For me, the key to good egg foo yung is fresh bean sprouts. Growing your own is easy, but fresh sprouts are available at local grocery stores these days - not like when I first learned how to make these and the choices were to grow your own or buy canned sprouts. If you have no other choice, canned sprouts will work, but they don't have the same fresh taste or texture.
The ingredients in egg foo yung shouldn't be too chunky - thin slices are key for the onions and celery. A mandolin makes the work easy, if you have one, but you can certainly do the slicing by hand. Thin slices of bok choy or julienned snow peas or zucchini are nice additions to egg foo yung, and small pieces of water chestnuts add a nice crunch.
Once you've learned how easy it is to make egg foo yung, you'll find yourself thinking of all sorts of things to add to customize the flavor. Even better, it lends itself well to using up small amounts of leftovers, whether you have vegetables, meat or seafood.
Fresh Vegetable Egg Foo Yung
Makes 6; recipe can be doubled
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Oil, for cooking
2 cups low-sodium stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 cup cold water
Place the vegetables in a medium bowl and sprinkle on the flour and salt, mix well to distribute the flour and coat the vegetables. Break the eggs into a small bowl and add the sesame oil. Beat the eggs with a fork to combine the eggs and oil, then pour this mixture onto the vegetables.
Heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil in a nonstick skillet. Using a disher or large spoon, scoop portions of the egg-vegetable mixture into the pan, flattening them as you place them. Fry on one side until golden brown, then flip then and fry on the second side.
Meanwhile, heat the stock and soy sauce to boiling in a saucepan. Mix the cornstarch and five spice power in a small bowl, then add the cold water and stir until the cornstarch is incorporated. Add this to the boiling stock and stir well. Let it boil for a few moments to thicken. If it's thicker than you prefer, add more stock or water. Taste for seasoning, and add more soy sauce, if desired.
The egg foo yung can be served swimming in the sauce, or the sauce can be drizzled over the top or served separately at the table. These can be made in advance and kept warm, or rewarmed gently in the sauce.
This was also published in the Longmont Ledger and the Boulder Daily Camera.