Monday, December 28, 2015

Thai Stuffed Omelet (Kai Yad Sai)

This popular Thai street food is easy to make at home, so long as you have fish sauce on hand (it's just not the same without fish sauce - just sayin'). The filling typically consists of ground pork, chopped shallots, garlic, tomatoes and green beans, seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, white pepper, and sugar (diced carrots and peas are also sometimes used). I like to add a bit of chopped cilantro and scallion to the pork mixture, and garnish with extra cilantro & scallions, sliced chiles and Thai basil leaves.

6 eggs
1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1/8 tsp. white pepper

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (and extra for the omelets)
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or red onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground pork
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green beans (or green peas)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 scallion, chopped

1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Cilantro sprigs
Chopped scallions
Thinly sliced red or green jalapeños
Thai basil leaves

Steamed jasmine rice

1. Beat the eggs with 1/2 tsp. of fish sauce and 1/8 tsp. white pepper in a medium bowl or large measuring cup until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the shallots and saute for 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Stir in the minced garlic. 

3. Add the ground pork and cook, breaking up the meat with your spatula, until almost cooked through. 

4. Add the tomato, green beans, cilantro, scallion and seasonings. Stir to combine and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture just slightly thickened. Cover, turn off heat, and set aside. 

5. Heat about 1 tsp. of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in 1/3 of the egg mixture. Swirl the pan around and lift the edges of the egg to let some of the raw mixture run underneath. Continue cooking another 1-2 minutes or until the bottom of the omelet is lightly golden (top of the omelet can still be slightly undercooked). Carefully slide the omelet on to a plate or chopping board. 

6. Make another two omelets the same way with the remaining egg mixture, removing each to the plate (you can stack them on top of each before assembling). 

7. To assemble: place one omelet on a chopping board and spoon 1/3 of the pork filling in the center. Fold the right and left sides of the omelet over the filling, then the top and bottom sides, to form either a square or rectangular shape. Carefully turn the omelet over on to a serving plate so that the folds are underneath. 

8. To serve: you can cut an "X" in the middle (top) of the omelet package or slice each omelet into wedges (which is my preferred way of serving this dish, so you can see the filling). Garnish, as desired, with cilantro sprigs, scallions, sliced jalapeños and/or basil leaves. Serve with steamed jasmine rice on the side.

Sliced jalapeños, chopped scallion, tomatoes, green beans, garlic, shallots, and cilantro. 

6 eggs beaten with 1/2 tsp. fish sauce and 1/8 tsp. white pepper. 

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in pan over medium heat and saute the shallots 1-2 minutes. Add the minced garlic. 

Add the ground pork and saute until almost cooked through. 

Add the chopped tomatoes and green beans. 

Add the seasoning ingredients, cilantro and scallion. Simmer 5-10 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Remove from heat, cover and set aside. 

Add 1 tsp. of oil to a large saute pan and add 1/3 cup of the egg mixture. Cook until bottom is lightly golden and top still slightly jiggly. Remove to plate and set aside. Cook the remaining two portions of egg the same way.

To assemble, place on of the omelets on a chopping board and fill center with 1/3 of the meat mixture. 

Fold the omelet over the filling like you would a crepe (first fold left and right sides over the filling, then fold over the top and bottom to form a square or rectangle). Using a spatula, carefully invert the omelet over, seam side down, onto a serving plate (or place a plate over the omelet and just flip the pan over, which minimizes the chances of the egg breaking apart).

I like to cut the omelet into wedges before serving. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, jalapeños and/or Thai basil and serve with steamed jasmine rice on the side. 

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