Home Chicken & Poultry Chicken Egg Foo Young

Chicken Egg Foo Young

by myroilist

Egg Foo Young is a classic––some might say retro––takeout dish that was transformed when Chinese chefs brought the dish to the US.

I have to admit, I’m not sure what the original dish looked like or tasted like in Asia, but I can say that I do know how to cook up a classic Chinese American take-out style Egg Foo Young recipe.

My parents owned a Chinese takeout restaurant, and this was one of the most popular dishes on our menu!

Working on this Egg Foo Young recipe really brought back some memories from those restaurant days, when I first learned to make it.

Since I’ve moved on from cooking in commercial kitchens, Egg Foo Young fell to the wayside in my cooking repertoire. But my first thought upon tasting the finished dish this time was, “WOW, I FORGOT HOW GOOD THIS IS.”

The first words from Judy were:  “More gravy please!” and “Hey, where’s the fried rice?!”

Note: Originally published in July 2017, we’ve updated this recipe as of April 7, 2019. 

Looking for more Chinese Takeout Recipes? Check them out here!

What is Egg Foo Young?

Egg foo young is a Chinese omelette made with eggs, sometimes meat, and vegetables. Here in the US, it’s smothered in a brown gravy and often served with rice. This recipe uses chicken, but you could also use shrimp, pork, beef, or tofu.

Egg Foo Young, Egg Foo Yung, Egg Fu Yung––however you spell it, it’s all the same dish!

What Makes This Egg Foo Young Recipe Authentic

Most people probably don’t know that egg foo young is deep fried, since many recipes simply use a cast iron skillet or frying pan.

This egg foo young recipe uses the very classic takeout restaurant method of deep frying the patties, which not only creates that authentic taste, it actually makes the egg foo young pancakes a bit lighter and speeds up cooking time.

I know that sounds a little counter-intuitive, but when fried in oil at the right temperature range between 330-350F, the egg foo young omelettes or pancakes actually come out perfectly fluffy. Again, oil temperature is very important to ensure your chicken egg foo young is not too greasy, so be sure you prepare your frying oil carefully!

Aside from lightness and speed of preparation, Chinese restaurants also use this deep fry method to fry the onions in the mixture, which makes the dish even more fragrant and flavorful.

Once you add the gravy, garnish with fresh scallions and sesame seeds, and eat this over rice, you’ll know why the restaurants do it the way they do!

So now for some inevitable questions and answers.

Do You Need to Deep-fry?

The answer is not necessarily!

You can also use a non-stick or cast iron skillet and make the pancakes with a smaller amount of oil, cooked like an omelette.

Will it taste the same?

Well…does baked chicken taste like fried chicken?

“Not quite,” is my simple answer to both questions, but I won’t argue that using a skillet and a couple tablespoons of oil won’t also taste good. It just won’t taste quite as good as the restaurant method.

We’ve received a lot of requests for this recipe, so definitely give it a try! If it seems like a daunting challenge, we’ve included a video to help you with the cooking process. 

This recipe makes 6 small Chicken Egg Foo Young pancakes (4-6 servings).

Chicken Egg Foo Young: Recipe Instructions

Mix the cubed chicken with 1 tablespoon of water until the water is absorbed by the chicken (for more on this technique, check out our Spicy Chicken Stir-fry recipe).

Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well combined, and set aside.

Next, make the gravy. In a medium pot or saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of flour to make a roux, and cook for 15-20 seconds.

Stir in the turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Fry for 15 seconds, and whisk in 3 cups chicken stock.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, and add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and freshly ground white pepper to taste. The gravy should be slightly thickened from the roux.

Mix the cornstarch with the ¼ cup of chicken stock or water to make a slurry (i.e. until the cornstarch is completely dissolved), and slowly stir in two-thirds of the mixture.

For more detailed information on the many ways to use cornstarch to get authentic results at home with our recipes, see our post on How to Use Cornstarch in Chinese Cooking.

Let cook for 30 seconds. Add more of the cornstarch slurry if necessary, until the gravy is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add salt or more soy sauce to your own taste. Be careful not to over-salt the gravy. Cover and set aside. 

Next, sear the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in your wok until it just starts to smoke, and add in the marinated chicken cubes. Sear for 1 minute on each side…

And then stir-fry for another minute until just cooked through.

Transfer back to the marinating bowl, and set aside to cool.

In a wok or deep pot, pre-heat your 6 cups of frying oil to 350F. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature––too high a temperature will result in burned Egg Foo Young patties, and too low a temperature will give you greasy patties or will make your patties fall apart!

Goldilocks had the right idea––you want it to be juuust right.

Meanwhile, place the cooled chicken, diced onion, and bean sprouts into a mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, sesame oil, and second teaspoon of cornstarch. 

Do not add any salt or seasonings to this mixture, or your egg foo young patties may not hold together when frying!

Use a large soup ladle or hoak (a Chinese ladle that’s often used together with a Chinese spatula. For more information, check out our Chinese Cooking Tools page!) to fold the mixture together until just combined.

The eggs should look like they are slightly beaten and only just mixed with the rest of the ingredients. If you overmix the eggs, the whole mixture will become too watery and will not form a patty during frying.

Using your ladle, work quickly to slowly drop three separate scoops of the mixture into the wok for the first batch (you can also work in batches of 2 if your wok is smaller).

Each scoop should be about 3/4 cup of the mixture. The correct technique is to tilt your ladle close to the oil, and pour the mixture starting from the edge where the oil meets the wok.

Pour it slowly so the ladle barely touches the oil. Don’t let the egg cook while it’s in the ladle, or it will stick to the ladle, and you won’t have a smooth drop for the next patty.

