The last time I visited home, my dad and I set about to cook some traditional Chinese dishes together. The central theme of the dinner was seafood and using up all the leftover egg whites I had from the making Hollandaise sauce earlier for brunch. We decided to cook a simple Fish Fillet with Broccoli Stir Fry, as well as a slightly fancier Scrambled Egg Whites with Crab Meat.
To me, “fancy” Chinese dishes are the ones you normally see during Chinese banquets at restaurants that have red silk curtains, ornate chandeliers, and golden dragons on the wall. Typically these dishes involve at least 3 different cooking methods and are just more work than I would like to do at home. Honey Walnut Prawns and Chicken Chow Mein fall under this category as well (ok, so basically I think anything that requires frying is a lot of work). In this crab dish, the proper preparation includes 3 different cooking methods: 1) blanching the crab, 2) frying the rice noodles, and 3) stir-frying the egg whites with mushrooms, corn and crab meat. I cheated a bit and just used canned crab meat, but obviously freshly shelled crab would be optimal. The Chinese name for this dish is 大良炒牛奶 (Da Liang Chao Niu Nai). 大良 (Da Liang) is the name of the city in Guangdong, China that dish is known for and 牛奶 (niu nai) is milk.
The recipe calls for rice noodles, although thinner rice sticks I think work just as well. If anything, I prefer thinner rice sticks as they are much more delicate and crispier. This dish needs to be served immediately otherwise the fried rice noodles will get soggy.
Scrambled Egg Whites with Crab Meat 大良炒牛奶 (recipe from Pei Mei’s Chinese Cook Book Volume III)
- 6 egg whites
- 1 C milk
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 C vegetable oil for frying
- 3 T crab meat
- 6 mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 2 T corn (golden)
- 6 T vegetable oil for stir frying (I would cut this in half)
- 1 T ham, chopped (Spam aka the “Chinese ham” works)
- 1 1/4 oz rice noodles (or vermicelli)
In a large wok, heat the 3 C of oil until very hot and deep fry the rice noodles for 3 seconds. Try not to put it all in at once or not all will puff up evenly. Depending on the size of your pot, work in batches.
Remove quickly and drain. Place the noodles on a large serving platter and smash into small bite-sized sticks. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with milk, cornstarch, crab meat, sliced mushrooms, golden corn and salt. Mix well.
Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet on high. Pour in the egg white mixture and stir-fry quickly over moderate heat until the egg whites become thick.
Remove cooked mixture from heat and pour on top of the rice noodles. Sprinkle shredded ham (or Spam) on top and serve hot.