Yield
Serves 4 to 6

As Cantonese carry-outs have disappeared, this historic Chinese-American recipe has become something of an endangered culinary species — someday, you may have no choice but to make it yourself.

For the sauce and garnish:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons of the stock to form a slurry
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

For the omelets:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 6 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped, and squeezed dry
  • 1/3 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. First make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the stock, sugar, soy sauce, sherry, and oyster sauce and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, garlic, and ginger. Bring the sauce back to a simmer and cook until it thickens. At this point, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, return it to the pot, and keep warm.

2. Make the omelets. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and cornstarch together until homogenous. Add in all of the remaining ingredients except the vegetable oil, and mix well to combine. Heat half of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

3. When the oil is hot, use a ladle or measuring cup to pour 1/3-cup amounts of the mixture into the pan. Fry the omelets in batches, flipping once, until they are puffed and brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for each side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep cooking in batches until all of the mixture is used up, replenishing the oil in the pan halfway through. Serve the omelets over rice with the sauce poured on top and thinly sliced scallions sprinkled over everything.

Excepted from New York in a Dozen Dishes, © 2015 by Robert Sietsema. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.