Watch the video to see what I am trying to describe here!

Let the patties fry for about 40 seconds. You can also use your wok spatula to gently flip some hot oil on top of the uncooked patty to speed the cooking time.

When each patty is solid and turning golden brown, use your wok spatula to turn them over in the same order that you dropped them into the oil.

After another 60 seconds, scoop each patty onto a mesh strainer or Chinese Spider, giving it a few gentle taps to remove excess oil.

Place each patty on a wire rack over a sheet pan to drain until all of your patties are cooked.

In the restaurant, we used to pile three patties on top of each other, and give them a gentle squeeze to remove excess oil, plate them, pour hot gravy over the top, garnish, and out they would go to the customer!

Transfer your chicken egg foo young patties from the cooling rack to a serving plate (ideally these are served individually, rather than on a big family-style platter), pour the gravy over the top, add a sprinkling of scallions and toasted sesame seeds, and serve with additional gravy on the side.

Enjoy this classic Chicken Egg Foo Young!

4.99 from 60 votes

Chicken Egg Foo Young

Chicken egg foo young is a classic Chinese restaurant dish of onions eggs, bean sprouts and chicken deep fried into pancakes and covered in delicious gravy.

serves: 4

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 10 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs (280g, cut into small cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil (plus 4-6 cups for frying, depending on the size of your wok)
  • 1 medium onion (about 1 ½ cups diced)
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 scallion (chopped)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

For the gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 1/4 cups low sodium chicken stock (3 cups plus 1/4 cup divided)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Salt (to taste)

Instructions

  • Mix the cubed chicken with 1 tablespoon of water until the water is absorbed by the chicken (for more on this technique, check out our Spicy Chicken Stir-fry recipe). Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well combined, and set aside.
  • Next, make the gravy. In a medium pot or saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of flour to make a roux, and cook for 15-20 seconds. Stir in the turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Let fry for 15 seconds, and whisk in the chicken stock.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, and add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and freshly ground white pepper to taste. The gravy should be slightly thickened from the roux. Mix the cornstarch with the ¼ cup of chicken stock or water to make a slurry (i.e. until the cornstarch is completely dissolved), and slowly stir in two-thirds of the mixture. Let cook for 30 seconds. Add more of the cornstarch slurry if necessary, until the gravy is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add salt or more soy sauce to your own taste. Be careful not to over-salt the gravy. Cover and set aside.
  • Next, sear the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in your wok until it just starts to smoke, and add in the marinated chicken cubes. Sear for 1 minute on each side, and then stir-fry for another minute until just cooked through. Transfer back to the marinating bowl, and set aside to cool.
  • In a wok or deep pot, pre-heat your 6 cups of frying oil to 350F. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature––too high a temperature will result in burned Egg Foo Young patties, and too low a temperature will give you greasy patties or will make your patties fall apart!
  • Meanwhile, place the cooled chicken, diced onion, and bean sprouts into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, sesame oil, and second teaspoon of cornstarch. Do not add any salt or seasonings to this mixture, or your Egg Foo Young patties may not hold together when frying!
  • Use a large soup ladle or hoak (a Chinese ladle that’s often used together with a Chinese spatula) to fold the mixture together until just combined. The eggs should look like they are slightly beaten and only just mixed with the rest of the ingredients. If you over-mix the eggs, the whole mixture will become too watery and will not form a patty during frying.
  • Using your ladle, work quickly to slowly drop three separate scoops of the mixture into the wok for the first batch (you can also work in batches of 2 if your wok is smaller). Each scoop should be about 3/4 cup of the mixture. The correct technique is to tilt your ladle close to the oil, and pour the mixture starting from the edge where the oil meets the wok. Pour it slowly so the ladle barely touches the oil. Don’t let the egg cook while it’s in the ladle, or it will stick to the ladle, and you won’t have a smooth drop for the next Egg Foo Young patty.
  • Let the patties fry for about 40 seconds. You can also use your wok spatula to gently flip some hot oil on top of the uncooked patty to speed the cooking time. When each patty is solid and turning golden brown, use your wok spatula to turn them over in the same order that you dropped them into the oil.
  • After another 60 seconds, scoop each patty onto a mesh strainer, giving it a few gentle taps to remove excess oil. Place each patty on a wire rack over a sheet pan to drain until all of your patties are cooked.
  • Transfer the Egg Foo Young patties from the cooling rack to a serving plate (ideally these are served individually, rather than on a big family-style platter), pour the gravy over the top, add a sprinkling of scallions and toasted sesame seeds, and serve with additional gravy on the side.




Tips & Notes:

This recipe makes 6 small egg foo young pancakes.

nutrition facts

Calories: 420kcal (21%) Carbohydrates: 20g (7%) Protein: 28g (56%) Fat: 26g (40%) Saturated Fat: 11g (55%) Cholesterol: 299mg (100%) Sodium: 455mg (19%) Potassium: 508mg (15%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 609IU (12%) Vitamin C: 11mg (13%) Calcium: 65mg (7%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

nutritional info disclaimer


TheWoksofLife.com is written and produced for informational purposes only. While we do our best to provide nutritional information as a general guideline to our readers, we are not certified nutritionists, and the values provided should be considered estimates. Factors such as brands purchased, natural variations in fresh ingredients, etc. will change the nutritional information in any recipe. Various online calculators also provide different results, depending on their sources. To obtain accurate nutritional information for a recipe, use your preferred nutrition calculator to determine nutritional information with the actual ingredients and quantities used.

You may also like

Leave a Comment