The first food I probably learned to cook (not including rice) was a basic Thai-style omelet (which always turned out to be scrambled eggs). It was just eggs, fish sauce and green onions. If I was in the mood, I’d add sliced tomatoes. I loved it with sticky rice and naam prik phao.
The basic Chinese omelet (scrambled eggs) is just as easy. Just replace the fish sauce with oyster sauce. When I worked at a Chinese take-out joint, I often asked my boss to make this for my dinner. He made it extra special by adding shrimp. Served with steamed rice and hot chili oil, there really was nothing better.
Whenever I make this dish, I like to brine the shrimp. The brine recipe I use comes from Alton Brown. It’s quite simple to do and it doesn’t take long to get a good effect—maybe 20-30 minutes for medium to large shrimp. The huge jumbo shrimp take about 45 minutes. Brining adds a little flavor to the shrimp and it complements the eggs so well. It also prevents the shrimp from drying out. Really it’s completely up to you, though.
Chinese Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp
Serves 2 adults (or 4 if part of a multi-course meal)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- approx. ½ tbs soy sauce (low sodium okay)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 3 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
- ½ pound medium (21/25s) raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped for garnish
For the brine (optional)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound ice
Just before you’re ready to cook, beat the eggs with the oyster sauce, soy sauce and vinegar until frothy.
Heat up a wok over medium-high heat. Add about 3 or 4 tbs oil by drizzling down the sides of the wok. You want to coat the sides to keep the eggs from sticking. Add the green onions and allow them to sizzle undisturbed for about 20 seconds. Add the shrimp and allow to sizzle undisturbed for another 20 seconds. Add the eggs. Avoid overworking them. You want them to get a little browned on the bottom. The eggs should set at about the same time the shrimp are done (maybe 4 minutes or so). Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve over steamed rice with hot chili oil.