Kai Jeow - A Classic Thai Omelet
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Kai Jeow - A Classic Thai Omelet
Thai-style omelette (kai jeow) is so easy to make that you can make it as a last-minute meal or late-night snack.
Kai jeow is a fried omelet that is infused with a combination of complex flavors.
Kai jeow's combination of sweet, sour, spicy, salty and umami flavor is the epitome of Southeast Asian cuisine.
When you take the first bite, it will transport you to the streets of Bangkok.
The first time I ate kai jeow was when I was a child and my mom made it for me at lunchtime.
She always served it with rice porridge and fish sauce with a slice of Thai pepper.
Essential Ingredient: Fish Sauce
The mandatory ingredient in this recipe is fish sauce. Without it, the tortilla won't have the umami burst this dish is known for.
Fish sauce is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking and is made with anchovies that have been seasoned with salt in a large bowl for about two years.
After the fermentation process, the liquid containing the anchovy extract and salt is fermented again. And a few months later, the liquid is drained and again filtered and bottled.
When buying fish sauce, look at the ingredients. To ensure a flavorful fish sauce, the list of ingredients should only include fish and salt.
My favorite brands include Red Boat and Golden Boy.
In addition to Kai Jeow, you can add fish sauce to a stir-fry, curry, fried rice, and many other Asian dishes.
Thai omelette - no wok needed
Traditionally, you make kai jeow in a wok. However, you don't need a wok to make a kai jeow. I think using a small nonstick skillet is best.
You want to make sure that the pan is nonstick because when you flip your tortilla, your nonstick pan will give you extra reassurance that your tortilla will flip in one piece.
Another reason I like to use a small nonstick pan is that you need less oil to coat the bottom.
If your tortilla breaks when you flip it, don't worry; it will still taste delicious.
Use a hot pan to make Kai Jeow
When you're ready to cook your tortilla, make sure you have a hot skillet with bright, slightly smoking oil.
When the oil is hot, lift the bowl of the egg mixture a foot off the pan and slowly pour in in one motion. The tortilla should start to crisp right away.
Since the tortilla cooks on one side, use a small spatula or chopsticks to push the edges of the tortilla in and tilt the pan so that the raw eggs in the center contact the pan.
When the center of the tortilla is a bit dry, turn the kai jeow over.
If you want to make more than one omelette, you can prepare the appropriate amount of egg mixture and cook one batch of omelette at a time.
Kai Jeow Supplements
You can make this recipe by adding extra protein to the egg mixture before frying it.
Raw ground pork, ground chicken, crabmeat, or minced shrimp will work.
Do not use more than 1/3 cup so that the supplements do not deplete the kai jeow.
Kai Jeow Serving Suggestions
Kai jeow is usually served with rice and crispy raw vegetables such as lettuce and cucumber.
The rice balances the salt in the dish and the raw vegetables add freshness.
If you want additional spice, serve sriracha or sambal on the side.
for the omelette
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (see recipe note)
- 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 chopped chive
- 1/2 Thai chile to start, minced (optional, you can add more if you like)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of cooked jasmine rice
- 4 cucumber slices
- sliced romaine lettuce
- Sriracha (optional)
Beat the eggs:
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, fish sauce, brown sugar, scallions, Thai chili (if using), and black pepper in a medium bowl.
Beat vigorously until well combined and no egg whites are visible.
Heat the smoking oil:
Heat vegetable oil in a small (about 8-inch diameter) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until oil is hot. You'll know the oil is ready when it smokes slightly.
Pour the eggs into the hot pan and cook:
Hold bowl of egg mixture 12 inches above skillet and pour into skillet.
The egg will immediately begin to fry and swell. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom.
While you wait, use a small spatula or chopsticks to push the edges of the tortilla in and tilt the pan so that the raw eggs in the center contact the pan.
Cook the first side for approximately 3 minutes.
Once the tortilla is done, flip it over by flicking your wrist to flip the tortilla like a pancake, or use a large spatula.
Let it cook until the other side is golden, about 15 seconds.
Don't worry if the tortilla doesn't turn perfectly. It will still taste the same.
Serve immediately with cooked rice, cucumber slices, romaine lettuce, and sriracha (if using). If you like, you can create a lettuce wrap with the romaine lettuce.
In the wrapper, you can add cucumber, tortilla and rice.
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