This is a humble household dish that I think most Chinese families in the region will also know how to cook.. This dish simple and fast and most families cooked this dish to go with porridge because of the salty dried radish..But some home cooked version are thick omelette style but some are rather thin. Some like it to break it into small pieces yet some like it to be in one whole piece.
Not only they cooked at home, they also ordered outside especially in the Taiwanese restaurant. A plate of simple fried radish omelette can fetch more than S$10 in the restaurant setting. Though Teochews claimed that preserved radish or caipoh is their traditional ingredients, but this dish is made popular not in Teochew restaurant but by Taiwanese style of restaurant.. I can’t remember if I have ever ordered this dish elsewhere except the Taiwanese restaurant.
Every granny will know how to prepare this dish, my late mum always prepare and I knew too. But all these while I am unable to get the fluffy egg omelette and the preserved radish aroma like what is sold in the restaurant. My previously homemade preserved radish omelette are rather dense and sometime hard.. It is still delicious but I do not think I can sell this type of omelette to customers since most will be able to get this dense texture.
Yes, to get the fluffy egg omelette, there are some tips that we seldom do at home. If you look at TV show, you will see chefs keep beating the eggs using chopsticks. What most program did not mentioned is that they use their skills to beat the eggs until very pale, light and will lots of bubbles. I tried using forks and hand whisk, it took quite a bit of time to get that stage of thick pale eggs with lots of air incorporated. I am lazy and I played cheat..
I used the stand mixer to beat my eggs for 2-3 minutes until you see lots of bubbling in the beaten eggs. When you poured the beaten eggs into the hot oil, air will be trapped in between the cooked eggs and hence give you an irregular surface fluffy egg omelette. Don’t worry if you do not have a stand mixer, you can always use a whisk.
When you take your bite, you will discover that it is much softer and crispy at the edges because there are much more air in that piece of omelette as compared to prepare by the traditional method. That is the texture of egg omelette sold by the restaurant. It is also more aromatic as the thin eggs are well pan fried
Other than this tip, in order for the preserved dried radish to be fragrant, you must dry fried it until it is very dry under medium to low heat. You will see that the preserved radish will “jump up and down “ in the pan when it is dry enough. High heat shall be used to prepare this dish and the aroma blend of this dish is not only the preserved radish but the pan fried eggs until golden brown.
”菜脯蛋是一道家常菜，流行於台灣、福建、廣東潮汕地區，在蛋上面加上蘿蔔乾炒成，有時也會加入一些蔥。菜脯蛋的「脯」常俗寫為「餔」，「脯」的本意是肉乾，「菜脯」就是醃製過的蘿蔔乾，而閩南語習慣稱蘿蔔為「菜頭」，因此把醃蘿蔔乾稱為「菜脯」。” (Source: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%8F%9C%E8%84%AF%E8%9B%8B)
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 3-4 adult servings
- 50 grams of sweet preserved radish
- 50 grams of salty preserved radish
- 3 eggs
- 2 stalks of spring onion (chopped)
You can use either all sweet or salty preserved radish . I like to use a mixture of both to tone down the saltiness of the salty preserved radish. You can also use preserved radish chunks but you will need to chop or blend it until coarse bits.
STEPS PF PREPARATION
- Put the preserved salty radish in a bowl, add water adequate to cover the salty radish, use a tablespoon to stir and let it soak for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a non stick wok without any oil, dry fry the preserved radishes (salty and sweet) until the preserved radishes are dry and aroma to penetrate the house. Add one tablespoon of cooking oil or lard and stir fry until the preserved radish “jumping up and down” the wok. By now , you should smell some very fragrant and dry fried cai poh. Dish out and set aside. The whole process may need 10-15 minutes under medium to low heat.
- Beat the eggs until as pale and as frothy as you can. You can use the traditional method of beating using a fork or chopsticks until it is light and bubbly or you can use a stand mixer to beat the eggs at high speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the preserved radish and chopped spring onion into the beaten eggs. If you want, you can add some seasonings at this stage like MSG or other flavouring but I do not usually add anything.
- Heat up a wok with 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Swirl the oil around the pot and when the pot is very hot, add half of the egg mixture, continue pan frying using high heat until you smell the aroma of pan fried eggs. Quickly flipped over the other sides and pan fry until golden brown or when the smell of the fried eggs penetrate the house. The whole process may take only 3-4 minutes.
- The thinner is the egg omelette, the fluffier it will be. High heat shall be used throughout the frying process such that oil will not or flow back to your omelette making it an oily omelette.
- Lard is traditionally the oil used, it has a higher boiling point and provide flavour. Therefore, lard is a more suitable oil for preparing this. It will result in crispier edges and more aromatic omelette.
If you are interested in fluffy preserved radish omelette, you can try this recipe. However, if you are contented with what you have already prepared at home, you should continue to use your own method. As for me, I will definitely change to this new method as this is very well received by my family members and we finished all in minutes.
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