Preserved Daikon Radish Omelet ~菜脯蛋
Conceptually, an omelet with a late-night beer isn’t the most natural pairing, but it works well in this context because the omelet is dotted with a generous helping of salted preserved daikon, which gives it a piquant punch. Unlike a Western omelet, which is elegantly pan-fried with a reasonable amount of butter, this rendition is shallow-fried in quite a bit of oil, which helps it expand into a fluffy disc. This recipe is inspired by instructions from Phaedra Fang, a curator at the National Taiwan Museum. She learned how to cook from her mother, and this omelet used to be a staple on their dinner table and sometimes even the next morning, when the leftovers would be folded into porridge or paired with toast. “My mother was the rare homemaker who actually made three full meals a day,” she says. For Phaedra, sharing her mother’s recipe with the world is a way to keep her memory alive.
Excerpted from Made in Taiwan: Recipes and Stories from the Island Nation by Clarissa Wei, pages 222-223, by permission of S&S/Simon Element. Available from us or wherever books are sold.
Preserved Daikon Radish Omelet
- 1 ounce (30 g) preserved radish, also known as salted daikon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 scallions, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 tablespoons lard or canola or soybean oil, divided
- Briefly rinse the preserved radish under running water. In a small bowl, combine the preserved radish with enough water to cover. Soak for 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out the excess water, and pat dry with paper towels. Dice the radish into small ⅓-inch (8-mm) cubes and set aside for later.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and add the scallions, soy sauce, and white pepper. Whisk thoroughly until no lumps remain. Set aside.
- In a wok over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the lard. Add the diced preserved radish, and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the edges are slightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- With a spatula, remove the preserved radish from the wok, and stir it into the egg mixture so that it’s evenly incorporated.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lard into the wok and increase the heat to medium-high. Pour the egg mixture with the preserved radish in. The edges of the omelet will begin to foam up and solidify, like a puffy ring, and the middle will be a bit raw. Stir the middle gently with chopsticks and cook until the middle is barely set (it will still be a bit runny), about 30 seconds. Shake the wok back and forth so that the omelet is loose. Flip the omelet over with a large spatula or, with one sharp and smooth motion, thrust the pan forward, upward, and then back so that the omelet flips over. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the center of the omelet is cooked through, 20 to 30 seconds.
Transfer to a clean plate and enjoy immediately.
Recipe by: Clarissa Wei & Ivy Chen
Inspired by: Phaedra Fang