Breakfast in Beijing

Lately I’ve been experimenting with eggy breakfasts. My other half has been reading The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss, and working through learning how to cook from the most basic techniques up to sous vide and beyond. There was a great early section on flavours of the world and how to put them into eggs.

Chinese eggs
Chinese eggs in the pan

Eggs don’t hold much flavour on their own, but they soak up flavour really well. For North China, he suggests miso and/or garlic and/or sesame, and other flavours he mentions for China in general are tamari, rice wine, scallions and ginger.

So we had some beautiful tomatoes, and I was craving Asian food, and I found this recipe for Chinese eggs as made in Beijing. It involves sesame, rice vinegar and scallions, so a pretty good representation of Chinese flavours. I’ve made it three times in the past week, varying the amount of sugar each time (since sugar is mentioned in the recipe but not how much) and I think I’ve got the balance right now.

I would say this feeds two people for brunch, possibly with a bit of toast on the side. One of the best things about this recipe is how quick it is to prepare – I can chop and cook it all in ten minutes.¬†Whatever you do, make sure you go easy on the sesame oil and don’t put in more than a teaspoon – it packs a flavourful punch.



4 free range eggs

1 teaspoon sesame oil

salt and pepper

2 green onions (scallions)

olive oil

2 tomatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon cornstarch (corn flour)

Chinese eggs
Rapidly disappearing Chinese eggs.


1. Chop the green onions (a.k.a. scallions), throwing the bits from the white part of the onion into a bowl, along with four eggs, sesame oil and salt and pepper, and beat the mixture. Reserve the green bits for later.

2. Heat around 2 Tbsp oil in the pan, fry eggs 2 minutes.

3. While frying eggs, dice tomatoes.

4. Pull out eggs from pan, put in another 2 Tbsp oil, add tomatoes, rice vinegar, and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes.

5. Put eggs back in pan, add green bits of green onion, mix 1 tsp corn flour (a.k.a. cornstarch) with 1 tsp water in a bowl, add to pan.

6. Enjoy!



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