Umami Omelet

Umami Omelet 150 150 David Rosengarten

Tasty Chinese style omeletThin people are ordering egg white omelets all around me these days, but I’ve never been moved to do the same. Until now. The downfall of the egg white omelet, to me, has been its insubstantiality, and its usual lack of flavor. However, by infusing it with a major dose of what the Japanese call umami—a basic building block flavor to them, kind of mushroomy—you can make your egg white omelet become as delicious as it is healthful. Do note that the following recipe calls for a teaspoon of oil (to insure good browning, which is very important, and no sticking.) But you can avoid the oil by using Pam. And, though it adds a few calories, a thin brush of Chinese oyster sauce over the omelet at the end sends it into the umami stratosphere. I’m guessing that after tasting this thing, you egg-white-omelet resisters—like me!—will be converted.

Makes one serving

Whites of 3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or a copious spray of Pam)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon finely minced scallion (white and green parts)
1 medium-sized dried Chinese mushroom, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, squeezed dry, and minced
1/2 teaspoon Chinese oyster sauce, room temperature (optional)

1. In a small bowl, beat together the egg whites and the soy sauce for 20 seconds. Reserve.

2. Place the oil in a small, 6″ sauté pan over medium-high heat. Or, spray the pan well with Pam and place over heat. Add the sesame seeds, and spread them out evenly. As soon as they start to color (they’ll turn golden in 30-60 seconds), add the scallions. Distribute evenly. Immediately add the mushrooms. Distribute evenly. Pour the egg-white mixture over all, spreading it out evenly. Let the egg whites set for 30 seconds, then insert a spatula under the egg whites, all around the pan, to loosen the egg whites from the bottom and make sure they’re not sticking. Once they’re loose, immediately swirl the pan so that any extra uncooked egg white on top of the omelet swirls out to the perimeter of the omelet (this cooks the excess egg quickly.) Turn the omelet over—either with a wide spatula, or by flipping the pan, or by inverting the omelet onto a plate, then sliding the omelet back into the pan. Cook on the second side for 10 seconds only. (The total cooking time of the eggs should be 1-2 minutes.) Then flip the omelet onto a plate, browned side up. If desired, brush omelet with a little Chinese oyster sauce. Serve immediately.

Just so happens!…this extraordinarily light omelet goes perfectly with my extraordinarily light 2004 The Nude Gran Cru Champagne from Michel Gonet. Click here.

This recipe is from my book It’s All American Food.

Photo courtesy of Bigstock

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