The “V” Word continues its celebration of VeganMoFo, the month of Vegan food, with the other 25 letters of the alphabet. “X” is for Xi Hong Shi Chao “Jidan.” Gotcha! I bet you thought it was going to be Xanthan Gum or Xtra Spicy something or other. Ha!
Truth be told, I was worried about what I would do for the letter “X” because I did not want to write an entire post dedicated to Xanthan Gum. So I did a little web surfing and found the most incredible dish. Xi Hong Shi Chao Jidan is Chinese Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes (or literally Stir-fried Tomatoes with Eggs). And in the spirit of my Extreme Vegan Makeovers, I said, “Hey, I can veganize that!”
Xi Hong Shi (西红柿)means “tomatoes” and Jidan means “eggs.” Xi Hong Shi Chao Jidan would be pronounced “she hung sure chow gee don.” The dish is also called Fanqie Jidan. It is a traditional Chinese dish that is very popular and easy to make.
Obviously in its Veganized form, the eggs become tofu scramble. Veganizing the recipe was the easy part. The harder part was learning what my cruelty-free version would be called. I needed to learn how to say “Stir-fried Tomatoes with Tofu” in Chinese so I did what anyone would do – I made friends with a professor who teaches Chinese online and asked her.
Professor Jennifer Zhu taught me that 洋葱番茄炒豆腐 (yángcōng fānqié chǎo dòufu) means “Stir-fried Tomatoes with Onions and Tofu.” That was cool but then it didn’t start with an “X.” She said I could also call it Xi Hong Shi Chao Dofu with means “Stir-Fried Tomatoes with Tofu.” Phew! That was much better.
In the end though, I decided to keep the original name but put the eggs in quotation marks like I do when I make tempeh “fish.” This way you know what the dish was originally and what I am Veganizing. Whatever you decide to call it, this is an amazing dish. Delicious tofu scramble mixed with onions and tomatoes, drizzled with toasted sesame oil. A Chinese twist on the usual tofu scramble. This is just as good for dinner as it is for breakfast. I always love meals with that kind of versatility.
All I was doing was trying to find food that started with the letter “X” and I found an old (but new to me) meal that is now going to be one of my favorites. Plus I learned some Chinese and made a new friend. That has to beat Xanthan Gum anyday!
Xi Hong Shi Chao “Jidan”
(Chinese Scrambled “Eggs” with Tomatoes)
1 Tbs. peanut oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. black salt
4 scallions, finely chopped, whites and greens divided
1 medium or large tomato, cut into chunks
Toasted Sesame Oil, for garnish
Heat the oil in a deep skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Break the tofu into chunks and add to the pan. Mix the tofu into the onions and let the tofu cook until it browns a bit, about 5 minutes.
Add the turmeric and the black salt to the pan. Toss the tofu so the spices cover it completely and turn all pieces of the tofu yellow. Pour 1/3 cup water into the pan and mix the tofu well. This helps the spices to distribute more evenly.
Add the scallion whites and the tomatoes to the mixture. Stir and cook until the tomatoes are heated through, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and garnish with the scallion greens. Enjoy!
“X” is for Xi Hong Shi Chao “Jidan.”
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.