Stir-fried Tomatoes and Eggs
When the Chinese of the coastal provinces first encountered the tomato, it reminded them of more familiar fruits and vegetables, which is why it became known as a “barbarian aubergine” or a “Western red persimmon”. Here, then, is a recipe for “barbarian aubergines” stir-fried with eggs, which Dunlop ate every other day when she lived in Sichuan. It’s beautiful, with its vivid mix of red and yellow, and seems much more delicious than the sum of its parts. Dunlop gives a recipe for two eggs and two tomatoes, which you can increase by an egg and tomato or two if you please. The potato flour mixture, if added, gives an extra luxuriousness to the juices, but isn’t strictly necessary.
- 2 ripe tomatoes, similar in volume to the eggs
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ teaspoon caster sugar
- ½ tsp potato flour, mixed with 2 tsp water (optional)
- Cut each tomato in half, then into sections the size of tangerine segments.
- Beat the eggs evenly together with a little salt.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or frying pan over a high flame. Add the eggs and swirl them around. Use a spoon or a ladle to nudge the edges of the egg towards the centre so the uncooked egg can run out. As soon as the egg has set, remove it to a plate.
- Return the pan to the high flame and put in 1 tablespoon of oil if you need it. Tip in the tomatoes and stir-fry until they are hot and smell cooked, adding the sugar and salt to taste.
- Return the eggs to the pan and mix everything together. Add the potato flour mixture, if using, and serve.
Add a few chopped spring onions at the end and serve on top of a bowl of rice.