I’m just going to say it. I don’t really like gravy. My one exception is biscuits and gravy, but definitely no gravy on mashed potatoes, not on turkey, not on loco moco, and not on egg foo young (or egg foo yong). This is a gravy-free zone. Shoyu (soy sauce) is gravy enough for me on eggs. When I told my husband I was making egg foo young for dinner, he said, “You’re not making gravy, right?” Right. How did he even know it was supposed to have gravy?
Egg foo young is an American-Chinese invention (it’s even in the Merriam-Webster dictionary?!) that somehow made it into our Japanese-American household. It’s pretty much just an omelette without the pressure – no folding and you want it to brown. My grandma made it once in a while when I was growing up — we always had a combo of Japanese and American food going on. It might be sukiyaki one day, spaghetti or chicken and dumplings on another.
Anyway, I remember the egg foo young as one big pancake (I have no idea how she actually flipped it) with water chestnuts and whatever vegetables were around. No meat. I hadn’t thought of it for a long time and I’d never cooked it, and then I saw Foodjimoto’s Egg Foo Young, and I knew it’d be on the menu soon. Just no gravy.
Still close to the recipe, but in the spirit of whatever vegetables were around, I did a combination of: baby bok choy, red onion, red pepper, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, grated carrot, and bean sprouts. Most of them came out round, this just happened to be the last one in the batch, so it was a little bigger and wider.
You really can use pretty much whatever veg you’ve got around, but I think the bean sprouts are key. If you’re in Europe, I’d probably skip them, just given the recent issues. But these little omelettes are a simple way to get an ample serving of vegetables and just like fried rice, it’s good any time of day or night. And if you want gravy, have the gravy.