Thursday, 25 July 2013

Fried "Purse" Eggs (煎荷包蛋)

I wasn't entirely sure whether or not to include this recipe. It is, after all, just a fried egg. However, as my wise friend Connie said, "If Delia can write an entire chapter about eggs, then I would say no, it's not too easy". Given that this is such a satisfying accompaniment when placed on a bowl of steaming white rice, or freshly cooked noodles, I hope you enjoy it too. 荷包蛋, according to Google Translate, is a poached egg, but we always had them fried. My Mum used to fry the egg in the wok, then put it between two slices of white bread with ketchup, then fry the sandwich on both sides in the wok too. Absolute bliss!

There's an art to keeping the yolk runny without breaking it in the wok, and I reckon I have about an 80% success rate. You need to use a well seasoned wok that doesn't stick, sufficient amounts of oil, and you need to make sure that the oil is really hot (almost at smoking point) before you add the egg. My children love to devour their eggs on a bowl of white rice. I usually make one for each of us, but more often than not, I end up "sharing" mine with them.


  • 4 eggs
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Light soy sauce
Serves 4


  • Heat the wok and place a decent amount of oil in - I would say about 1.5-2cm depth - swirl around the sides of the wok
  • Heat the oil till really hot - when it is starting to move around, but just before smoking point
  • Crack the egg cleanly on the side of the wok, and break the egg quickly into the middle of the wok. It will start to bubble and crisp around the sides. Leave it for around 20-30 seconds, turning the heat down a little if it starts get too burned around the edges
  • After 20-30 seconds, when the egg should have set at the bottom of the wok, give the wok a little shake - in the best case, the egg should slide off the bottom of the wok and move around the oil in one piece. If it has stuck, use the edge of a spatula to gently tease the edges of the egg, shaking the wok gently to try and get it to dislodge without breaking the yolk
  • When the egg is moving freely in the oil, slide a bendy spatula underneath it (trying to keep the yolk away from the leading edge of the spatula), until the egg is steady on the spatula. Flip the egg so that the other side is now in the oil
  • Leave for 10-15 seconds, then shake the wok gently to dislodge the egg from the bottom
  • When dislodged, slide the spatula under the egg and lift it up the side of the wok, tilting the spatula so that any excess oil drains away
  • Splash a little sight soy sauce over the egg, and serve immediately

Fried "Purse" Eggs (煎荷包蛋)

No comments:

Post a Comment