My husband, son and I just returned from a glorious ten days in Italy. In between all the walking and the art and magnificent churches and museums, we ate a few pretty nice meals. In Toronto we are so used to a variety of foods from other cultures and a wide array of menu choices. In walking distance of our house we can choose from Indian, Thai, Peruvian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, and yes, Italian. In Italy the restaurants are all, well, Italian, which seemed to surprise my family a bit.
There, the nuance is in the region you are eating in, rather than the cuisine. I had carciofi alla romana on our last day that was one of the best things I ate in Italy, but if I had ordered artichokes in Milan, I would have had something quite different. All of this is to say that by the time we arrived home, my husband was craving Chinese food. Personally, I could happily eat Italian food every day, but I promised Chinese for our first day back.
I pulled out my Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop as I always do and looked for something I could make out of the contents of my pantry, after almost two weeks without grocery shopping. This recipe for eggs was too interesting to pass up and I had everything on hand that I needed. I served this over rice to make a meal of it, and my husband loved it. It was quite unusual, and really delicious. There were only two of us, so I just used 3 eggs rather than the 5 the recipe calls for. The potato flour thickens beautifully, but if you don't have any, I'm sure cornstarch would be an acceptable substitution.
Golden Coins5 extra-large eggs, hard-boiled and cooled completely
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp clear rice vinegar
1/2 tsp potato flour
2 tbsp vegetable stock or water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh red chili or sweet red bell pepper
Salt to taste
3 scallion, green parts only, finely sliced
Peanut oil for cooking1. Peel the eggs and cut crosswise into thick slices. Coat the slices lightly in flour, shaking off any excess. Combine the vinegar, potato flour, stock or water and sesame oil in a small bowl; set aside.2. Heat 1/2 cup peanut oil until it reaches 350F. Add the eggs slices in 2 or 3 batches and fry for just a few minutes until a little golden; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.3. Clean the wok and heat it over a high flame until smoke rises, then add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl around. Add the ginger and chili or bell pepper and stir-fry briefly until fragrant.4. Return the eggs to the wok and gently stir-fry to coat them in the seasonings, adding salt to taste. Don't worry if some fall apart. Add the prepared sauce and the scallions, and stir-fry for a few seconds more. Serve immediately.