A childhood favourite of mine, kai jeow is often one of several dishes served with lunch or dinner. It could also be eaten as a meal on it’s own – try adding chopped tomatoes and onions, or minced chicken and chopped coriander, and as always, eat with rice.
Use two or three eggs per person, or for a large portion just make several batches. This doesn’t matter as the irregular shape of the omelette lends itself to additional layerings.
Most Thai cooks would use up to half a cup of oil in a wok to make this dish. So I’m going to provide a recipe which does not require a wok or nearly as much oil.
Beat your eggs well, then add a dash of soy sauce, fish sauce, or both, just enough for flavour and a light colouring. Too much and it will be too salty and dark coloured.
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan until smoking hot. I find the best oil to use is deodorised coconut oil, as it is stable at high heats, unlike other oils, and if deodorised it will not remotely smell of coconut, and will not taint the flavour of your food. You can really use as much or as little oil as you prefer, as long as the omelette can move around and doesn’t stick. The more oil, the crispier it will be. Now pour in the eggs.
Let the edges just begin to form and with a fork or omelette spatula, gently pull the edges in all around to create large ripples. If it bubbles up as well it will be all the better. (If using a wok and a lot of oil, this won’t be necessary at all – the layers and bubbles will naturally form as a result of floating on the large amounts of hot oil). When the omelette has coloured, flip it (it doesn’t matter if it breaks) and let it brown and crisp on the other side.
Remember, this is a Thai omelette and it is meant to be brown and crispy, and uneven in texture and shape. Several can be cooked and piled on to a dish for everyone to help themselves, or cut into thin strips and use to garnish a noodle soup or rice porridge.