To continue the theme of breakfast, this is what I meant by a Thai-style solid breakfast: a 2-egg omelette with hot jasmine rice. This isn’t omelette as you probably know it, all delicate, creamy and barely set; this is bold, brown, crisp-edged.
I was pretty lucky to have this cooked for me most mornings while I was going to school. The chillies came later when my parents saw I liked it, and when I made it for myself, I found that a scattering of fresh coriander leaves emphasizes the deep savour of the meat. You can, of course, change it how you like. It’s not a fancy dish but a comforting one. When I manage to be somewhat organised, I freeze mince in roughly 50g – 60g portions (eyeballing it as 8 chunks from 500g mince; 2 packed, heaped tablespoons) so I can be ready to make this whenever I want. It’s one of the few times where I feel like a Real Adult.
While this version includes pork, you could swap it out for minced chicken, more spring onions, or maybe some finely sliced shallots or mushrooms. Earlier, when poking about in the fridge, my eyes fell on a pack of fresh green peppercorns I got from Chinatown during the weekend. One stalk’s worth was stripped off and added to the herbs, so every few bites of this omelette was punctuated by these fresh, tender-crisp, slightly waxy little peppercorns. Really good. So, you know, try it with what you fancy.
Be aware, however, of the water content and amount of your seasonings and additions — you might accidentally start making a giant tod man, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’ll no longer be an omelette. Even though the egg isn’t front-and-centre here as in a plain omelette, it still provides the tenderness and crispy edges, and takes on the flavours of the aromatics.
This omelette can be eaten as a complete meal with rice and maybe some crunchy vegetables and can also be served as part of a large spread of shared dishes.
THAI-STYLE OMELETTE WITH HERBS, PORK, AND CHILLI
Serves 1 generously with rice (I think it’d also be good in, say, a wrap or a roll or something), or 2 – 3 people with a couple more dishes as part of a multiple offering Thai meal with rice.
2 packed, heaped tablespoons pork mince (lean is fine)
1/2 tsp cornflour
Dash of ground white pepper
1/2 tsp fish sauce (or the same of soy sauce, or pinch of salt)
About 1 pencil length stalk fresh green peppercorns, picked (optional)
1 – 2 chillies of your choice, finely sliced; I use red or green bird’s eye chillies
3 – 4 fresh coriander stems, finely chopped (reserve the leaves for later)
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon fish sauce (or 1/4 teaspoon salt)
1 – 2 drops white vinegar or lime juice
2 medium/large eggs
Vegetable oil for frying
To serve: reserved coriander leaves, your choice of fresh herbs and vegetables, nam pla prik, Sriracha sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the mince with the cornflour, pepper, and fish sauce. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables and/or eggs.
Prepare and slice the herbs and spices as indicated, keeping them piled together – you want them ready to go at a moment’s notice.
In a seperate medium bowl, combine the cornflour, fish sauce, and vinegar until smooth. Crack in the eggs and beat just to combine. I do all this with a fork or one of those curly whisks. Set aside.
Heat a frying pan with a 8 – 9″ base (20 – 23 cm) over a medium heat. When the pan is warm, pour in enough oil to a depth of about 1 cm. Keep an eye on the oil as it heats. Meanwhile, finish mixing the omelette: quickly add the sliced herbs and spices and the pork mixture to the beaten eggs. Beat really well, breaking up chunks of meat and distributing everything evenly.
Once the oil is shimmering and smells warm, flick a few drops of egg into the hot oil to test the temperature. It should immediately puff and bubble up. If not, wait, re-testing every few seconds. When the oil is at heat, scrape in the omelette mixture, spreading any particularly thick and lumpy areas with a spatula. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side (no more than 3 – 4 minutes total), turning very carefully halfway and not concerning yourself too much if it breaks (more crispy edges). It should be golden brown on both sides. Break open a thick part in the middle to check the meat is completely cooked through.
Lift out of the pan and serve right away, either on a bed of hot jasmine rice or as part of a multi-dish meal.