I grew up eating all kinds of eggs fried, hard-boiled, soft boiled, water eggs, steamed egg custard, and omelet…
When I was a kid we never had egg foo young as most people know it a deep-fried dark omelet filled with vegetables and some protein in almost a flying saucer shape then topped with some ubiquitous brown sauce.
Egg foo young
We ate a soft omelet with maybe 2 3 ingredients max. Topped with just a drizzle of oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Egg foo young was created during the building of the railroads back but it also might be derived from a Shanghai dished called fu yung egg slices which a dish made with egg whites and ham.
Certain dishes make Asian people cringe when they bring their American none foodie friends to their favorite Chinese restaurant. I normally order for everyone which will squash that immediately.
If I don’t It goes something like this… the waiter comes to the table and asks your, friend, first what you like? I would like a bowl of wonton soup, some spare ribs, some chop Suey, chicken, and broccoli do you have any sweet and sour pork? Yea ok oh and some fried rice please. Oh a small chicken chow mein. And an eggroll too.
Back in the day most of the restaurants were Cantonese while is good and I hate to say it but almost every single restaurant has the same me Save
nu with a few variations or specialties like seafood or soup etc. there are fewer home-style restaurants.
Old Chinese menu
Just look at the noodle section lo mein… beef chicken shrimp and special chow fun… beef chicken shrimp and special.
You can bring any menu to the restaurant and it will be almost the same thing.
But in the late ’60s other types of Chinese restaurants started popping up the flavors were more bold and spicy than Cantonese the food.
Cantonese food, by comparison, is bland but that is because a lot of it catered towards American clientele and their palates. People were not as adventures as today with their food. Eating Chinese food was exotic enough.
Even Ralph Kramden from the honeymoons would talk about eating chop suey at the Hong Kong Gardens about how he kept asking the waiter for bread so he could push the food onto the fork.
Even you guys talk about Wo hops like it was the best restaurant in Chinatown it was great because you were drunk and your date was beautiful too.
Walking down the stairs of Wo hop was like a time tunnel to Chinese food of the 1950s.
Wo hop basement
Did you ever notice that the only Asian people there were the workers?
The menu has not changed since back when burgers were a nickel
Then the new type of Chinese food emerged it was Szechuan and with that comes scallion pancakes instead of egg rolls hot and sour soup instead of wonton. So many new dishes like Kung pow chicken, Hunan beef orange beef, and fried dumplings! I remember eating my first fried dumplings wow!
There were a couple of Chinese restaurants that dared to be bold and push the limit and it was Mr. chows was a high-end restaurant that started in London. Then the next one was in Beverly Hills and NYC it opened in 1978. Mr chows was one of my favorite restaurants.
It even had a staircase from the bar to the restaurant area in a way when you walk down the stairs it was you making a grand appearance and everyone saw who was coming down to dine. Needless to say it was always packed with celebrities, models,, music industry people, and power brokers. The food was authentic Beijing cuisine the duck, orange beef, and hand-pulled noodle were exceptional…
So no I never ordered chop suey and I don’t think I ever will based on principle lol.
This brings us back to a simple omelet with asparagus, peppers, bean sprouts, and scallions served over rice. Simple easy good food.
All you need to do is sauté whatever you have in the refrigerator like veggies and ham etc in ginger and garlic and oil if you have it in a hot nonstick pan
Scramble some eggs throw the sauté in the eggs mix in the same hot none stick pan cook and pull sides of the egg and tilt the pan so wet eggs go to the edge to cook. Shake the pan back and forth until the top gets glossy but not wet. If you flip egg do it only for 30 seconds. You want the eggs soft and yellow not scorched and brown.
Serve over rice with a very light drizzle of oyster sauce or soy sauce.
P.s. yes, I ate at Wo hops too… I was also drunk my date was pretty and the food was good.
But I never ate there when I was sober.