Many years ago, Henry came up with a quick and easy savory coconut pancake recipe. Feeling competitive inspired, I decided to come up with my own version stuffed with veggies and meat. When my husband tried one of my portable eggy pucks, he exclaimed that they tasted like Egg Foo Young.
I knew that Melissa Joulwan’s awesome site featured a great recipe for Paleo Egg Foo Young, but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really know what egg foo young was actually supposed to taste like. After all, I grew up with the understanding that no self-respecting Chinese person ever orders this dish at an authentic Chinese restaurant.
Henry, on the other hand, grew up in the kitchen of his parents’ Chinese restaurant in the 1970s, which served up all the Westernized dishes that many Americans know so well: pot stickers, chow mein, deep-fried wontons, sweet-and-sour pork. To him, egg foo young was just a childhood favorite.
I didn’t encounter egg foo young until after I met Henry in college, and he took me to visit his family’s restaurant. But as soon as I took my first bite of these savory egg patties, I knew I had to have the recipe.
(By the way, eagle-eyed readers will note that I edited this recipe to reflect the latest version from our cookbook. The recipe I originally posted here back in 2011 was a bit different. If that’s the version you crave, just use 2 teaspoons of Penzeys Sunny Paris seasoning in place of the scallions and cilantro.)
Here are two videos of me making Egg Foo Young-ish in my home kitchen: this video I shot with Chef Pete Evans when I fried him a batch in my home kitchen and this Facebook Live video from the other night.
Ready for the updated recipe?
Makes 10 (4-inch diameter) patties
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or kosher salt, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup diced ham or cooked meat of choice
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ghee or coconut oil for frying
- Large bowl
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Cast iron skillet
- Silicone offset spatula
- Wire rack
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut flour, fish sauce, and apple cider vinegar until smooth.
Mix in the ham, spinach, scallions, cilantro, and baking soda, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Melt a tablespoon of ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Use a large disher (3-tablespoon size) to plop the batter in the pan, and flatten the pancake to ½-inch thick with the back of a spoon. I can comfortably fit 3 pancakes in my 12-inch skillet at a time – don’t overcrowd them!
Fry without disturbing the patties for 2 minutes before flipping the pancakes over and cooking it on the other side for about 1-2 minutes more. The pancakes are cooked through when the centers bounce back when you press down on them with your finger.
Repeat until you’re out of batter. As each pancake finishes cooking, transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Then, plate ’em up and serve!
Like my mini egg frittata muffins, these pancakes can be eaten sans utensils, and are totally adaptable to whatever fillings you have in the kitchen. Remember: there’s no such thing as an “authentic” egg foo young, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Looking for recipes and resources? Head on over to my Recipe Index or my Resources page. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).