Fried Egg on Rice

Chinese Comfort Food

By Chinuck | Asia Polka | 13 Apr 2021

I grew up as a Chinese kid in Canada before the "Great Chinese Immigrations" began in the 1990s and was only 1 of 3 Chinese kids in my class. I had seen grilled cheese sandwiches on TV and heard about this mythical magic food sometimes from my classmates, but what I had instead was fried egg on rice.

The "recipe", if you can call it that, is simple: fry an egg, put it on a fresh bowl of steamed rice, and drizzle it with soy sauce. If you want to be really fancy, lightly boil a few leaves of bok choy and place them on the side.

The key to this dish is that the edge of the fried egg must be crispy -- it's the best part! I remember seeing an episode of MasterChef Junior where the kids were tasked with making as many "perfect" fried eggs as they could in an allotted time. In the show's definition of "perfect", the eggs could not have any burned edges. I can tell you that I was absolutely livid. What...the...fluck? Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit and there are more important things to be livid about, but not many and not by much. I'm willing to bet a 2009 BTC that 99% of people would prefer the egg with the crispy edge. Let's move on. This is supposed to be a post about comfort food after all.

The other highlight of this dish is the synergy between soy sauce and egg yolk. The creaminess of the yolk with the saltiness of the soy sauce that has a fermented depth is amazing. Sometimes I like to suck the yolk out at the top, but most of the the time I'll mix the soy sauce and yolk into the rice and enjoy the contrast between the soft warmness of this mixture with the crispy egg edges. And when I'm overwhelmed with all the rich flavours, I'll have some bok choy to wash it down.

Soft Boiled Egg

Food photo created by KamranAydinov -

Another "dish" that uses this synergy is what I used to call "bok bok dan" -- simply a soft boiled egg. "Dan" means egg in Cantonese and "bok bok" is the onomatopoeia for cracking the top of the egg with a spoon. I had so much fun with this part that I used to flip the egg over when I was done eating and crack the other end. Sometimes I got a little overzealous with this and made a bit of a mess, to which my mother reacted with mock (usually) anger.

The way I would eat this is to scoop out just enough of the top of the egg white to expose the soft yolk. Then, add just a few drops of soy sauce inside -- that's all you need. Mix the yolk with the soy sauce and enjoy spoonfuls of delight.

These were things mom made when she didn't have the time or energy to cook, but I never minded. I loved them. And every time I make them for anyone who's never had them before has loved them too and they are amazed at the simplicity. Living in Poland now, I make them once in a while for that little taste of home.

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A Chinese-Canadian expat living in Poland. Filling in the time here blogging about Asian food and culture while waiting for my crypto positions to turn the right way.

Asia Polka
Asia Polka

Asian food and culture from the perspective of a Chinese Canadian expat living in Poland.

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