So fine…

This is a simple Chinese dish which, I suppose, everyone would have cooked sometime or other…

Long bean omelette 1

When I was growing up, I used to help my mother in the kitchen and I was asked to do all the cutting, peeling, slicing, chopping, pounding – you name it, I had to do it…but I never ever got to cook. My mother would do that herself and to the most, she would ask me to keep an eye on what she was cooking to make sure it did not overflow…and perhaps to stir it occasionally. But whatever that I had to do for her, I would have to do it properly – the way she would like it and not in any way I liked. If I had to slice or chop anything, it would have to be really fine.

That is why even today, whenever I cut long beans for the above dish…

Long beans

…I will make sure that it is very thinly sliced/cut and not too choe lor (coarse or kasar) and so bay kau kui or tak senonoh (doesn’t look great/not presentable).

I remember in one of the schools where I taught before, we were rather free after the Form 3 students had had their public examination and we would use the Domestic Science Room to cook for everybody to enjoy. There were laksa or popiah parties…and of course, I also chipped in and tried to lend a hand in whichever way I could. Once, I was asked to peel and chop the garlic…


…and when I was done, a female colleague saw what I did and commented, “We usually do not chop till so fine!” Hmmm…I wonder if that was  a compliment or she would prefer it a bit coarse like this so she could bite into the bits when eating and enjoy the garlic taste.

Anyway, to fry this dish, you will have to heat up a bit of oil in the wok and throw in the garlic. Once, it has turned golden brown, add the long beans. Fry till cooked – it will look a bit greener and will be a bit softer, not hard like when it is uncooked. A pinch of salt and msg (or any other kind of seasoning that you may prefer) may be added to enhance the taste…and lastly, spread out the beans evenly and pour in the eggs, beaten…


…so that you may get something like an omelette.

Once the egg is cooked to a nice golden colour, dish it out and serve…

Long bean omelette 2

Unfortunately, it did not turn out too well that day – the egg did not come out in one nice big piece but it was no big matter, really. The most important thing was that it tasted really great!

So? Is that how you usually cook this as well? Come, tell me all about it!

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40 thoughts on “So fine…

  1. ooo, this is a dish that my aunts used to make too. i never helped them with it though, so i’m not sure i could make it myself. i think it’s great that you can chop garlic that fine. it shows your knife skills are sharp, right? :D

    Your aunts? From Malacca? Bet they’re nyonyas – sure will be very fussy about cooking preparation and presentation one. This garlic in the photograph is not really fine – I can do it really, really fine – I like to use a chopper for that…but not till pulp form like pounded.

  2. Same same! Sometimes I cook french beans the same way also esp if they r not so ‘young’…..

    Yes, slice thinly and you will not feel it is that old.

  3. I like them this way, simple but delicious and comforting. :)

    Me too. But I also like long beans fried with sambal hay bee too or just boil and eat ulam-style with sambal belacan.

  4. Yeah, a classic! :)

    I think I learned how to cook steamed egg (the Foochow version without minced pork at the bottom – just beaten egg and water) first though.

    I prefer coarse garlic too – it doesn’t do much to the breath but it tastes sooo much nicer! :D

    Ahhhh!!! You can cook steamed egg! My mum used to cook that with soy sauce minus the minced meat and stuff and I loved that a lot. I’ve tried a long time ago but did not get it quite right – probably the wrong proportions in the water and egg combination – not like a darker shade of tofu fua at all. :(

    • Yeah, I cooked that as a little kid (less than 9 years old for sure) coz I love that dish and my mom told me to make it myself if I wanted to eat it.

      I didn’t like the minced meat as a kid though, so I always cooked the egg version.

      I know I was less than 9 coz I was cooking sausages, bangers, eggs, burgers by then (not sure if my mom told you of my kitchen exploits, which she had to clean up). Haha!

      Yeah, there’s a certain ratio of water to egg, I just estimated it from watching my mom though. :)

      Ya, I didn’t like the one with minced meat either – with soy sauce…even today, not too fond of it and the problem is my missus cooks it very frequently. HUGE bowl that will last for days!!! :(

  5. My mother were just like your mother. She always taught me to chop cut and chop veggie finely. Must be the same size everything. Otherwise, people will ‘tercekik’, she told me. I used to complain before, but now whenever I saw people chop or cut veggie like ‘hentam saja lah’ I don’t really like it. Thanks to our mothers’ taught for being fussy in the kitchen.

