Joe Fu Yung - Easy - Joe Henderson

We continue today with another recipe from a great Jazz musician.  Joe Henderson (1937-2001) was a tenor-saxophonist as was Stanley Turrentine.  But unlike Mr. Turrentine, Mr. Henderson had the luxury of sampling foods all over the world during his tours.  He believed  he could have been a great chef due to that experience, plus having lived in San Fransisco for over 20 years.  Since he wasn't a great chef, just a great artist, read more about him at Music and More.

Because of his love of seafood he created, among other dishes, the one below he dubbed Joe Fu Yung.  I  hesitate to criticize Mr. Henderson's recipe selection for the book Jazz Cooks, but given his self-proclaimed culinary expertise, couldn't he have picked something better to show off his expertise than an American Chinese dish?

Since crab is treif (not kosher),  I substituted surimi.  Kind of ironic, since surimi was invented in the Far East (though in Japan, not China) so it is more authentic, international-wise.  According to that expert in all things oriental, Wikipedia, surimi was first created in Japan a few hundred years ago and is "a fish-based food product intended to mimic the texture and color of the meat of lobster, crab and other shellfish"  and has "a rubbery texture when cooked." Umm, umm, umm!  :P   Which reminds me of a joke I heard years ago, maybe from Soupy Sales:  it's not egg, it's not young.  It's just foo. 

Mr. Henderson didn't include bean sprouts, as egg fu yung usually has.  But there is no law preventing you from adding some fresh or drained canned bean sprouts if you like.  I made the mistake of asking my crew if I should add any, and they answered in chorus, "no thank you!"

Serve with toast and margarine (butter if a dairy meal) or jam for breakfast.  Since a lot of surimi is used, I suggest you either halve the amount of surimi, or add an egg per person to stretch the number of servings, especially if part of a brunch buffet.

Joe Fu Yung
adapted from: Jazz Cooks:  Portraits and Recipes of the Greats
Serves 4

1 pkg. (454 gms., about 16 ozs.) "crab" surimi
4 eggs
2 scallions, green parts only
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbl. olive oil

Chop (or scissor) scallions.

Break eggs into a 1-quart bowl.

Lightly beat eggs, then add scallions, salt and pepper.

 Chop surimi.  Set everything aside.

Set a medium-size skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add olive oil, wait 10 seconds, then add surimi.  Stir just until surimi is warmed up, then increase heat to medium-high and pour egg mixture evenly over surimi.   It will look like there's not enough egg;  the small amount of egg is used more as a coating to barely hold everything together.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Using  spatula, allow egg to set a bit, then push everything to the side to allow uncooked egg to touch bottom and cook instantly.  Continue process until the eggs are set to your liking.  Aren't the bits of green and orange kind of pretty?

Divide among 4 plates and serve immediately.


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