The ideal omelette is not based on just one recipe. Although, the standard nowadays is that there should be two fluffy layers of egg on a plate.
However, the egg is such an ancient and universal food that nobody knows who really started beating and folding eggs just to provide something new to the table. Most people probably even think that the French version is the standard because of the dish’s name. But, a lot of countries actually have their own thing going when it comes to cooking omelettes. Some recipes from these nations even exist for centuries already. Different cultures have different palates; it has always been this way.
In order to learn how to make the perfect omelette, why not have an open mind and try all of the following variations from around the world? These omelette styles have been existing for generations, proving that each one of them has a certain appeal that you will surely love.
Let’s begin with the usual. The French omelette is known for its smoothness. It requires quick cooking and, at the same time, a very hot skillet – preferably nonstick. Cooking it will never go well if it sticks to the pan. So, the main partner for the egg is butter to prevent sticking. Butter also ensures that the omelette will be cooked fast.
French omelette is good enough with plain seasoning. However, it is commonly combined with tomatoes, chopped onions, and herbs such as chives, parsley, chervil and tarragon for a more colorful look and exciting taste.
There are two types of omelette popular in Thailand. They are obviously more exotic than French style because of their unusual ingredients and techniques.
This is the traditional omelette in the world of Thai cuisine. Khai jiao differs from other omelette variations because of the fish sauce and the cooking technique.
To cook khai jiao, beat the eggs first. Make sure to put a lot of vegetable oil, preferably one to two cups, in a wok or pan for preheating. Then, deep fry the egg-fish sauce mixture in the wok. The most ideal way to serve this dish is by putting it on top of hot rice, and adding cilantro and Sriracha sauce all over it.
Khai Yat Sai
Another Thai dish, khai yat sai is the popular variation of khai jiao. It simply means “stuffed eggs.” It still has a fish sauce like khai jiao, but it becomes more similar with French omelette because it needs to be stuffed or filled with additional ingredients.
Unlike khai jiao though, khai yat sai should not be deep fried. The egg must only be slightly cooked. For the filling, tomatoes, carrots, spring onions, onions, peas and minced pork or beef are the usual ingredients.
Japan has more omelette variations than Thailand. The main reason is that Japanese people have several ways on how to fill an omelette.
Like Thailand’s khai jiao, tamagoyaki is Japan’s traditional type of omelette. While khai jiao is mixed with fish sauce, tamagoyaki requires the eggs to be beaten with water, sugar, bonito flakes, soy sauce, and mirin. It clearly meets Japan’s culinary standard of complex ingredients and techniques fused in just one sophisticated dish.
About the techniques, tamagoyaki is typically cooked in a rectangular pan. You just have to spread the egg mixture thinly. Why? Once cooked, you need to roll it up with chopsticks until it looks like a yellow sausage across the edge of the pan.
Tamagoyaki is known for its multiple layers, so you have to spread another thin layer of egg below the cooked roll. As soon as the new layer is cooked, roll it as well. But, this time, use the cooked egg roll above as the rolling guide as well as the center of the new roll. Repeat the process until the number of layers is enough for you. Just remember to always make the previous roll as the center of the newer roll. The end result must be one thick roll of the egg with many layers.
To serve, use a sushi mat to squeeze tamagoyaki into a more defined shape. Then, slice the roll into many equal portions.
Japan has a special term for its dishes influenced by Western cuisine: yōshoku. Omurice is a perfect example of yōshoku. The omelette part follows the French standard. However, to complete omurice, regular or fried rice is used as the filling. To serve, top the super-thick egg roll with ketchup. It is a great combination of Western and Asian influences.
Since egg and rice go perfectly together, find out how to make egg fried rice in more interesting ways possible.
The only difference between omu-soba and omurice is the filling. Omu-soba uses yakisoba instead of rice. Yakisoba is a traditional noodle dish in Japan. The savory taste of yakisoba perfectly combines with the gentle taste of omelette. The result is one hearty meal that will surely fill your tummy.
Tortilla de patatas, also called tortilla española, is a traditional type of omelette but much thicker than other variations. The reason for this is its main ingredient: sliced potatoes. Aside from potatoes, tortilla de patatas may also include sliced onions, diced ham, bell peppers, and cheese. No wonder the result is one extremely thick omelette; the ingredients are too chunky.
Frittata is popular around the world because it is similar to French omelette when it comes to convenient cooking. It only needs simple ingredients and techniques. The difference between a frittata and French omelette is appearance. Frittata does not need to be folded. Vegetables, cheese, and other ingredients are already mixed with the eggs before cooking.
Egg foo yung is a traditional Chinese version of omelette which means “hibiscus egg.” The basic ingredients are eggs and minced ham. For a more complex egg foo yung, vegetables such as water chestnuts, mushrooms, spring onions, cabbage, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts can be added. When it comes to the meat, pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, and lobster are excellent choices.
The perfect omelette has no definite set of ingredients and techniques. The only basic thing here is that the eggs must be beaten first before frying them. None of us knows exactly where this egg dish was discovered, so it is just right to explore different ways on how to make the perfect omelette. “Omelette” is just a French word, but the dish itself has many variations across the world.