Sunday 25 July 2010

Tofu omelettes from China

As I write this post I have been watching Masterchef where the two finalists must make omelets as part of the basic kitchen skills tests. They say you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg but I beg to differ. I have never made an omelette before in my life but this weekend I had my first attempt. I am pleased to say that no eggs were broken in the making of this omelette.

I have always wanted to try making a tofu omelette. I don’t like eggs but I love the look of a fluffy omelette as it folds over on itself. So an omelette full of tofu but no eggs appeals to me. Though I wanted to try the Vegan Brunch one (as raved about by Cindy), but it was Ricki’s beautiful stack of omelettes in her Eggs Faux Yung that got me cooking.

It was only when I had made it, I realised that I have never eaten an omelette nor the eggs foo yung that Ricki based her recipe on. I just loved her picture. The omelettes were far softer and lighter than I expected, though pleasingly crisp on the outside. The omelettes were full of flavour and tasted like the sort of thing I would love to be served in a Chinese restaurant, even if the sauce was not really my sort of thing. However I couldn’t tell you exactly how close they are to the dishes they imitated.

My omelettes weren’t perfect circles like Ricki’s. If you look at them on the frypan, they look more like the craggy outlines of countries in a map of the world. I was racing around too much to worry about this, but if I had time it wouldn’t be too difficult to shape the edges. My leftovers were not very pretty.

So on Saturday morning between swimming and heading off to visit family, I chopped up the omelettes and turned it into a scramble of some kind to eat with potato scones and a stirfry of mushrooms, spring onion, tomatoes and broccoli. A substantial brunch to see us on our way.

I first determined to make this dish when Helen of Fuss Free Flavours announced that she and Sarah of Fingers and Toes were hosting an event called the Breakfast Club. The first month was Asian and I had intended to send in these omelettes but didn’t get organized. July’s theme is Eggs (with an acceptance of faux egg dishes from those like me who don't eat eggs) so I decided I hadn’t missed my chance. So I am sending this Eggs Faux Yung Scramble to Sarah.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Frugal Freezer Stock and a WIP Stew
This time two years ago:
Tabouli from the Tree
This time three years ago:
It’s a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll...

Eggs Faux Yung
Adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Tofu Omelettes:

  • 350g firm tofu, drained and patted dry with a cloth
  • ⅓ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tsp finely ground flax seeds (maybe I needed more)
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup water


  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/3 cup broccoli stems, finely chopped (I used stems from two broccoli bunches)
  • kernels of one corn cob
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • good handful of parsley, finely chopped

canola oil for frying


  • 1 cup vegetable stock (I used stock powder and water)
  • 1 Tbsp sweet soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
  • a few drops Tabasco
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour (corn starch)

Combine the omelet ingredients in the food processor. Stir in the vegetables.

Heat a heavy bottomed frypan (mine is non-stick) over low to medium heat and lightly oil. Spoon dessertspoonfuls onto frypan and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until the mixture sets and dries slightly. When you flip it the underside should be golden brown. Fry another 5-6 minutes on the other side or until golden brown. Repeat until you have finished the mixture (I did about 4 batches).

While the omelets are frying, make the sauce. Firstly combine cornflour, soy sauce and an additional tablespoon of stock in a small saucepan. Add the remaining stock, Tabasco, and sesame oil. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently. When it boils, it should thicken and be taken off the heat. If it doesn’t thicken, simmer until it is just slightly thickened.

Serve the omelets in a pile with sauce. Ricki suggests fried garlic and/or spring onion as a garnish. I didn’t have time for garnishes but like the idea. Instead I just served it with Sylvia's leftover steamed vegetables.

On the Stereo:
The history of Fairport Convention


  1. So glad you tried this and got to make an omelette! I must say, it's been so long since I had the "real" egg fu yung that I have no idea whether these are truly authentic tasting or not. But I love your idea of the next-day scramble, mixing in all the other ingredients (and would love one of those scones, I'm sure). :)

  2. "no eggs were broken in the making of this omelette" - ha ha! You are awesome Johanna. Looks like a great recipe!

