Egg Foo Young Recipe (2024)

By Kay Chun

Updated Jan. 25, 2024

Egg Foo Young Recipe (1)

Total Time
40 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Read community notes

These puffy fried egg omelets, which were created in the 1900s by Cantonese immigrant restaurateurs for American palates, are stuffed with meat and vegetables and smothered in a savory gravy. Typically deep-fried in woks to create the fluffy texture, shallow frying at home in a cast-iron skillet produces similar results; the high heat expands the eggs with steam, creating air pockets and crispy nooks during frying. A terrific way to use up leftovers, typical fillings include shrimp, ground pork or diced cooked ham and veggies such as mung bean sprouts, onions, carrots or scallions. Serve with cooked rice and steamed broccoli or green beans.

Learn: How to Make an Omelet

Learn: How to Cook Eggs

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Yield:4 servings

    For the Gravy

    • 1tablespoon neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola)
    • 1tablespoon minced garlic
    • cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 2tablespoons oyster sauce
    • 1tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2tablespoons cornstarch
    • ½teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • Kosher salt and black pepper

    For the Omelets

    • Neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola), for shallow frying
    • 6large eggs
    • 6ounces medium cleaned shrimp, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped
    • cups (3 ounces) mung bean sprouts (or any combination of shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, finely chopped onions and thinly sliced scallions)
    • ¼cup finely chopped scallions, plus more for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

260 calories; 16 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 21 grams protein; 609 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Egg Foo Young Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Make the gravy: In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-low. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the broth in a small bowl; add the remaining broth to the pan. Add oyster sauce and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the sauce reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add cornstarch to the reserved broth and whisk until smooth, then add to the sauce. Cook, stirring, until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 1 minute longer. Stir in sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

  3. Step


    Make the omelets: In a large (12-inch) cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat ⅓ inch of oil over medium-high until an instant-read thermometer registers 325 to 350 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes. (The oil should be shimmering and a drop of the egg mixture in the oil should sizzle immediately.)

  4. Step


    When the oil is almost ready, combine eggs, shrimp, mung bean sprouts and scallions in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using a fork, break the egg yolks and fold the mixture just until well incorporated. (Don’t overbeat or the eggs will spread too much during frying.)

  5. Step


    Using half of the batter, add 2 ladlefuls of the egg mixture to the oil to form 2 omelets. (They will bubble immediately.) Cook, basting the top with the hot oil, until golden underneath and just set, about 2 minutes. Flip, using tongs or a spatula and fork, and cook, basting with the oil, until golden on the second side and cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture to form 2 more omelets.

  6. Step


    Arrange the omelets on plates and top with some of the gravy. Garnish with scallions and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.



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Cooking Notes

Carol Solomon

years ago, in ,,,,Cleveland there was a Chinese restaurant named Ho Wah. They made a great egg foo young but it had an awesome gravy. It was dark brown and thick. Most gravies in recipes I have looked at are for a lite not thick gravy. Any one know or remember this gravy?

NM Cheryl

Should the shrimp be cooked prior to adding them to the egg mixture?


I made this for supper last night and it turned out beautifully. I was flying solo so I cut the recipe in half and added finely chopped onions and very thinly sliced mushrooms which I sauteed first then added them to the mix. I should have made a the full recipe of gravy because it was that good. I will definitely be making this again!


Recipe calls for “cleaned shrimp”, which means raw shrimp, and does not specify to cook the shrimp before mixing with eggs. The chopped raw shrimp cooks at the same time as the eggs.


When I think that I can't absorb any more sections of the NYT's, another one grabs my daily attention. Thank you for another dish to add to the rotation.


I would say no. Because it is cut so small the three minutes of cooking time in the batter will be enough time to cook it without making it overcooked and chewy.


I often also add thinly sliced onion and a few dried shiitakes to the egg mix. Also, you can keep the individual omelets warm in a warming oven until they are all finished.


Carol Solomon- I remember Ho Wah. Great Egg Foo Young. I think this gravy should be pretty close to what they served us there.


I own a cookbook by Craig Claiborne? of the NYTimes from gosh, 1980? and this is basically the same recipe. It's a favorite and have made it countless times; so much the page has a ton of spills on it. Always a sign of a good recipe. A combo of crispy fried bacon, cooked shrimp, and scallion is a favorite.

Brian T.

Really appreciate this, particularly for the gravy recipe, and I can't wait to make it. Back in the '80s the Better Homes cookbook had a delicious, easy Egg Foo Young recipe with a marvelous rich and savory gravy but for some inexplicable reason it was dropped from later editions. Check out The Woks of Life website if this inspires you to make your favorite take-out dishes at home; and you might also enjoy Take Away, a moving book by Angel Hui about growing up in a Chinese restaurant family.


How would you make this if you wanted to try the deep-fry wok method?


To NM Cheryl: Yes, cook the shrimp but make sure not to over cook as shrimp will cook a bit more when added to the eggs.


Made this tonight, exactly as indicated. Wonderfully delicious, and I am an "order in Egg Foo Young" kinda guy. This is better than that. PS no need to cook the shrimp first. This was very very good.


This is the best of the Egg Foo Young recipes I have. Wonderful! Raw shrimp cooks fine; if it was precooked it would be rubbery in the final dish. This will be part of our regular rotation.

John Golden

I made this last night and it was delicious. What’s more it’s pretty easy to assemble. I had to read the recipe many times to understand the process. I used leftover pork roast that I ground up in the food processor. Essentially it’s a great way to use up leftover meats.

gravy tip

This was fluffy and delicious! My gravy came out very gelatinous. Maybe too much cornstarch or else from the homemade chicken stock. Tasty but might try to alter next time.


Best recipe for this meal. Please use low-sodium soy sauce I used the regular. I can eat the omelet with no sauce

Lynne O.

Although I has numerous issues with the recipe, the flavor and texture are wonderful, and I'll definitely make this again, with some adjustments. There is too much sauce and it is too thick for my taste. I used a medium sized nonstick skillet and wasn't able to form patties - the eggs spread out and I ended up with a large, thin frittata-like patty. I just cut it into 4 wedges.


Many years ago I saw this delicious recipe in a copy of the Australian booklet series "Company's Coming". I lost my copy and have been trying to find it ever since!Thanks so much!


Awesome recipe. Used all vegetables and turned great.


Hate to say it but I have a huge soup ladle and a very small gravy ladle - what is a ladle full? I know we can learn to riff, but the first time I make, I'd like to be close to the mark. Turned out yummy as written but the first batch was too big (big ladle ) and the second., too small.


Delicious! I added enoki mushrooms to the omelet. I gotta say the gravy is the star!!!! So yummy!


This is one of my favorites to order. I can't believe I made it and it turned out well. My husband said "lights out". And it was!


Used broccoli slaw from a bag instead of chopping all the veggies. Works great!!


The egg foo young were great, but I made the gravy like my grandmother used to make, with a roux instead of the cornstarch slurry. Delicious!

poppa Gman

Arrrgh!! We have been using the recipe in vegetariana for years. 40? This is my first big flop nyt cooking recipe. Technique did not work for us. Not sure what went wrong. Vegetariana recipe calls for eight eggs so we added an addition a egg after 3 flops

Kathy B

Love egg foo young and made this recipe tonight with shrimp. Also mixed a little Napa cabbage in with the bean sprouts. Added about a 1/4 cup of chopped lightly sautéed onions. I remember the thick gravy that came with my egg foo young years ago - and I like this better. It has more flavor and does not overpower the delicate omelettes. Next time I'll add a bit of Chinese wine or dry sherry for a bit of acid. Keeper!


Excellent recipe - rich and delicious. Next time I will add a little sugar to the eggs and gravy to balance the salt. I will also add a lot more mung beans and chop, blanch, and press the water out of them. It is more work, but I like mung bean forward egg foo young, and I think the texture will be better.

Sara in PA

Great recipe! I omit the shrimp and add a can of chopped water chestnuts for crunch.


I used prepared cole slaw (no dressing) and onions for the vegetables. Substituted mushrooms for the shrimp. Left out the oyster sauce since I didn't have any; just increased the soy sauce a bit. Delicious!