    By the way, the omelette looks good to me. Sometimes I add in salted egg and fried them together. ;-)

    Hmmm…must be the usual kampung-style upbringing. :) Ya, would be nice – the 3-egg combo…add salted egg and century egg.

  6. Yes, my mum cooked this occasionally too. But I do not think her chopping is as fine as you. Sometimes, my mum will add some chilies to spice up the entire dish.

    Hah!! Your mum’s not nyonya, is she? ;) Yup, chilies would be nice… I was sticking to the basics, otherwise I would have used cincaluk instead of salt. Will surely bring the taste to a whole new level.

    • Haha…No she is not. It’s just my dad’s preference of spicy food, so occasionally she will put some chilies on the foods.

      You’re from Ipoh or where originally. Like Claire’s from Ipoh – she would not go for anything spicy…unlike Penang people – the spicier the better!

  7. I often think the simple delicious are the most delicious!

    Precisely. These days, people are going for the original, natural fresh taste – minimal ingredients so as not to drown that out. The Foochows had it right all along with their what people used to call bland or tasteless cuisine.

  8. Arthur, your slicing is very good! Gee, I must improve :) I usually do this when I make fried rice with long beans. And the way I mince garlic would depend on the dish. For fried rice and omelettes it will be finely minced (but not as fine as yours sobs!) and for vegetables it would be chunkier. I must try your dish. It is simple and good!

    That’s not really fine. The long beans could have been better and I thought the garlic was quite kasar. For fried rice and noodles these days, I would slice the garlic – everything else, it will have to be fine like this. In the past, all chopped fine, never mind what. You’ve never cooked this before? Hmmm…go ahead and try. Very nice.

  9. hahaha, i was actually wondering what that is by “scrutinizing” at the first photo.. and yep, i was right, eggs with long beans!! haha.. oh yeah, i do love this (though i prefer more egg than the beans) as much as i love the one with “chai poh”..

    Not really a fan of chai poh…and fresh is anytime better than preserved, I would think.

  10. Yes, long bean omelette’s my favourite too. But my cutting skills are no way compared to yours,…too choe lor..

    You did not have a mother like mine. Hehehehehe!!!! ;)

  11. If you ask me to cook it, sure turn out super ugly…

    Never too late to learn, will surely improve in time… ;)

  12. It has been years since I last ate this favourite dish. My mum cooked them for me as I never saw restaurants here serving this dish. Maybe too cheap for them to make profits.

    You definitely have a pair of chef’s hands and taste. Look at all the fine chopping and slicing you could do! Shame on most men ~ like me, who are have no culinary skills. We only know how to eat.

    You may get this at those chap fan places, those economical rice stalls …but those that I’ve seen here – they do not even look nice, not need to say anything about the taste.

  13. Oh i love this dish!! I also like to add some julienned red chilies to give the extra kick! One of my favorite dishes ! :P

    Yes, chilies would be nice…but I’m sticking to the original recipe. Foochows in the past don’t eat spicy stuff, not even a bit…

  14. Aha…aha….that’s the way I do it. One of my favourite. Easy and simple to cook and taste superb. Just have it yesterday.Sometimes I used French beans too.

    French beans, I do it differently – just fry with egg…not like frying omelette.

  15. Woooaaahh.. you really cut till very fine lor.. I’m ashamed to say this.. I don’t cook for my family and I don’t know how to cook.. cos Mama, being a Mama.. will prepare food for us and we’re served with food when we reached home. I’m a lucky girl i know..

    No worries, you’re not alone, I’m sure. Many young girls today can’t cook…or are not into cooking. Some may be forced to do it their own way when they leave home and in most cases, they will tell you it’s fine – as long as it’s edible and tastes all right. I’m glad I had the “training” when young.

  16. You are right.. the sliced kacang panjang should be finer.. Lol! My late mom will ketuk your kepala and say, ‘ chit punya khaseh ( kasar ). Tercekik tembolok orang’. She would always say that if the presentation is senonoh, half the battle is already won. Tak sedap pun orang cakap sedap sebab cantik :)

    Yes, I would say half of those slices in the photograph would be just right…and the garlic, could do with a bit more chopping – more halus. Nyonya standard, a lot higher, I know!!! Looking for menantu, also very high or else, cannot pass. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  17. wow….thinly cut long beans. impressive!
    “the egg did not come out in one nice big piece ” <— because the amount of long beans were too much.

