A Thai-Spiced Omelet That Tastes Like Dinner (or Breakfast)

November 27, 2017

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?

I'd happily eat this for breakfast or dinner or lunch. Photo by Rocky Luten

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.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cateraar Den Haag
    Cateraar Den Haag
  • judy
  • Lynne Curry
    Lynne Curry
I wake up thinking, What's for dinner? The answer comes from the stocking as much local food as I can store, buying dry goods in bulk and shopping for seasonal produce. Pickling and canning, sourdough bread baking and grilling are also key parts of the mix as I improvise meals for my family.


Cateraar D. November 28, 2017
This looks like the perfect dish! Yum!
judy November 28, 2017
Great!. Did a riff on this for dinner tonight. Easy. I threw in a few extra veggies and fresh bean sprouts. It was a hit. Instead of ground pork, I found some cubed pork steaks. I cut them into chunks, made some extra sauce and marinated them. Marinated veggies in some sauce as well. stir-fried all and served over pad Thai noodles. Very good. Thank you.
Lynne C. November 30, 2017
How creative! Sounds terrific.