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Egg Foo Young Recipe (2024)


What is the sauce in Egg Foo Young made of? ›

It's served with a Chinese brown sauce which is a simple 4 ingredients sauce that takes just a few minutes to make. Make the Egg Foo Young gravy first: just soy sauce, Oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) OR Mirin*, sesame oil, cornflour/cornstarch for thickening and pepper.

Is Egg Foo Young a healthy choice? ›

Made with minimal oil, a serving of this egg foo young has 197 calories and is a good source of protein and potassium. The majority of egg foo young's calories are from protein and fat; however the saturated fat content in this dish is minimal. Of the 10 grams of fat, only 2 grams are from saturated fat.

Why is Egg Foo Young so good? ›

Egg foo young is more than just an omelet

Well, it's basically a pancake, fried fritter, and omelet all in one. The secret to good egg foo young is how well the ingredients are mixed. Done right, it becomes fluffy and delicious.

What is the difference between omelet and Foo Yung? ›

Egg foo yung is often likened to a Western-style omelette, but this classic Cantonese dish is so much more! The most important difference between a regular egg omelette and authentic egg foo yung is the filling.

What is the brown sauce in Chinese food called? ›

There are many Chinese sauces that are brown just a few most common, soy sause, oyster sauce, sweet bean, Hoisin

What sauce gives Chinese food its flavor? ›

Soy Sauce (Light and Dark)

Although most Western supermarkets carry the condiment labeled "soy sauce," there are actually many types of soy sauce used in China and Japan, generally divided into light and dark varieties. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier than dark.

What is the healthiest Chinese food to get? ›

13 Healthiest Chinese Food Takeout Options
  1. Steamed dumplings. Dumplings offered at a Chinese restaurant are pockets of dough filled with seasoned meat and vegetables, usually pork and cabbage. ...
  2. Hot and sour soup or egg drop soup. ...
  3. Moo goo gai pan. ...
  4. Beef and broccoli. ...
  5. Chop suey. ...
  6. Chicken and broccoli. ...
  7. Baked salmon. ...
  8. Happy family.

What is the healthiest Chinese food item? ›

14 Healthiest Chinese Food Dishes, According to Registered...
  1. Steamed fish or seafood with ginger, scallions and soy sauce. ...
  2. Stuffed green peppers with shrimp. ...
  3. Tofu and broccoli stir fry. ...
  4. Chicken with green peppers. ...
  5. Chicken with garlic sauce. ...
  6. Moo goo gai pan. ...
  7. Steamed buns or dumplings. ...
  8. Rainbow stir fry.
Aug 31, 2022

What is the least healthiest Chinese food? ›

Worst: General Tso's Chicken

One order clocks in at around 1,500 calories and 88 grams of fat, and it delivers more sodium than you should get in a day. Other fried dishes to watch out for: sesame, orange, and sweet and sour chicken.

What does Foo Yung mean in Chinese? ›

Word History

Etymology. Chinese (Guangdong) fùh yùhng egg white, egg-coated ingredients, literally, a kind of hibiscus. 1917, in the meaning defined above. The first known use of egg foo yong was in 1917.

Is egg foo yung an omelette? ›

Egg foo young (Chinese: 芙蓉蛋; pinyin: fúróngdàn; Jyutping: fu4 'jung4 daan6*2, also spelled egg fooyung, egg foo yong, egg foo yung, or egg fu yung) is an omelette dish found in Chinese cuisine. The name comes from the Cantonese language.

Why do Chinese people like boiled eggs? ›

They are a convenient and an affordable source of protein. Chinese consider hard-boiled eggs to be a symbol of good luck.

Why is it called a Denver omelette? ›

Historians have speculated that the dish was originally served on bread as a sandwich, created by 19th-century cattle drivers in the American West or by Chinese railroad cooks as a sort of transportable egg foo yong. At some point a breadless version was developed, and it became known as the Denver (or western) omelet.

What is Chinese gravy made from? ›

Chicken Broth Version: Combine 1 cup chicken broth (or chicken stock), 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or potato starch) in a saucepan. Mix evenly and make sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil and keep stirring during cooking.

Is Chinese brown sauce healthy? ›

Not usually counted as a significant source of nutrition, Chinese brown sauce contains only a few calories and only minor amounts of important vitamins and minerals. The sauce can also contain high quantities of dietary sodium.

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