This easy recipe is a lifesaver on busy weeknights. It’s affordable, delicious, and so quick to make.
If you have tomatoes and eggs, you can make Chinese tomato egg stir-fry. I suggest a few substitutes and hacks in the post. So, keep reading, or jump straight to the recipe card to get cooking.
Just make sure to prep your ingredients properly before you heat the wok. Once your wok is hot, things happen quickly.
Why you’ll love this recipe
This Chinese recipe is ridiculously easy. But there are even more reasons to make this tasty Chinese one-pot wonder tonight.
It takes less than 10 minutes to cook
Once your wok is piping hot and your ingredients processed, the stir-fry only needs a few minutes to cook.
Pair it with steamed rice, and you can have a wholesome meal on the table in under 30 minutes. Or break with tradition and serve it with a soft bread roll any time of the day.
You only need a few basic ingredients
Ripe tomatoes and good-quality eggs are the only essential ingredients. You can swap and change the alliums and the seasoning to fit your pantry and preference.
It is utterly delicious
I will never post a recipe for a dish I don’t love. But I’m a bit obsessed with this one.
Countless variations of Chinese-style scrambled eggs in tomato sauce show up as a quick weeknight dinner in my house. And it always turns out comforting, satisfying, and so yummy.
This Chinese stir-fry is the perfect meal for tomato and egg lovers (like me). Scale the stir-fry recipe up to feed a crowd, or scale it down to make stir-fry for one.
These stir-fried tomatoes with soft scrambled eggs quickly became a staple in our house. And I bet it will be in yours too!
Ingredients and substitutes
This easy recipe requires only basic ingredients and comes together in no time. The meal is as comforting as it is easy to make. And you can substitute to your heart’s content.
As always, it pays to use good-quality ingredients in such simple recipes.
Use a neutral-tasting oil, like canola or sunflower, to scramble the eggs and stir-fry the tomatoes. If you have a non-stick skillet, you can use less oil.
For the stir-fried tomato sauce
- Tomatoes: I use Roma tomatoes because they are widely available. But you can use any fresh tomatoes that are perfectly ripe. Leave unripe tomatoes in a sunny spot by a window until they are bright red before using them.
- Spring onions: You can use any allium. Spring onions, green onions (scallions) or garlic chives all work well.
- Garlic: A freshly minced garlic clove gives this simple stir-fry a savoury boost. But you can omit if you don’t have any, or use two cloves if you love garlic. Or add a pinch of garlic powder to your tomato stir-fry sauce for a flavour boost.
- Soy sauce: I use all-purpose soy sauce, but you can use tamari if you need to keep this recipe gluten-free. Or replace the soy sauce with another Asian cooking sauce, like oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce (leave the sugar), or Shaoxing wine.
- Sugar: The sugar is optional, but I like to boost the sweetness of the ripe summer tomatoes. Use maple syrup, brown rice syrup or any sugar alternative you prefer. But don’t skip the sweetener if all you have are lacklustre winter tomatoes. It needs the flavour boost!
- Salt: I use ground desert salt, but you can use sea salt or kosher salt.
For the scrambled eggs
- Eggs: Use the best quality eggs you can buy. I use large pasture-reared eggs with a gorgeous orange yolk.
- Ground white pepper: This pepper powder adds a subtle pepper hum and savoury flavour to the eggs. White pepper is a popular ingredient in Chinese dishes. But you can skip it if you don’t have any. In a pinch, finely ground black pepper works as a substitute.
- Sesame oil: This is another optional ingredient, but I love the nutty flavour of toasted sesame oil with the egg mixture. A little sesame oil adds a lot of flavour.
The cornstarch slurry
You can omit the cornstarch (and sugar) for a whole-food version of the tomato egg stir-fry, but the cornstarch serves two goals in this recipe.
- Adding half of the cornstarch slurry to the eggs keeps them moist during cooking. It means less worrying about overcooked, dried-out scrambled eggs.
- It creates a thickened, glossy tomato sauce that perfectly coats the scrambled eggs.
How to make Chinese tomato egg stir fry
You can find detailed instructions for the saucy egg stir-fry in the recipe card. It is a quick and easy recipe, but being organised is a must. Once the ingredients start going in, things happen quickly.
- Step 1: Prep all your ingredients
- Step 2: Cook the eggs
- Step 3: Make the tomato sauce
- Step 4: Return the eggs and stir-fry
Step 1: Prep your ingredients
Once your wok is hot, things move quickly. So don’t try to chop and measure ingredients as you go. Make sure you have your ingredients measured and cut before you start.
I like to group ingredients depending on where in the recipe they go into the wok.
Grab a few bowls:
- A small bowl for the cornstarch slurry: Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water.
- A medium-sized bowl for the egg mix: Beat four eggs in the bowl, and add half a teaspoon of sesame oil, a quarter teaspoon of white pepper, a pinch of salt, and two teaspoons of cornstarch slurry (it helps to keep the eggs moist). Whisk it well – there should be no gooey bits of egg white.
- A medium-sized bowl for the stir-fried tomato mixture: Cut each of the four tomatoes into six wedges, then cut each wedge into two chunks. Add tomato chunks, the two chopped spring onions (reserve some green parts on the chopping board) and the minced garlic clove.
- And another small bowl for soy sauce: Add the tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sugar, and half a teaspoon of salt.
Also, keep a quarter cup of water next to your pan. You need to add a splash of water if the tomato stir-fry dries out (when your tomatoes are not juicy).
