菜脯蛋 Cai Fu Dan is a really simple, very traditional Taiwanese 小吃 (xiao chi) “small eats.” It only takes a few minutes and adds a great savory to go along with your congee/rice porridge or as part of lunch. The flavor is light, clean, and slightly fragrant as much of Taiwanese and Fujian cuisine is.
When riding around the neighborhoods of Taitung 台東 in southeast Taiwan I would often see trays or mats with rows of salted, sliced daikon radish 白蘿蔔 (bai luobo) sitting out on the pavement, drying in the open air. The dried radish 菜脯 (caifu) is used in many dishes in Taiwan and southern China. This dish is probably the easiest to make use of dried radish. In the States it is not quite so omnipresent, but down at your local Chinese market, dried radish is pretty easy to find, sold in bags, either in long strips or already chopped into pieces.
- 2-3 T dried radish 菜脯, soaked, washed and chopped
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1-2 green onions, chopped
- 1-2 t soy sauce
- oil for frying
- Soak radish in cold water for 5 minutes, wash and chop.
- Beat the eggs and all the ingredients (radish, chopped green onions, soy sauce) together.
- Heat 2 T of oil in a nonstick pan, pour in egg mixture making sure things are evenly distributed, cook over medium heat. When eggs have congealed carefully flip the omelette over. Fry until done, remove and serve.
Tip(s): If you lightly saute the dried radish pieces before mixing them into the eggs (after they cooled of course) it makes the dish more fragrant. Also, some people like to add about 1/4 t. of sugar along with the soy sauce when mixing the eggs.