Chicken Egg Foo Young

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: September 5, 2022

These fluffy and crisp Cantonese egg pancakes are one of my all time favourite Chinese dishes. Chicken Egg Foo Young is a quick and easy way to a filling, tasty celebration of eggs, and when topped with the umami-laden special gravy they’re out of this world!

A plate of chicken egg foo young with gravy ion a platter with rice and chopsticks

If there’s one dish that reminds me of home back in the UK it’s the dish I ordered most at my local takeaway, Chicken Egg Foo Young. I wouldn’t ever need to even ask, the second I walked in, my friend behind the counter would just nod. And there’s a reason I ordered it so frequently; the fluffy egg pancakes with chicken, beansprouts and more are just heavenly. And when the special gravy is poured over they become something other worldly.

What is Egg Foo Young?

Egg Foo Young is a simple Chinese omelette that originates from the Cantonese cuisine of the Guangdong region in China, making its way into Chinese Indonesian, British Chinese and American Chinese cuisines. Foo Young consists of fluffy, deep fried egg patties that are combined with all manner of ingredients they have a crisp outer from frying and a soft, fluffy interior. They're quick and easy to prepare and full of flavour.

What’s an authentic egg foo young?

The fluffiness of an authentic Egg Foo Young is achieved by frying the patties in quite a bit of oil. Deep frying egg foo young, achieves the fluffy, and lightly crisp exterior while remaining soft and tender inside. You can’t achieve this buy cooking like a regular omelette. If all that oil doesn't appeal, you can of course cook with less and still have a tasty Chinese omelette.

Why it works

Chicken egg foo young is so delicious because it’s a quick and easy dish to make at home that’s equally successful for either a lunch or dinner. It’s perfect over rice with a glug of the special brown gravy. A wonderful combination of tatse and texture!

Stuff you'll need

There are two components to a traditional egg foo young: the patties and the sauce. The sauce is optional (but essential!), and outlined below. Here’s what you’ll need to make the patties.

  • Chicken (a little breast meat chopped into small pieces)
  • Vegetables - Onion, mushrooms, beansprouts and scallions/spring onions for flavour and texture.
  • Eggs
  • Chicken stock – gives more chicken flavour to the eggs
  • Sesame oil for its nutty, smoky flavour.
  • Oil for frying.
A plate of Chinese chicken egg foo young

Special Sauce - Foo Young Gravy

Your umami-filled gravy is simple... You can also make this in advance and heat it up when you're good to go. Here's what you'll need.

  • Light soy sauce (for a little salty umami flavour)
  • Dark soy sauce (for a richer, deeper flavour and lovely dark brown hue)
  • Oyster sauce (for a fruity, umami burst)
  • Sugar (to balance the salt)
  • Chicken stock (to extend the sauce)
  • Cornstarch (mixed with a little water, to thicken the gravy into its luscious glossy texture)
Making a rich, brown gravy for Chinese chicken egg foo young
Frying onion, chicken and mushroom for chicken egg foo young patties
Mixing the ingredients for Chinese chicken egg foo young
Frying chicken egg foo young patties in hot oil
Frying chicken egg foo young patties in hot oil
A stack of Chinese Chicken Egg Foo Young

Step by Step

Making Egg Foo Young with chicken is simple. Here's a breakdown of how to whip up a batch at home in no time at all.

  1. Step 1 - Make the gravy by simmering all the ingredients for 5 minutes and then add some cornstarch mixed with water and it’ll thicken into a glossy sauce. Set this aside while you make the patties.
  2. Step 2 - Fry the onion, mushrooms and chicken until cooked through, then cool.
  3. Step 3 - Beat the eggs with some chicken stock and stir in the chicken mix along with the beansprouts and sesame oil
  4. Step 4 - Using a wok, fry ladlefuls of egg mix in the oil until they puff up. Turn over and fry to fully cook. Note: there’s seemingly a lot of oil for frying, but it’s essential in creating the crispy on the outside, fluffy and soft inside texture. The oil should be around 330ºF/165ºC – a lower temp could create greasy patties, a higher temp will cook the egg too quickly and could burn the outside before the inside is cooked.
  5. Step 5 - Flip the patty and cook for a minute more until fully cooked through.
  6. Step 6 - Repeat the process until all the mixture is used up. Stack them up on a platter and serve.

