Easy Vietnamese Scrambled Eggs with Green Onions (Trung Chien Hanh La)
Vietnamese-style scrambled eggs (Trung Chien) is seasoned with fish sauce (the salt of the East), a bit of sugar (an Asian secret of balancing flavor), ground black pepper and optional green onions for color. It is fried to fluffy perfection with either butter or vegetable oil.
Instead of crumbled pieces of fluffy eggs, the Vietnamese-style scrambled egg is usually fried intact with ribbons of cooked eggs. To keep it intact with a beautiful ribbon effect, a thin layer of whipped egg is spread over a hot skillet with few movements during the cooking process. The only movement needed is to push the edges of the egg into the center of the the skillet. Tilt the pan and let the liquid egg slide over into the now empty spaces. Continue doing this until no more liquid egg is left.
I like to turn off the heat and stop the cooking process when the top of the scrambled egg is still slightly wet. The residual heat usually finishes cooking the eggs without burning the bottom.
To make the scrambled eggs fluffy, it’s very important to whisk the eggs into a smooth homogeneous mixture. There should be no clumps of yolk or egg whites whatsoever before cooking. It also helps to whip the eggs with big strokes to incorporate as much air into the eggs as possible.
The American scrambled eggs utilize milk to make it fluffy, but I find that unnecessary.
Below is a very basic Vietnamese scrambled egg recipe. I kept it simple, using minimum ingredients.
You can improve this recipe by heating up garlic and sauteing that in the butter before adding the egg mixture. You can also make it into a full meal by adding more protein and vegetables, like this other fancy egg omelette recipe. In the words of my childhood superhero, “The power is yours!”
Easy Vietnamese Scrambled Eggs (Trung Chien)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 green onion (slice thinly)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (can substitute with vegetable oil)
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk together eggs,sugar, fish sauce, ground black pepper and green onions.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat the butter on medium high. Swirl butter around until it completely melted, coating all the bottom and sides.
- Add whisked eggs. Tilt skillet to evenly spread the eggs around in a thin layer, up to the sides of the skillet. Allow the egg mixture to cook for 15-30 seconds. Then use a wooden spoon or chopsticks to push the edges of the eggs into the center, allowing any runny raw egg mixture to flow to the now empty areas. Continue doing this until all sides of the eggs had gotten to the center. Once there is no more flow of raw egg mixture and the top is slightly wet, turn off heat to allow the residual heat to finish cooking the top. Serve immediately with bread or steamed white rice.