Fancy a 'faux' frittata? This open-faced omelette is so versatile everyone can make their own

·5-min read
Try this open-faced omelette topped with a mix of fresh and sautéed ingredients. ― Pictures by CK Lim
Try this open-faced omelette topped with a mix of fresh and sautéed ingredients. ― Pictures by CK Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — I love how versatile eggs are. You can have them boiled or poached, scrambled or as an omelette. Even when fried, you can have them over easy or sunny side-up.

Best of all, they taste equally delicious whichever way you have them. It’s all a matter of personal preference, really.

Of course, some methods require less skill, time or care than others. For instance, there’s nothing quite like a really hot wok with shimmering oil to get the crisp edges of a proper Thai style fried egg (khai dao) or omelette (khai jiao).

Wish to poach a couple of eggs for your eggs Benedict? You could try adding some vinegar to the water or stirring the water beforehand to create a whirlpool for the egg to “dance” in – or do both, to be safe.

Three eggs make for a decent sized, satisfying omelette.
Three eggs make for a decent sized, satisfying omelette.
For meat lovers, some fried bacon and sausages give the omelette a breakfast feel.
For meat lovers, some fried bacon and sausages give the omelette a breakfast feel.

As for the perfect boiled eggs, I like to time mine to the exact minute depending on how set I’d like the yolk to be – about four minutes for a runny yolk, six for jammy, eight for fully set but not chalky – with a good dunk in a bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes at the end, to stop the cooking process before peeling.

I shan't deny it: I love eggs and I seem to enjoy the precision and order that go into these cooking techniques more than I should.

Then there are those days I want my eggs cooked simply and quickly, without much thought or preparation. (I’m usually fatigued or famished at this point, possibly both, and Just. Want. To. Eat. Now.)

Times like these, I am saved by this open-faced omelette topped with a mix of fresh and sautéed ingredients. There really isn’t a name for it (though there ought to be): it’s not quite a classic French omelette that’s folded and creamy inside nor is it a frittata (which looks more like a crustless quiche and requires almost as much work).

Cherry tomatoes tend to be sweeter than the larger tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes tend to be sweeter than the larger tomatoes.

What this is might simply be what it looks like a decent sized, satisfying omelette (three eggs will be just nice) made even more substantial with warmed up leftovers and some fresh greens and herbs to liven things up.

There’s no hard and fast rule. Use what you love best.

Being a meat lover, I enjoy some fried bacon and sausages; these give the omelette a breakfast feel. Cherry tomatoes tend to be sweeter than the larger tomatoes; sautéed or roasted, that sweetness becomes more concentrated. Raw red onions and freshly squeezed lemon juice add a nice bite to the dish.

You can even make it a bit of a party dish where everyone gets the same base – an omelette instead of a stack of crêpes or a warm flatbread – and make their own toppings from a selection of different ingredients.

Raw red onions and freshly squeezed lemon juice add a nice bite to the dish.
Raw red onions and freshly squeezed lemon juice add a nice bite to the dish.

You could have a charcuterie board of cured meats such as pancetta and prosciutto as well as cheeses. Cheddar, Gruyère, goat cheese, mozzarella – whatever you have handy! Another section for the greens: fresh leaves of arugula, roasted capsicum, avocado, caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms...

Canned foods work too: baked beans and sardines. Tubs of sour cream and kimchi. Condiments such as mayonnaise and hot sauce, pesto and leftover pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless – this open-faced omelette is so welcoming to ideas and ingredients, everyone can make their own!

OPEN-FACED OMELETTE

Besides the toppings that I have used in my recipe below, this open-faced omelette is meant to go with a variety of diverse ingredients, depending on what you have in your pantry or what you enjoy the most.

Other suggested combinations include chorizo, Manchego cheese, olives and pan-roasted tomatoes for a Spanish style omelette or something meatier with thinly sliced steak and sweet caramelised onions?

For a Korean inspired take, how about some spicy kimchi slathered with dollops of sour cream and sliced chives? Head Down Under with sliced avocado, sautéed kale and lightly grilled halloumi cheese.

Using some fresh herbs will lighten the rich nature of some of these toppings or brighten up the grilled, roasted or sautéed vegetables. Besides parsley and chives, also consider playing with cilantro, basil, dill and thyme.

To make it really fancy, even if it’s not a frittata or quiche, consider serving the omelette in the pan rather than transferring to a plate. Presentation is everything, no?

Ingredients: Omelette

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Unsalted butter

Ingredients: Toppings

2 rashers of bacon, sliced and fried

1 sausage, fried

3-4 cherry tomatoes, fresh or roasted

½ red onion, sliced

Some pickled green chillies

A handful of microgreens or sprouts (optional)

Juice of one lemon

Parsley for garnishing

Consider serving the omelette in the pan rather than transferring to a plate.
Consider serving the omelette in the pan rather than transferring to a plate.

Method

Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add the fish sauce, sesame oil and black pepper. Beat the eggs with a fork or pair of chopsticks until well combined.

Melt some unsalted butter in a large pan over medium heat. Start with about a tablespoon of butter but adjust according to the size of your pan.

Once the butter is melted, add the beaten eggs and allow to cook without disturbing them for a few minutes. Once the centre of the omelette has almost set and the edges are fully cooked, flip the whole omelette to cook the other side.

Remove the pan from heat once the omelette is fully cooked. Pile the toppings – the bacon, sausage, cherry tomatoes, raw sliced red onion, pickled green chillies and microgreens – in the centre of the omelette.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the toppings and garnish with a little parsley. Bring the entire pan to the table and serve immediately.

For more Weekend Kitchen and other slice-of-life stories, visit lifeforbeginners.com.

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