Tomato Egg is a beloved and comforting classic in Chinese cuisine, often considered the ultimate home-cooked dish. It's favored for its simplicity, speed in preparation, and delightful taste profile. The dish is integral to the Chinese culinary ethos, offering a sweet and tangy note from ripe tomatoes and scrambled eggs' soft, creamy texture.

Tomato Egg Recipe

If you're a food blogger looking to expand your repertoire of Asian home cooking essentials or a home cook eager to add a new staple to your weekly menu, this definitive guide is for you. From the dish's origins to the fine details of its preparation, this post will ensure you master the art of Tomato Egg to perfection.

The History and Popularity of Tomato Egg

The Tomato Egg recipe is deeply rooted in the history of Chinese folk cuisine, with anecdotal evidence suggesting it may have been born out of the scarcity of resources while still delivering a satisfying and nutritious meal.

In modern times, this humble recipe resonates in the hearts and kitchens of millions. It's a frequent star on home dining tables, capturing the spirit of simplicity and comfort in its cleanness of flavors and heartwarming aroma. Recently, the dish has also gained international popularity, with food bloggers and home cooks around the globe featuring their own interpretations.

Ingredients for the Perfect Tomato Egg

You'll need the following ingredients to create the perfect Tomato Egg dish. These are simple, supermarket-friendly items, and we've included potential substitutes where necessary.

Fresh Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs - which offer the right amount of richness and that creamy texture
  • 4 ripe tomatoes - core to the recipe's freshness and tang, and a source of vibrant color
  • 2-3 green onions (scallions) - for a mild, oniony bite and visual appeal
  • 2 cloves of garlic - for an aromatic and savory note
  • 1-inch piece of ginger - adds a hint of warmth and depth of flavor

Pantry Staples

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce - for umami and a gentle saltiness
  • 1 teaspoon sugar - to balance the acidity of tomatoes and enhance their natural sweetness
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch - this will be used to dust the eggs before cooking, ensuring a silky texture
  • Vegetable oil - for cooking, including both for frying the eggs and stir-frying the tomatoes

Seasoning and Spices

  • Salt and white pepper - for seasoning the eggs and balancing all flavors
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil - for a finishing touch and a delicate nutty flavor, optional but highly recommended
  • A pinch of chicken bouillon powder (optional) - for an extra depth of savory flavor, you can skip this if you prefer a vegetarian dish

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Tomato Egg

Now that you have all the ingredients on hand, it's time to get cooking. Below are clear and concise steps to guide you through the Tomato Egg preparation.


  • Crack the eggs into a bowl, season with salt, white pepper, and a teaspoon of light soy sauce, and beat lightly until the whites and yolks are incorporated.
  • Slice the tomatoes into wedges and the green onions into 1-inch pieces, separating the white and green parts.
  • Mince the garlic, finely chop the ginger, and set them aside.


  1. Fry the Eggs: Heat a wok or a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil, and pour in the beaten eggs. Fold and scramble the eggs until set but still slightly runny. Remove from the wok and set aside on a plate.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: Using the remaining oil, add in the minced garlic and ginger, as well as the white parts of the green onions. Stir-fry until fragrant.
  3. Tomato Galore: Add the tomato wedges into the wok and sprinkle with the sugar. Stir-fry the tomatoes until they release their juices, about 2 minutes, but don't cook them to a mush.
  4. Season and Thicken: Pour in the remaining light soy sauce and sprinkle a bit of salt. If you enjoy the savory taste, a dash of chicken powder can also be added. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a little water to create a slurry. Slowly stir it into the tomato mixture to thicken the sauce slightly.
  5. Merge the Eggs: Once the tomato mixture is ready, gently fold in the scrambled eggs, allowing everything to combine without breaking up the eggs further.
  6. The Homestretch: Finally, drizzle the sesame oil (if using) and add the green parts of the onions. Give it a quick stir, turning off the heat soon after. Ensure that your Tomato Egg is served with a moist, saucy consistency; it should not be overly dry or watery.

Pro Tips for a Perfect Tomato Egg:

  • The tomatoes should be firm but ripe enough to give some juice and flavor. Make sure to season them directly, as this will draw out their natural sweetness and help create a contrast against the eggs and seasonings.
  • Be mindful not to overcook the eggs. In traditional Chinese cuisine, the eggs should be tender and smooth, not overly dry or rubbery. They will continue to cook slightly once combined with the tomatoes.

Serving and Presentation of Tomato Egg

A beautifully plated Tomato Egg dish can be a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Here are some serving and presentation ideas:

Serving Suggestions:

  • Enjoy your Tomato Egg with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice, which will absorb the flavorful sauce beautifully.
  • Pair the Tomato Egg with stir-fried greens or a simple green salad for a nutritious and well-rounded meal.
  • Include steamed buns or Chinese pancakes for a larger spread, perfect for sharing.

Presentation Tips:

  • Ensure the eggs and tomatoes are well-mixed, with the egg slightly coating the tomato slices. This ensures each bite has a perfect amalgamation of flavors.
  • Garnish with some fresh cilantro or more green onion tops for a burst of color and added fragrance.
  • Use a well-chosen serving dish such as a traditional Chinese porcelain platter to highlight the simplicity and elegance of the dish.

Congratulations, you've just become an expert in the art of making Tomato eggs! The charm of this simple, yet delectable dish lies in its versatility and satisfying flavors. You can bring your creative touch to the recipe by adding other ingredients like shrimp, and minced pork, or even keeping it vegetarian with shiitake mushrooms.

We'd love to hear about your experience with cooking Tomato Egg. Share your successes, challenges, and adaptations. And don’t forget to check out the other Chinese cuisine recipes on our site for more culinary inspiration.

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