Even though this dish is called “fish-fragrant” there is no fish in this dish at all. There is a story about this dish. A long time ago in Sichuan there was a family who were really serious when it came to cooking fish. They would use ginger, spring onion, garlic, mince, doubanjiang (chili bean sauce) and other ingredients to cook their fish with. They loved their fish!
One day the lady was cooking and she didn’t want to waste any leftovers from the dish she cooked so she used the ingredients to cook another dish. She was however extremely worried that it wouldn’t taste nice and her husband wouldn’t like it.
So when her husband came home, she was thinking about how she would explain the dish to her husband. Her husband was so hungry from work he didn’t wait for dinner to start, nor did he ask what the dish was, and he took a few bites. He said to his wife “This dish is the most delicious dish I have ever had in my life, how did you make it” She told him how she cooked it and they gave the dish the name “fish-fragrant-fry (魚香炒)”. This is where the name “fish-fragrant” comes from.
Nowadays people have invented many different dishes to accompany the “fish-fragrant” title/flavour, including fish-fragrant tofu, fish-fragrant eggplant, fish-fragrant omelette, fish-fragrant julienned pork and many more.
If you have any fish-fragrant mince sauce left over, then you can also mix this sauce with some cold noodles and it’s absolutely delicious.
This fish-fragrant omelette is a quick and easy home-cooking style dish. All the ingredients are very easy to get hold of and you should be able to purchase wood ears from most Chinese/Asian supermarkets. But if you can’t get hold of these you can cook this dish without but you may want to reduce the amount of soy sauce used.
Also once the wood ears have rehydrated and softened, before you julienne them please use your hand to tear them into small pieces and remove any tough ends. You’ll see what I mean when you handle them.
For the eggs, you can fry them line a pancake or you roll it like a proper French omelette. This is entirely up to you but one thing I would recommend is don’t over cook the egg. I like to keep the eggs in this dish very soft, tender and still a little bit runny in the middle. For me at least this tastes much better.
I hope you enjoy this dish and would love to hear your feedback.
Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette
Recipe for a delicious Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette. This classic Chinese dish is quick to make and really delicious. One of my favourite omelette dishes
- 280 g pork mince (or beef mince)
- 1 spring onion (chop finely)
- 1 chili (remove seeds and chop finely)
- 2 cloves garlic (mince them)
- 3 thin slices ginger (mince them)
- 20 g wood ears (this weight is before they are soaked in water)
- 6 large eggs (beaten)
Seasonings for Eggs
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp demerara sugar
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp Doubanjiang (also known as chili bean sauce)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine or Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp demerara sugar
- 180 ml water
- 1 tbsp potato starch water (you can also use cornflour to replace potato starch. Use 1 tablespoon of water mixed with 1 teaspoon potato starch or cornflour. )
- 2 spring onion (julienne them)
- Some coriander leaves
Soak the wood ears in 1-2 cups of cold water to rehydrate and soften. This usually takes 2 to 3 hours but you can use hot water if you’re in a rush. This will reduce the time to only 20-30 minutes.
Removed any hard “knots” of soften wood ears and julienne them.
Beat the eggs with all the seasonings. Leave aside.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and stir-fry the spring onion, chilli, garlic and ginger until aromatic.
Add the Doubanjiang into step 3 and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds.
Add mince into step 4 and stir-fry until the mince is cooked.
Add the wood ears into step 5 and stir-fry for further 30 seconds.
Add all the seasonings apart from the potato starch water. Turn the fire to medium low and bring it to a boil first then cook for further 3-4 minutes.
Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan or skillet while the mince and sauce is cooking.
Add the beaten eggs into step 9 and make it into omelette. Once cooked place on a serving plate.
Mixed the potato starch water before gently stirring the potato starch water into the mince sauce (step 8). You will see the remaining sauce start to thicken, then turn off the stove and pour this sauce on to the omelette.
Garnish with spring onion and omelette. Serve with cooked rice.