This Hong Kong classic is usually made with over-easy eggs; hou bao means purse, which is what the white encasing the yolk resembles. It’s even better with fried eggs, when the sauces slide over the bubbles and into the craters on top. Serve over steamed rice for an instant dinner.
Heat a small, well-seasoned wok, cast iron or carbon-steel skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Add enough oil to the hot pan to coat the bottom. When it starts to smoke, slide in the egg. Season with salt and pepper, then swirl the pan so that the hot oil runs over the egg to cook the white.
As soon as the edges are browned and crackly and the white is set, transfer the egg to a serving plate. Immediately sprinkle with the soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar if using. Eat immediately, mixing the sauces with the runny yolk with each bite.
However you eat it — with toast, potatoes, rice, hot sauce — eat it hot, swiping crunchy-edge whites in silky yolk. And if you want another, you can have it all again in a minute.
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