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On morning trail runs, my girlfriends and I talk about our workouts, our kids, and what to make for dinner. One day my friend Shari asked me about my go-to emergency suppers. You know, those quick meals conjured from the contents of your fridge when you’re on the verge of dialing a number for takeout.
“Omelets,” I told her, but Shari shook her head. “No, that wouldn’t work,” she explained; her husband does not "do" the whole breakfast-for-dinner thing.
Sure, I thought. But what if the omelet wasn’t anything like breakfast food?
This Thai-style stuffed omelet is a thin “wrapper” of egg enfolding a highly seasoned filling of ground pork and greens. It is a speedy, single-pan operation for weeknight dinners when it’s late and everyone is hungry. And it’s a departure from any other omelet I’ve ever known.
Many people have omelet anxiety. I’ve been there, too; when the perfectly-formed omelet I imagined
breaks my heart splits in the pan, and I opt instead for a frittata or scramble, or worse, when the insides are undercooked. Even with a good pan and some practice, an omelet is an achievement. But using a wok might just change your omelet-making orientation. The vessel's wide, open curves make it easy to spread the beaten egg around evenly. And since it’s very thin, the omelet cooks quickly with no flipping. Finally, the omelet slides readily onto a plate and is filled off-heat, so there’s little chance for egg-folding and -transfer mishaps.
Along with the egg—and this is a time when it’s worth investing in the best-quality eggs you can find—fish sauce is the star. It stands in for salt in the egg mixture and is the predominant seasoning in the filling.
The filling for this stuffed omelet is based on kai yud sai, aromatic ground pork with fish sauce, garlic, chile, lime juice, and just enough sugar for balance. I always have a stash of ground pork in my freezer. If you can only find breakfast sausage, which is flavored with sage, thyme, and other seasonings, skip the pork and use ground turkey, chicken, or ground beef instead.
The meat, greens, and tomato seem to absorb all of the flavors into a neat package wrapped in cilantro-flecked egg. It makes for an all-in-one meal that I find fully satisfying on its own, but you can also make a complete meal by adding steamed jasmine rice or a salad.
For the Pork Filling
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
- 8 ounces ground fresh pork
- 1 1/2 cups tender greens, such as mustard greens, mizuna or spinach, lightly packed and chopped
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the Omelet
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lightly packed chopped cilantro, plus additional for serving
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil