Tomato Fried Egg

This is an amazingly simple but tasty dish. The secret is to fry the egg and tomato separately. First, you would want to heat up some oil and fry your beaten egg. I would normally use 3 eggs with 2 large tomatoes. Don’t use cherry tomatoes. Once you’ve got your omelette fried up, you can add in your sliced tomatoes and toss it around. You can also toss in some chopped spring onions or green chilli.

My real secret is in the seasoning. I add about 2 tablespoons of light soya sauce and tablespoon of ginger sugar or just plain sugar if you don’t have that. Once the tomatoes soften, you can turn off the heat and serve. It goes very well with rice or porridge.

Swallowing Up & Spitting Out

I don’t post much political stuff on this blog, but recent moves by the government aimed at helping our hawkers (albeit with a self-centred perspective) are really accelerating the demise of our hawker culture – an inevitable outcome in my opinion as long as our hawkers come under the purview of Big Brother and his philosophy of squeezing people down the line. The free enterprising spirit is dealt another blow by the takeover of Kopitiam by NTUC. The business has become even more centralised with little room left for our hawkers to maneuver. Never has it been more critical for us to pick up some culinary skills ourselves and stop our food heritage from dying with the hawkers.

But seriously, I doubt any attempt to take control out of Big Brother’s hands or encourage our young to go into F&B will yield positive results. The problem is actually multi-factorial and extremely challenging, especially if operating costs continue to rise and worst of all, people don’t mind having the kind of adulterated local dishes and “integrated” food courts (Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Mala hotpot etc) that we have now. Rescuing our food heritage through our young hawkers (some of whom sold their brands the moment they became famous) is to me, a lost cause. The great white shark’s jaws are right at your feet. There is no escape. Seetoh et al needs to ask, do the people really mind. If at least 70% of them don’t, then we might as well channel our energies towards acquiring those skills ourselves.

Fried Beehoon Variations

There are actually a few different ways to fry beehoon. I normally do the “dry” variety. The beehoon is soaked. The rest of the ingredients are pretty much dry. With an adequate amount of oil and no liquids added (except for some oyster sauce), the beehoon will turn out al dente. That’s the usual way I do it.

Beehoon can also be fried “wet”. Some stock or water is added (not too much) and it should dry up after a couple of minutes of frying.

The result is a softer beehoon. The taste of the egg tends to be stronger with this cooking method. So depending on your mood or personal preference, you may want to experiment with a few methods. There is no right or wrong way here. Just keep experimenting.