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What Is Shrimp Egg Foo Young?

By Emily Pate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Shrimp egg foo young is a Chinese American dish consisting of an omelet featuring this shellfish, typically also served with a medley of vegetables. Shrimp are a common food source providing several nutrients and few calories, though pollution and allergies are issues with their consumption. They must be carefully prepared and cooked before being added into the omelet, which is usually served with a gravy or sauce. Cooking the dish requires a small amount of prep work, including vegetable chopping and gravy preparation.

While traditional egg foo young uses diced ham, the shrimp version features these cooked shellfish. Other common ingredients include fresh vegetables, in addition to bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and diced cabbage as well as water chestnut and onion. In addition to shrimp egg foo young, variations of the dish are also served with pork, chicken, or beef, and occasionally, lobster.

Preparation for making shrimp egg foo young requires chopping all vegetables and preparing the gravy ahead of time. The latter is made by mixing the liquids with a small amount of cornstarch and simmering it for two minutes, before removing it from the heat. A whole egg is scrambled and poured into a skillet or griddle on low heat. The chef may have to manipulate the batter in order to achieve a large, flat, and round disk. As the egg solidifies, fresh chopped and minced vegetables are added, and the omelet is folded during the last seconds of cooking to meld the ingredients together.

Several signature spices and flavors may be found in shrimp egg foo young. In most of the United States, a gravy made from soy, oyster, or sweet and sour sauce is often served with the dish. Vinegar and ketchup may also be incorporated into the topping.

Shrimp are swimming crustaceans commonly consumed by humans, fish, and animals alike. They are high in calcium and protein and low-calorie, and are considered to be a low-fat alternative to richer meats. They are tolerant to pollution, so absorption of toxic chemicals by their predators is sometimes an issue. They're also a common allergen for humans, so those consuming this dish should be careful if they have had prior reactions to shrimp.

The shellfish have a leathery shell that must be removed before eating, and are also usually deveined. For a dish like shrimp egg foo young, the tails are removed beforehand. Rather than being butterflied, shrimp are diced or chopped into small pieces for this meal. They must be pre-cooked before being incorporated into egg foo young to prevent food contamination.

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Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On Mar 13, 2014

When we ate at the Chinese restaurant when I was a little kid, my sister always ordered shrimp egg foo young. I always got beef chop suey. Adventurous, weren't we?

It actually took some time for me to like egg foo young, but I do like it now, and shrimp is always good in it.

At some point in the future, I'd like to try to make egg foo young, but until I get the courage to do it, I'll get it from my favorite Chinese restaurant.

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