  3. What an interesting idea!!!! I love tofu and will have to give this particular little dish a try sometime soon!

  4. Oh Johanna, this looks amazing! I've never liked egg omelettes but these sound fantastic, plus I just bought ground flaxseeds for the first time. Meant to be?

    P.S. You must be happy with the MC finale - must admit, I think it was the right result too :)

  5. This look great! Tofu is such a misunderstood food, but as you've proven here, it can be so versatile.

    On a side note, we were eating take out Chinese recently. Our dishes were fried tofu based. And my 4 year old son declared "I want tofu, mommy." Starting him young...

  6. These really sound tasty - and I'm a big fan of the real egg fu yung! Now that I'm a convert to tofu scramble I will be keen to give it a go.

  7. So did you actually like them? Apologies if I missed that bit. They certainly look really good and I haven't heard of tofu omelettes before - a lovely idea.

  8. Those tofu omelettes look way better than actual omelettes! I love how they're crisped on the outside mmm.

  9. They do look great Johanna, I like the idea of using the flax as a binder. And all those vegetables for breakfast, a good start on your 5 a day (although I think the recommendation is more than 5 in Australia?)

    Thanks for taking part in breakfast club. I am hosting next month so check back to see what the theme is - I am not sure what I am choosing yet.

  10. This is an interesting recipe! I made Asian type omlette out of just eggs, onion and seasoning :)

  11. OMFG! Foo Yung Egg on rice is the dish that I ate ALL THE TIME at Hong Kong style cafe during my pre-vegan high school year.

  12. thanks Ricki - still have ambitions for an omelette that flips over or even some nice round ones like yours but interesting taste in these - highly recommend the scones but not sure how they would fit with your diet

    Thanks Lisa - made me think how I don't really feel the need for the skills that masterchef touts are 'basic'

    Thanks Lisa - definitely worth a try - they took a while to cook but I just put on the oven timer and went about other things

    Thanks Hannah - yes pleased about masterchef - look forward to the cookbook - and this is good use for your flax seeds - though Ricki used chia seeds and I was a bit unsure if hers were bound together more as I think I should have used more flax seeds than chia but I didn't

    Thanks Madge - I am sure if Sylvia was old enough she would tell me she wants tofu - as I was putting it in the food processor she was in the high chair in the kitchen eating her dinner and begging for some plain tofu so I was breaking off chunks for her!

    Thanks Lysy - I love how many different variations there are for flavouring a tofu scramble - hope you have some fun trying different ones like this one

    Thanks Choclette - I did like them - they weren't as I expected but I think I preferred them as the scramble the next day than the way I served them fresh off the frypan because the vegetable accompaniments were much better - it all about context!

    Thanks Ashely - I actually always love the look of egg omelettes but have no desire to eat them

    Thanks Helen - I made quite a substantial brunch because we were heading out for a 6pm movie so a decent earlier meal was needed - but I do love a brunch full of vegies (I think it is just 5 a day in Australia but not 100% sure)

    Thanks Anh - would be interested to hear what is in your seasoning

    Thanks Toby - wonder if these are anything like your foo yung egg - I had never heard of the dish before I saw it on ricki's blog so have nothing to compare it to

  13. I've had my eye on this recipe of Ricki's too - glad it worked out, even if you didn't think yours was quite so pretty. ;-)

  14. I've always wondered what Eggs Fu Yung (or Faux Yung LOL) was - it gets mentioned in lots of movies and TV shows, but I had no idea what it was til now.

  15. I've only had egg foo yung once and I was so eager to as I always saw it on tv! This looks great Johanna! :D

  16. Thanks Cindy - definitely one to try

    Thanks Cakelaw and Lorraine - I must look out for people talking about it on tv - how funny that both of you associate it with the telly


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