This is one of my favourite dishes at my favourite Hangzhou-style restaurant Grandma’s Home (外婆家). Adding the stones makes the eggs very fluffy and basting the top of the eggs ensures they cook all the way through without becoming dry and shrivelled. Chinese chives (jiǔcài, 韭菜) are best enjoyed in an omelet or barbecued on a seeker as a vegetarian kebab. Easy to find in supermarkets and at markets in China, and easy to sprout and grow at home, flavoursome and cheap, their taste is somewhere between the aromatic garlic and the spring onion.
You will need two stones (cleaned well, from the garden is fine) and also a cast iron dish (as pictured) for best results. This dish serves 2.
Extra-virgin coconut oil, 100ml
Chinese chives, 1 large bunche
Sea salt, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste
1. Beat the eggs for a few minutes to ensure they are frothy, I use chopsticks to do this.
2. Finely chop the Chinese chives and set aside.
3. On a low-heat, add the two stones to the cast iron pan with the coconut oil and heat for a few minutes or until very hot.
4. Add the Chinese chives, sea salt and ground white pepper and stir well for a few more minutes.
5. Pour in the eggs and leave to cook for at least 5 minutes, using the coconut oil to baste the top of the eggs and cook gently. Serve very hot with sautéed leafy green vegetables.
Add a sprinkle of red chilli flakes or chilli oil if you wish. Some people add the delicious yellow rice wine (huángjiǔ, 黄酒), you could also try adding that for some flavour instead of chilli.