Phew…. another crazy week has gone by and can’t believe this is already the end of August! Today is also Malaysia’s Independence Day and I basically spent the whole day recuperating in bed. Well, and cook, of course. And since this is the last day for the Taiwan leg of Asian Food Fest, I better get this post finished by midnight.
Uhh…. I’m not here to boast, but my grandma and my mom make the best Oyster Omelette and so far I don’t think I have had better anywhere else. Well of course my grandma is an expert in the kitchen and she makes pretty much everything from scratch and does not limit herself to only Teochew cuisine, but also many Foochow/Hakka dishes too. The Oyster omelette she makes always has the right balance of crispiness, stickiness and great umami flavour. She uses a specific type of canned oysters and the mixes the juices in as well, which apparently gives a better flavour then just using fresh oysters. I believe her version is very traditionally Teochew (it’s also very different to the one serve in KL or Penang), so naturally I’m curious about the Taiwanese version too.
Like I have mentioned previously, I have never been to Taiwan so I don’t know how the authentic Taiwanese Oyster Omelette tastes like. But I did try it once at a popular Taiwanese restaurant called Fong Lye and I bet their version isn’t even close to the good ones in Taiwan. But there are plenty of recipes online, so I went ahead to my local Village Grocer and found some frozen oysters, along with other essential ingredients. This was also the first time I’ve actually tried Tong Ho (茼蒿), a popular green vegetables much loved by the Taiwanese. It’s actually a very simple recipe but the trick is that you have to keep everything together so you can work fast. It only takes about 5 minutes and the result is a very satisfying treat. At least for me because I sure love my oysters! I decided to keep the sauce simple because I don’t have cornstarch at home, I believe the basic flavours are there, but purist would probably scoff at me.
Simplified Version of sauce:
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Chili Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
Mix everything together well and set aside.
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch ground white pepper
2 Tablespoon Sweet Potato Starch
2 Tablespoon Tapioca Starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon Lard
1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
Handful of Raw oysters (I used about 10)
1 stalk of Spring Onion, chopped
1/4 Tong Ho, roughly torn or chopped
Mix Sweet Potato Starch and Tapioca Starch with water and set aside.
Heat the oil (Lard for best result) in pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, then add all the oysters and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the starch slurry, then crack an egg in. Break up the yolk slightly with the spatula. Place the Tong Ho and Spring onion on top and let it cook for about a minute.
Loose the side of the omelette to ensure smooth flipping process. I recommend using 2 spatulas for this. Once flipped over, cook for another minute or until the egg is set. Pour over the sauce and serve immediately.
I generally don’t like cooked oysters but I would gladly make this an exception. It’s so easy to make now I know what to do whenever I get a craving. Oh and if this is eaten without the sauce it’s basically Paleo too! I think next time I will have it with some homemade Sriracha.