    I guess so…but it was supposed to be a vegetable dish so I did not want to put too much egg. Might have been possible if I had used a non-stick pan instead of a wok. Will try that next time.

  18. Yum yum I love making this dish too – simple and nice! But my beans are not as thinly sliced as yours.. hehe.. the good thing with yours is that they will cook much faster though. Instead of using salt, I usually mix the egg with soy sauce before pouring it into the pan. :)

    I wouldn’t want to add soy sauce – will spoil the green colour. Fish sauce perhaps.

  19. My mom cook this quite often, I tried it once, but it turns out doesn’t have a good look too!!! =[

    Try again. When I first started cooking, I had some disasters myself – some not even edible…so I just quietly threw them away. :P Once you get the feel of it, you can’t go wrong.

  20. this is nice, another my favourite too, i don’t think my mil they cook this way, but when i see it at mixed rice stall, i will take this. But i like your colour, got green and red, look very nice!

    Of course lah! If I cook, sure special one… Hehehehehe!!!! Red? I think that would be the seeds…and the fried garlic, no chili red as I did not add any.

  21. I tried fried French beans with eggs like what you shared on last two weeks. This is another simple dish that I would like to try one of these weekends. Thanks STP for sharing this.

    Hope you like the french beans. Yup, go ahead and try… If you like the french beans, you’d like this one too. Let’s see what other simple recipes I can share… Stick around.

  22. Hi Arthur! Yes, that’s the exact same way I cook this dish except that (i) I do not use MSG!; (ii) my eggs to beans ratio is higher.

    Classic comfort food to go with porridge/rice!

    Ah!!! Healthy eating. I just add a pinch, not like the people at the shops outside – I’ve seen them scooping by the ladle when cooking a dish! Shocking! Places that refuse to reduce, I would just stop going altogether.

  23. mine has no garlic and more egg… your version looks exactly like my mother-in-law one… :)

    both version I still like very much!

    Oooo….the garlic will enhance the taste – so much nicer! My missus uses Bombay onions – not crazy about the taste, different! :(

  24. All time favourite, but we use shallots instead of garlic. Food of the Gods!! …that and mani chye with eggs, red wine mee suah, kampua and pian sip, ayam tempra get the drift. The list is endless!!

    I prefer garlic but shallots would be good too or both…but not Bombay onions – my missus uses that – get put off by the taste. Ya…red wine mee sua coming up – just a couple of posts away. LOL!!! :D

  25. what a simple and spicy looking dish! i love spicy dishes and i would love to try that too

    Nope, not spicy at all, typical Chinese dish – the red bits would be the fried garlic, I think…fried till golden brown.

  26. I dont usually chop my garlic so finely but after my mum commented few weeks ago, I started to mince my garlic finely. Like you, I did not get the chance to cook and prepare the ingredients when I was younger but my mum did allow us to watch her cooking in the kitchen. So, I really learn to cook when I was in my 20s. Still a lot to learn from my mum. :0

    I had to help prepare the ingredients – so small then, still in primary school. Glad that I had the chance then – can do most things myself.

  27. My Mom doesn’t trust me with the slicing and chopping, says that either the way I chop the vege is too thick or I’ll accidentally cut myself. She does however asks me to keep an eye out on the stove….

    She used to cook like that when I was younger. All the usual ingredients went in, but I don’t think she added chopped garlic in it…

    Usually either garlic or shallots for the extra fragrance – otherwise, will not be nice. Ya…my missus treats my daughter the same – that’s why she hardly got to learn to do all these things until she left home. These days, sometimes, when the mum’s not at home, she will try and cook something – no one to say a whole lot of things…yak…yak…yak…and eventually take over.

  28. I love this long beans omelette. I normally add in some shallots as well for additional sweetness. Of course when cooking for the hubster, I sometimes add in some lap cheong as well.

    I admire your cutting skills! Such fine slices!

    Ahhhh!!!! Lap cheong! Great idea! Will do that next time. I thought of frying some shallots to add to the egg…but in the end, I decided to just stick to the recipe at its simplest – did not add anything extra in the end.

  29. I am yet to encounter this kind of this dish in my country. What we have here is the bitter gourd cooked the way you posted here.

    Oh? That would be nice too, I guess.

  30. nice…just fry with eggs. Hmmm….chop fine also good coz can see if got any worms

    Long beans, never saw any worms leh? French beans, usually…

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