The salient thing about this dish is that the eggs must be soft, fluffy and tender. To be so, the eggs must be underdone and you can tell that they are if liquid seeps from the scrambled eggs upon cooling. The other important thing of course is that the eggs must have the aroma of that key Chinese ingredient, Shao Xing wine. Actually Shao Xing is the name of the region where the wine is made, such as Burgundy in France, and the type of wine is hua tiao jiu but I guess it's too confusing and choppy to say "Shao Xing hua tiao jiu". Shao Xing hua tiao wine and rice wine are the two most essential cooking wines for Chinese cooking, hua tiao being used mostly in mid-China (Shanghai, Nanjing etc) and rice wine in Southern China.
I caught the end of a Taiwanese cooking show on TV last week so this recipe is a guesstimate. Wey wouldn't stop eating the eggs I fried for dinner and then, later in the night, he cooked the same thing himself but omitted the prawns because he's not a seafood person. The next day, straight after school, he cooked it twice, each time using two eggs. Then the next day, he did it again, adjusting the amount of wine and the doneness of the eggs. I couldn't believe it when the next day, he cooked the same thing again, but this time only once. That's still less than the 4 dozen eggs that Gaston ate daily but I was concerned that Wey will turn into a barge since he's already large (I know, it's called plagarism, somebody just reminded me). Wey thinks that one teaspoon of wine to two eggs is just nice but I like the flavor more subtle. This is a humble home dish but it does take a bit of practice to get it right. The eggs, according to the chef, must be beaten just before frying or they won't be as tender. Control of the heat is crucial. Cook with a very hot wok and stir the eggs for only a couple of seconds. Plate up when eggs are still underdone. There shouldn't be any brown bits. Be prepared to eat lots of eggs if you don't get it right.
Scrambled Eggs With Shao Xing Wine
3 medium-sized eggs
3 or 4 medium to large prawns
2 T spring onions/scallions, sliced finely
3/4 to 1 t Shao Xing hua tiao wine (or more, to your liking)
salt & white pepper to taste
1. Peel the prawns, remove dirt vein, slit into half lengthwise and season with a slight pinch of salt and some white pepper.
2. Put a drizzle of oil into a heated wok and fry the prawns for about 30 to 40 seconds, until just cooked. Remove onto plate.
3. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the wine, a tiny pinch of salt and some white pepper and beat with a fork or pair of chopsticks (about 12 strokes; do not overbeat). Add 1 heaped spoonful of chopped scallions and the cooked prawns, stir.
4. Put 3 T oil (more if you dare) into a hot wok and when smoke begins to rise, pour all the egg mixture into the center of the wok. The sides of the egg will bubble and puff. Stir the eggs quickly in big circles around the wok and plate up before the eggs are fully set. The eggs should be in large pieces and underdone with no sign of browning or burning. Sprinkle remaining scallions over and serve immediately. Goes with rice.