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Recipes from Around the World: Chinese Tomato Egg and Tofu

Stir-frying is one of the most common cooking methods in Chinese cuisine. Vegetables are typically paired with protein such as meat or scrambled egg in a stir-fry dish and eaten with rice or noodles for lunch or dinner. Although tomatoes originated in South America, they gained popularity in China two centuries ago and became a staple produce due to their nutrients, colorfulness, flavor, and ease of cooking. Tomato scrambled egg is a classic Chinese comfort dish that is easy, nutritious, and delicious. It is often one of the first Chinese dishes people learn to make.

This recipe adds tofu to provide more plant-based protein with dietary fiber and micronutrients such as isoflavones, calcium, iron, folate, and vitamin D. The texture of tomato, tofu, and egg is also soft and moist, easing chewing and swallowing. This dish is gluten and dairy free. For a complete meal, you can enjoy this dish over cooked brown rice, cooked whole wheat noodles, or whole grain toast.

Ingredient Highlights

Tomato: Technically a fruit, tomato is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, lycopene, and other phytochemicals. While vitamins A and C are required daily by our bodies and have antioxidant properties, the lycopene from tomatoes also has anticancer and cardioprotective properties [i]. Another compound called tomatine in tomatoes can help reduce dietary and endogenous cholesterol levels. When tomatoes are cooked with a little oil, the lycopene and beta-carotene will easily be absorbed [ii].

Tofu: This soy product is a great source of lean, plant-based, complete protein. It also contains good amounts of dietary fiber, which helps decrease risk of colorectal cancer and combat obesity [iii]. Another important chemical in tofu and other whole soy products is isoflavone. Isoflavone can compete with human estrogen to suppress hormone-sensitive tumor growth. Moderate consumption of whole soy products such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame is recommended.

Egg: Eggs are a convenient and inexpensive source of animal protein. Egg proteins are highly digestible, and they help maintain skeletal muscle synthesis and prevent a type of muscle loss called sarcopenia [iv]. It is also suggested that egg proteins may protect against hypertension and cancer. Plus, egg yolk is a great source of vitamin D.


Chinese Tomato Egg and Tofu


For the base:

  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 cup tofu of your choice (firm, soft, or silken)
  • 1 tsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Green onion for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp gluten free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ketchup (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp water


  1. Dice the tomato, beat the eggs, and mix the sauce ingredients.
  2. If you prefer crispy tofu, drain and press the tofu of its liquid first. For soft or silken tofu, you can skip the draining and pressing for a soft and moist texture. Cut the tofu into squares.
  3. Add olive oil to a skillet pan. Add tofu pieces and cook both sides over medium heat until they turn golden. If you are using silken tofu, just cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the egg mix on top of the tofu. Let it cook until solid and golden. Feel free to scramble the mixture.
  5. Remove the tofu and egg. Add the tomato and a small amount of water to the pan. Cook on low heat until the tomato becomes a tender sauce.
  6. Add the tofu and egg back into the pan. Add the premixed sauce and mix thoroughly.
  7. After the sauce thickens, remove from heat. Garnish with chopped green onion. Enjoy!


  • Use soft or silken tofu for a soft and moist texture if you have difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • You can adjust the amount of tomato, tofu, and egg based on your taste preferences.
  • You can replace whole tomatoes with canned diced tomatoes.
  • If you prefer stronger flavors, add some rice vinegar or oyster sauce.


[i] Friedman M. (2013). Anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and other health benefits of tomato compounds lycopene, α-tomatine, and tomatidine in pure form and in fresh and processed tomatoes. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 61(40), 9534–9550. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf402654e

[ii] Tomatoes: Major source of lycopene. American Institute for Cancer Research. (2021, August 3). Retrieved October 16, 2022, from https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/food-facts/tomatoes/#research

[iii] Soy: Intake does not increase risk for breast cancer survivors. American Institute for Cancer Research. (2021, August 3). Retrieved October 16, 2022, from https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/food-facts/soy/#research

[iv] Puglisi, M. J., & Fernandez, M. L. (2022). The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients, 14(14), 2904. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142904

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