Tomato Scrambled Egg

Chinese Tomato Scrambled Egg

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Good to be back! I’ve been really busy lately and just felt too tired to write about what I cook. I take pictures, that’s for sure, and posted some of them in Facebook but that was all I could do. Too tired, too lazy. But definitely not what they call a writer’s block as I am not a writer haha!

Ces’ Lasang Pinoy, Sundays about tomatoes made me wanna post this classic Chinese Tomato Scrambled Egg. (Sa katunayan, bagong luto katerno ng BBQ spareribs.) This dish is one that caught our attention when we first came to Beijing more than 6 years ago. It is being served everywhere even in 5-star hotels and as common as adobo or giniling or tortang talong in a Pinoy carinderia back home. But, boy, it is so much different from how we cook eggs. It is not dry or scrambled to pieces or in one big piece like an omelet. It has chunks of tomatoes and, err, soupy. Masabaw. (At kung minsan lumulutang sa mantika nang hindi mo alam.)Different but nice.

During the infamous SARS period, our Chinese interpreter and friend Ate VI (Vi for Vivian) lived with us and showed me how to cook this traditional dish. I tell you it looked so easy but I tried repeating the whole procedure several times but to no avail. I couldn’t get it right. Sure they were edible but the look wasn’t quite right. It shouldn’t dry up, should be juicy and the tomatoes shouldn’t become mushy, Yeah, it took me years to get it, uhm, visually appealing. But that’s me, folks. You could be successful the first time.

Anyways, here it goes.

3 eggs, beaten
3 medium-size tomatoes, cut into wedges
A little sugar
Freshly-ground pepper (optional)

Heat about 2 tbsp (or more!) of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Throw in the beaten eggs. Stir it around carefully when the bottom part of the egg or about 50% is firm. Separate egg in pieces using a spatula. You can push the egg to one side (as Ate Vi did) but I choose to scoop them out to stop the cooking process and egg remains still a little runny.

With hot oil in the skillet, throw in the chopped tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and sugar and stir-fry until sizzling and juices are flowing. Turn heat to low. Add cooked egg, stir without mashing the tomatoes and simmer for a minute. Serve immediately.

Lasang Pinoy, Sundays

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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