Pro Tips to make your life easier

  • You can make the sauce in advance and refrigerate until needed. Just reheat in a small pan or microwave until hot. Add a little water if it becomes too thick. It should be the consistency of double cream and coat the back of a spoon.
  • You can eat the foo young hot or cold, so these can also be made in advance. You can reheat the patties in a hot oven for 2-3 minutes or eat at room temperature.
  • To ensure the heat of the oil is optimum for frying, use a thermometer to get the temperature to 350ºF/165ºC, and your foo young will cook just perfectly.

Serving and storing suggestions

  • Serving - The traditional way to serve egg foo young is over a bed of white rice with a healthy spoonful of the gravy poured on top. I’ll also sprinkle over some more finely sliced scallions or thinly sliced chillies if I feel like a little spice.
  • Ginger Scallion Sauce - You should also make a batch of Chinese Ginger Scallion Sauce to pair with Foo Young - they are MADE FOR EACH OTHER!
  • Advance - You can make in advance and keep in the fridge until needed. They're not really suitable for freezing.
A stack of chicken egg foo young patties

Ready to get cooking?

To, creating restaurant-style egg foo young at home is quick and easy. They’re a real crowd-pleasing dish to serve for the family or guests, especially with the umami-packed brown sauce drizzled on top. Hope you enjoy!

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Have a question about Chinese Egg Foo Young? Let me know in the comments.

What is egg foo young sauce made of?

The sauce is made using a combination of dark and light soy sauces, chicken stock, with sugar and oyster sauce. It’s thickened using a combination of cornstarch and water.

What is egg foo young in Chinese?

The direct translation from Cantonese, means ‘hibiscus egg’. In English it can be spelled ‘Foo Young’ or ‘Foo Yung’

What’s the difference between egg foo young and omelette?

An omelette is cooked in only a little oil and then folded into a long shape with little to no colouring on the outside. Egg foo young is cooked in a lot of oil and fried like a fritter, crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.

A plate of chicken egg foo young with gravy ion a platter with rice and chopsticks

Chicken Egg Foo Young

Rate this recipe

5 from 8 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 492


For the gravy

For the Foo Young

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ onion (sliced)
  • 1 chicken breast (cut into small cubes)
  • ½ cup mushrooms (finely sliced)
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 4 spring onions (scallions) (finely sliced)
  • 1 cup beansprouts
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt & white pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil (for frying)


To make the gravy

  • Combine the soy sauces, oyster sauce, sugar and chicken stock in a small pan. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup water and then pour into the gravy. Stir and let it cook for 1-2 minutes more - the cornstarch will thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside with a lid on to keep it warm.

To make the foo young patties

  • Fry the onion for 1-2 minutes in a little oil until soft. Add the chicken pieces and mushrooms and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
  • Beat the eggs with the chicken stock and then add 1/2 the spring onion, the chicken, onion & mushroom mix, beansprouts and sesame oil and season with salt & pepper. Stir well to combine everything.
  • In a wok or deep frying pan, heat the canola oil until just hot, but not smoking.
  • Take a ladleful of the egg mixture and gently turn out into the oil. The egg will puff up in the hot oil. It may spread out too, so, using a flipper, flip the sides in a little to make a neater pattie. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes each side until browned.
    Remove from the oil and rest on paper towels while you cook the rest of the foo young patties.
  • Serve over a little fluffy rice with a spoonful of the gravy on top - finally, sprinkle with a few spring onions and you’re done!


Storage & reheating
  • You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in the fridge. The patties are not suitable for freezing.
  • You can make both the gravy and patties in advance and reheat later.
    º To reheat the patties, warm in a hot oven for 5 minutes.
    º Alternatively, eat at room temperature
    º To reheat the gravy, warm in a pan or microwave. Add a little water if necessary.
Alternative Ingredients
  • Instead of chicken, switch with cooked beef, pork, bbq pork, duck or shrimp.
  • You could also make a vegetarian option by adding cooked carrot and broccoli.


Calories: 492kcal (25%) | Carbohydrates: 13g (4%) | Protein: 29g (58%) | Fat: 36g (55%) | Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 367mg (122%) | Sodium: 1244mg (54%) | Potassium: 618mg (18%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 6g (7%) | Vitamin A: 621IU (12%) | Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) | Calcium: 75mg (8%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)
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