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Stirred Eggs
This is an excerpt form a old cookbook which describe the cooking of Stirred Eggs (scrambled eggs) by the Engineer husband of the author of the book. It is a hilarious example of what happens when you let an engineer type try to teach some thing outside of their usual field. I think it is very funny:o) Be sure to read the footnote it is particularly humourous. The book is called:
How to Cook and Eat in Chinese
by Buwei Yang Chao
Copyright 1945, 1949 0 1963 by Buwei Yang Clhao
Published by Random House of Canada limited, Toronto. in 1970.
ISBN: O-394-71703-1   LCCCN: 73-89692
Vintage Books Edition, April 1972

And so on to the book   Pages 133 to 135

C H A P T E R 1 8   EGGS

Hen's eggs occupy about the same place in Chinese cooking as in American. They make either the main thing in a dish or go with other main dishes. Bemuse eggs are nourishing and easily digested almost in any form, they have always been regarded as good for the young and the frail.

We have boiled eggs, fried eggs, etc., but they do not usually mean breakfast nor are they usually made the same way as American dishes of the same names. Boiled eggs are usually hard-boiled and usually dip-eaten with soy sauce at breakfast. As part of other dishes, they are hard-boiled so long that they become soft inside again. Fried eggs are usually sprinkled with soy sauce. Dropped eggs are dropped in soup instead of on toast, and eaten wet. We have no shirred eggs but have stirred eggs, which is something between scrambled eggs and egg-omelet. (See below.)

Eggs are preserved by salting or lime-treating, for which duck's eggs are more commonly used. Lime-preserved eggs are the so-called 100-year-old eggs, which are best when about 100 days old. 1 shall now give a few very common egg recipes, each containing come variations.

13.1. Stirred Eggs

Stirred eggs may be said to be the most everyday dish made by applying the most everyday method to the most everyday material. Learning to stir-fry eggs is the ABC of cooking. As this is the only dish my husband cooks well, and he says that he either cooks a thing well or not at a% 1 shall let him tell how it is done.


"Either shell or unshell the eggs by knocking one against another in any order.1 Be sure to have a bowl below to catch the contents. With a pair of chopsticks, strike the same with a quick, vigorous motion known as 'beating the eggs.' This motion should, however, be made repeatedly and not just once. Automatic machines, aptly named as 'egg-beaters,' have been invented for this purpose.

"Make cross sections of the ts'ung at intervals of about 7.5 mm., making 40 sections altogether. Throw in the ts'ung and the measured amount of salt during the final phase of the 'beating.'

"Heat the lard in a large flat-bottomed pan over a brisk fire until it (the lard) begins to give off a faint trace of smoke. Pour the contents of the bowl into the oil at once.

"The next phase of the operation is the most critical for the successful stir-frying of eggs. When the bottom part of the mixture becomes a puffed-up soft mass on contact with the heat, the upper part will remain quite liquid. Preferably using a thin flat piece of metal attached to a handle, the operator should push the mixture to one side so as to allow the uncooked liquid portion to flow onto the hot fat on the now exposed portion of the bottom. (Sometimes this may be facilitated by slightly tipping the pan.) Quickly repeat this until abut 90 per cent of the liquid has come in contact with the hot fat and becomes puffed. Then, still using the flat piece of metal, make the entire content of the pan revolve through 180 degrees about a horizontal axis. This delicate operation is known as 'turning it over,' which in the hands of a beginner may easily become a flop. It can be done neatly and without waste only after repeated practice with different sets of eggs.

"If the turning over has been successfully carried out, wait for 5 seconds, which is about the time it takes to count from 1 to 12, then transfer the contents to the bowl or a platter, when the dish is said to be done.

"To test whether the cooking has been done properly, observe the person served. If he utters a voiced bilabial nasal consonant with a slow falling intonation, it is good. If he utters the syllable yum in reduplicated form, it is very good."-Y. R. C.

Stirred eggs are really much simpler to make than to tell. It is a very handy dish to fill the table when unexpected guests come. Remember that only lard or any animal fat is good for this dish. It is therefore only good for once, in fact only when it is hot.

1Since, when two eggs collide, only one of them will break, it will be necessary to use a seventh egg with which to break the sixth. If, as it may very well happen, the seventh egg breaks firt instead of the sixth, an expedient will be simply to use the seventh one and put away the sixth. An alternate procedure is to delay your numbering system and define that egg as the sixth egg which breaks after the fifth egg   Back   Top

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2012 September 16