Tomato Egg Stir-Fry, Let’s Get Cooking, Zhèjiāng Province, China

Chinese Favorite: Simple Tomatoes and Eggs

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Holiday foods surround us now, but if you want something simple, this tasty dish recommended by ZAFU students may be for you.

The tomato and egg recipe (蕃茄炒蛋/西红柿炒蛋) is one that many of my ZAFU students in Lin’an know how to cook and one that I often ordered in Chinese restaurants because it is tasty and vegetarian.

Usually the students who get into university have been studying intensely from the time they are very young.  Thus as they are growing up, most don’t do household chores or need to know how to cook.  But the tomato and egg dish is  simple to make and several of the students suggested it as a good meal to know.  I’ve combined the instructions of two of those students: Maggie and Catherine.

Ingredients:   (serves two)


2 eggs

1/4 t. salt

pinch of pepper

2 or 3 tomatoes, cut in wedges

1 cup water

2 t. ketchup

1 t. cornstarch (or substitute tapioca starch)

3 1/2 Tbs. cooking oil (grape seed oil is good for high temperature heat as is sesame oil, which adds a nice nutty flavor)

1 chopped spring onion


1. Beat the eggs lightly.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add eggs, salt, and pepper.  Keep stirring until the eggs form deep yellow lumps. Gently break the lumps into smaller pieces.

Eggs--I cooked four eggs and had enough to serve four people

Be careful of the eggs and do not let them become scorched. When almost done, remove the eggs from the wok.

Eggs almost done

3. Clean the wok.

4. Heat yet another tablespoon of oil; stir-fry the tomato chunks.

Tomatoes stir-fried in a clean wok

Cover with the lid and let it cook for about 30 seconds.  Then add the eggs, water, ketchup, cornstarch, and half of the chopped scallions.

All the ingredients cooking

Stir-fry quickly over high heat for 30 seconds or so.   Remove from heat.

To serve

Take the tomato omelet out of the pan and put it on the plate.  Pour the sauce which is left in the pan in the plate.   Sprinkle as garnish the remaining chopped spring onion.  Serve immediately.

Tomato & Egg - a favorite


Maggie and Catherine were among the students who recommended this dish. Maggie, now a ZAFU sophomore, likes to play games and plans to become a teacher.

Maggie from Wēnzhōu

Maggie is  from Wēnzhōu a city of over nine million people.  

Wēnzhōu is the third largest city in Zhèjiāng Province, China.

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Maggie’s city is not only vibrant and modern, but it is also near places of beauty.

Yandang Mountain near Wēnzhōu

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Wikipedia notes, “Wēnzhōu was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is situated in a mountainous region and, as a result, has been isolated for most of its history from the rest of the country, making the local culture and language very different from those of neighbouring areas. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being enterprising natives who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries. To be noted, for example, that the biggest Chinese community in Europe, in Milan, is mainly formed by families who emigrated from this district over the last 100 years.”

Maggie, however, seems happy in Zhèjiāng Province and is likely to make her future there — where she will continue to enjoy Chinese tomato eggs.

Another student, Catherine also shared her tomato egg recipe, which she called a tomato omelet.


Catherine is from Hangzhou.  She is always cheerful and likes eating delicious food.  She also notes, “In the future, I’d like to travel to minority regions and experience their customs.”

She recommends that everyone visit the beautiful “Qiao Dao Lake,”  west of Hangzhou.

Qiandao Lake, a national park of clean water and over 1,000 large islands as well as a few thousand small ones

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Catherine described her tomato and egg recipe: “This is my favorite food because I tried it by myself when I first tried to cook. And this progress left me a deep impression. I hope that you can try to cook it by yourself. I believe that you will fall in love with your tomato omelet.”

The Chinese eat this tomato/egg dish with white rice, which soaks up the nice sauce.  I add a green salad and serve it for a quick dinner.

Chinese Tomato/Egg with black beans, quinoa, and a green salad--delicious!

Give it a try.

Zài Jiàn and Aloha, Renée



About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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