You can measure your cooking oil as you go. I use a tablespoon for the eggs and a tablespoon for the tomato mix. But you can eye it – add a glug, as Jamie Oliver would say – or omit it if you want (you’ll need a non-stick frying pan though).
Step 2: Cook the eggs
Grab a seasoned wok or large skillet. Warm it over high heat. Once piping hot, add a tablespoon of oil and turn the heat down to medium.
Drop the beaten egg mixture into the shimmering oil and let it sit for a few seconds until the edges puff up.
Use a wooden or rubber spatula and move the loosely set egg around the pan, breaking it up as you scramble. Then slide the almost-cooked eggs back into the used egg bowl and set it aside.
Step 3: Make the stir-fried tomato sauce
Wipe the wok clean and return it to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon of oil.
Add the tomatoes, spring onions and garlic. Stir fry for a minute, then add the soy sauce, sugar, and salt.
Cook for another minute or so until the tomatoes turn saucy. If your pan looks dry, add a splash of water – no more than a quarter cup.
Stir in the remaining cornstarch slurry and cook for another minute. Taste your sauce. It should be savoury, sweet and a bit tart. Add more salt, sugar or soy sauce to taste.
Step 4: Return the eggs and stir-fry
Turn the heat down to medium, and return the cooked eggs to the wok.
Stir-fry together until the eggs are warm all the way through and coated in the chunky tomato sauce.
Sprinkle it with the reserved green spring onions and serve it over white rice.
Make this simple dish your own
I use roughly 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of tomato for every large egg, but you can play around until your sauce-to-egg ratio is to your liking.
According to J. Kenji López-Alt, a secret ingredient for the American Chinese household is a squeeze of ketchup in the stir-fried tomatoes. I rarely have ketchup (or tomato sauce) in the house, so I haven’t tried it, but Kenji has never steered me wrong.
So, the next time you only have a lone tomato and no idea what to make for dinner, make this Chinese tomato egg recipe and add a squeeze of ketchup to boost the tomato flavour (or use tomato paste).
Add finely chopped red chillies or red pepper flakes to your tomato stir-fry for a spicy version.
Swap the soy sauce for another Asian condiment, like oyster sauce or hoisin sauce. Or try a splash of Shaoxing wine.
How to serve stir-fried tomato with eggs
For a bowl of Chinese comfort food at its best (and easiest), serve the stir-fry with fluffy steamed rice. I prefer the juicy tomato egg mix with Jasmine rice. But you can use your favourite.
I use my Instant Pot pressure cooker for long-grain rice (like Jasmine rice), or some days I serve it with short-grain rice (like Instant Pot sushi rice or stovetop sushi rice – without the sushi vinegar).
Or go ahead and break with tradition. Serve these deliciously saucy eggs as brunch with soft milk buns or a chewy baguette.
Chinese Tomato Egg Stir-Fry Recipe
- I use a large wok, but you can use a large skillet or non-stick frying pan.
- A few prep bowls will help you to be more organised.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral oil), divided
- 4 ripe large Roma tomatoes, cut into half wedges*
- 2 spring onions, chopped (reserve some green bits for garnish)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or tamari for gluten-free
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- ¼ cup water, only needed if the pan dries up
- Mix the teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water to make a cornstarch slurry.
- Grab a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the eggs with the ground white pepper, sesame oil, a ¼ teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of the cornstarch slurry. Mix until very well combined.
- Place a seasoned wok or skillet over high heat. Once piping hot, add a tablespoon of oil and turn to medium heat. Drop your egg mixture into the shimmering oil and let it sit for a few seconds until the edges look set. Use a wooden or rubber spatula and move the loosely set egg around the pan, breaking it up as you go. Then slide the almost-cooked eggs back into the used egg bowl and set aside.
- Wipe the wok clean. Then return it to medium-high heat and add another tablespoon of oil.
- Add the tomatoes, spring onions and garlic. Stir fry for a minute, then add the soy sauce, sugar, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for another minute or so until the tomatoes become saucy. If your pan looks dry, add a splash of water – no more than a quarter cup.
- Stir in the remaining cornstarch slurry and cook for another minute. Taste your sauce. It should be savoury, sweet and a bit tart. Add more salt, sugar or soy sauce to taste.
- Turn the heat down to low, and return the cooked eggs to the pan. Stir-fry together until the eggs are warm all the way through and coated in the stir-fried, chunky tomato sauce.
- Serve over steamed white rice, and sprinkle with the reserved green onions.
- I cut each Roma tomato into six wedges and then slice each wedge into two chunks. But you can cut them however you prefer. You can also peel the tomato if the tomato skin bothers you – I don't.
- This recipe serves two adults comfortably for dinner (or brunch). But it effortlessly scales up or down. Use roughly 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of tomato for every large egg and season to taste.
- Have a quarter cup of water ready to add if the pan gets too dry. If your tomatoes are very juicy, you won't need the water.
- See the full post for ingredient substitutes and ingredient prep tips.
MADE THIS RECIPE?
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I love this tomato egg recipe! It’s so easy and quick to make and I already had all the ingredients in the house (except for the spring onions, but finely diced onions worked well and I added some cilantro leaves for garnish).
I’m so happy you enjoyed it! This tomato egg stir-fry is such a versatile recipe. It really is my go-to recipe when I have nothing good in the fridge. You can substitute to your heart’s content. And I love your addition of cilantro leaves.