pairing of tomato and egg has been proven to work wonders in other recipes too – our tomato egg noodle soup and tomato egg drop soup are noteworthy examples!
Your Go-To Meal in a Pinch
I often relied on this tomato egg stir-fry during my university days when returning late from classes or practice sessions, craving a quick, economical meal prepared with ingredients at hand.
With this stir-fry ready in just ten minutes and some reheated leftover rice, mealtime was sorted. Simplicity and convenience don’t get much better than this, and if you’ve been following our recipes, you likely already have these ingredients in your pantry. If Shaoxing rice wine isn’t available, you can easily substitute it with dry sherry or mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine).
- 4 small to medium tomatoes (about 500 g or 1 pound)
- 1 scallion
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 tsp salt (split, or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp shaoxing wine
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil (split)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
- Begin by cutting the tomatoes into small wedges and finely chopping the scallion.
- Break 4 eggs into a bowl and season with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Whisk the eggs for a minute.
- Warm up the wok over medium heat until it starts to emit smoke. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and quickly pour in the eggs. Scramble the eggs and promptly remove from the wok. Set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, crank up the heat to high, and toss in the tomatoes and scallions. Stir-fry for a minute, then add 2 teaspoons of sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ cup water (increase the amount if your stove burns hot and the liquid evaporates quickly in your wok). Return the cooked eggs to the wok.
- Combine all the ingredients, cover the wok, and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes are thoroughly softened.
- Remove the cover and continue stir-frying over high heat until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Serve hot!
TIPS & NOTES:
Feel free to tweak this recipe according to your personal preferences!