Egg Foo Yong has a deliciously confused identity. It’s not quite an omelet, almost a pancake, and somewhere beyond a fritter. It has become a 100% American dish, although its culinary roots reach back to Shanghai, and its name—with at least six accepted spellings—is Cantonese. Egg foo yong appeared in the first Chinese cookbook for American cooks in 1912 but reached the pinnacle of its popularity after World War II. The country was wild for Tiki culture and egg foo yong became ubiquitous in “Polynesian” and Chinese restaurants across the U.S. I was introduced to egg foo yong on a date with a very cute boy in high school; I was smitten with both.



• 4 large eggs
• 4 ounces grilled chicken thighs (p. 29), diced
• 2 cups steam-sautéed cabbage (p. 33), minced
• 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
• 2 teaspoons of coconut aminos
• 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons coconut oil
• additional scallion tops, for garnish


• 2 tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo (p. 43)
• 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
• 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
• 1/2 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; pinch cayenne pepper

If you’d visited the restaurant New Joy Young in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the 1950s, you could have enjoyed a $3.20 feast of wonton soup, egg foo yong, chow mein, and egg rolls.


1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or fork, then add the diced chicken, cabbage, scallions, coconut aminos, five-spice powder, cayenne, and sesame oil. Blend well.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add coconut oil and allow it to melt. Place pancake rings in the skillet, and pour 1/4 cup batter into each ring. Cook for 5 minutes, remove the rings, and flip the patties to brown the other side. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove them to the baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep them hot while you make the rest of the patties.

4. To make the spicy secret sauce, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and use a fork to mix until blended.

5. To serve egg foo yong, stack the patties on a plate, top with a dollop of spicy secret sauce, and sprinkle with sliced scallion tops.