Tomato Egg Stir Fry
By Sheryl Teo
This is simplicity at its tastiest – just two basic ingredients – eggs and tomatoes. Together they spell comfort food. Bright red tomatoes, especially sun-ripened ones, are rich in glutamic acid, the critical umami component that heightens flavour. As the fruit ripens, the level of glutamic acid intensifies. When cooked with egg and a jigger of ketchup, it is absolutely delish. Best of all, dinner is served in 10 minutes flat.
Total Time: 10 minutes
A: Egg Mixture
3 large eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon oil
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ tsp salt
1. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until just mixed. Season with a pinch of salt.
2. Heat saucepan over medium heat till hot. Pour in oil. Once oil is hot, add beaten eggs into pan. Using a spatula, slowly scramble eggs until just set – at this stage, it will be soft and tender. Set eggs aside.
3. In the same saucepan, pour in 1 teaspoon of oil. Fry spring onions till fragrant, just a few minutes.
4. Add tomatoes. Stir fry for a minute, then cover with lid. Reduce heat.
Let tomatoes cook for 2-3 minutes, until it softens according to your preference.
5. Add ketchup and sugar. Mix it in until blended. Add some water if more sauce is preferred.
6. Return scrambled eggs to pan. Mix with tomatoes until just combined.
7. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with steamed rice immediately.
BUYING TIP: Look for ripe tomatoes that are firm, bearing bright red skins with no trace of yellow or green. Ripening starts at the base of the fruit, progressing towards the stalk. To check if it is fully ripe, ensure that the part closest to the stalk is also red. See tomato on extreme left.
Umami is more prominent in the juicy insides of the sun-ripened tomato.
NOTE: Ketchup which makes a moreish sauce is anything but American. In fact, it originates in China! In Hokkein dialect, kê-tsiap refers to sauce from fermenting fish – fish sauce. This was introduced to the Chinese by Vietnamese food merchants. It was this sauce that the British tasted in Southeast Asia during the 17th-18th centuries and they attempted to replicate for their food. Ketchup, in its naissance, is a thin, dark sauce made with mushrooms, anchovies or oysters. Tomatoes later appeared in a published recipe penned by a British horticulturalist in 1812. But it was Henry Heinz, an American, who first commercialised the tomato ketchup we consume today.
TECHNIQUE: When scrambling eggs, do not let it set fully as eggs might get overcooked in step 6. While tomato cooks, it releases water which becomes a sauce when seasoning is added. If tomatoes do not produce enough liquid, add some water.
PHOTOS: Sheryl Teo, Evonne Lyn Lee
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