Asian Recipes/ Lunch/ Recipes

Simple Lao Omelette

17/02/2021 (Last Updated: 07/04/2021)

For crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside omelettes you can whip up in 10 minutes, check out this Simple Lao Omelette. Filled with perfectly wilted greens and dished up with a tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce, this vegetarian omelette is deliciously filling AND healthy!

The finished lao omelette with the centre broken to show the wilted greens and bean shoots in the centre.

Why We Love This

Omelettes really are the essence of a simple, quick and filling meal. Plus you can jazz them up with all kinds of fillings, toppings and dipping sauces depending on what you have on hand.

This healthy omelette recipe is full of veggies and amazing Asian flavours to keep you satisfied, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s also lighter than a traditional omelette or vegetable frittata, so it won’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated. 

The below recipe is for one serve, so it’s easily scalable whether you’re making it for yourself or cooking for the whole family.

A lao omelette cooking in a large stainless steel wok over a wood fire brazier.

What is a Lao Omelette? 

Omelettes, just like pancakes and crepes, are a popular street food across Asia. Each region has its own version using slightly different ingredients, methods or presentation.

In Laos, omelettes are usually cooked in a large oiled wok over hot coals. The thin, runny batter is swirled around the wok so the omelettes are light, fluffy, and paper thin with super crispy edges. This sets them apart from Thai omelettes known as kai jeow, where the eggs are dropped into the hot oil and puff up into thick, fluffy omelette pillows.

They’re usually topped with wilted veggies then carefully folded over into pockets and served with a range of condiments and dipping sauces to customise to your taste.

Where We Learned This

Our wanderings through Luang Prabang, Laos, led us to discover this simple Lao Omelette at a humble little food stall well away from the bustling tourist drag. It looked nice and shady, a good spot to rest after hours of walking in the hot sun.

The lovely stall owner dashed off to whip up the omelette in a huge stainless steel wok perched atop a rustic wood-fed stove. In a flash, a ladle full of whisked egg and rice flour batter went shooting across the wok to cover the pan. All the while she kept throwing smiles across her shoulder at us. Come over, come see.

As we watched, she added fresh spring onion leaves, morning glory and bean shoots into the wok, then slammed on the lid so they’d wilt juuuust right while the egg batter continued to cook.

After a minute or two and a few flicks of the spatula, she folded the edges of the omelette over the veggies to form a neat little pocket. It reached our table in steaming hot deliciousness, along with a bowl of sweet/salty/sour dipping sauce and various toppings to customise to our own taste.

Curious, we took a bite. Our first impression was a fluffy yet crispy creation unlike any omelette we’ve tried before. It must be that addition of rice flour to the batter, making it an omelette with a hint of pancake texture similar to Vietnamese banh xeo.

A sprinkling of chilli flakes, generous scoops of peanut powder, and we started attacking it by neatly dunking pieces of omelette in the dipping sauce before giving up and pouring the sauce all over the omelette like the happy little gluttons we are. Yum!

The lovely stall owner holding the wok handle while steaming the lao omelette.

What You’ll Need

For the vegetable omelette:

  • Eggs – Regular chicken eggs are all you need here, though duck eggs would work just as well.
  • Rice Flour – This is what adds that crispy crunch to your omelette. The most popular/widely available brand is Erawan Thai rice flour. You can usually find it at Asian grocers or in the international aisle of larger supermarkets. Look for the bag with the red label (the green one is for glutinous rice flour which is not what we want for this recipe). Substitute with potato starch if you need.
  • Veggies – We use bean sprouts, spring onion leaves and spinach when cooking this at home. Feel free to use any combination of your favourite greens, for example morning glory, Chinese spinach or bok choy. For more ideas, see the Variations section below.
  • Toppings – Crushed peanuts, chilli flakes, and a sprinkling of salt & pepper add extra texture and flavour to the dish.

For the dipping sauce:

  • Fish Sauce – This staple Asian ingredient has a strong smell in the bottle, but is perfect for adding savoury flavour to your cooking. You’ll find it at Asian grocers or in well-stocked supermarkets in the international foods section, or online. If you can’t find it or don’t want to use, you can substitute with soy sauce.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh is best, but we’ll sometimes use bottled lime juice for convenience. 
  • Soybean Oil – This is a nice, flavourless oil that is the perfect base for the dipping sauce. Substitute with coconut oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil if you need.

How to Make a Lao Omelette

  1. To make the batter, mix the rice flour, warm water and salt. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then pour into batter. Mix until combined.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, ensuring the oil reaches all over the pan.
  3. Using a ladle, spoon the mixture around the edges of the wok, then swirl to spread it out evenly over the entire surface.
  4. Top the omelette with bean sprouts, spring onion and spinach slightly off centre. Cover with a lid to steam until the veggies have wilted slightly (around 1 minute).
  5. Dab your spatula with oil and drip more around the edges of the omelette – this is a crucial step to stop it sticking. Gently lift the edges of the omelette with the spatula and fold over the middle to create a parcel.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with finely chopped peanuts, chilli and dipping sauce.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Batter Consistency – Aim for a thin consistency, not a thick batter. This will help you swirl it out to the edges of the wok and create that nice thin omelette layer.
  • Oil the Wok – Make sure the oil coats the wok evenly to avoid the omelette sticking or tearing.
  • Veggies – Place the veggies slightly off centre to make it easier to fold over the top.
  • Golden Brown – Fry until the bottom is golden brown, carefully fold over the veggies, then flip and fry the other side until cooked.

FAQs

How can I fold the omelette without breaking it?

Non-stick woks work best for cooking omelettes. Gently work your spatula under the omelette and gently wiggle it to release the omelette from the bottom of the pan. Keep working it underneath until the bulk of the weight is held by your spatula. Lift just high enough so the edges won’t fold over themselves then and quickly turn your wrist to flip it.
Another option is to gently slide the omelette out of the wok onto a large plate. Flip the omelette over to its other side and then slide it back in.

How long do I need to cook it before flipping?

Thin omelettes cook fast, so 1-2 minutes should be enough.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, you can cook this the night before and eat it for lunch the next day.

Could I cook it in the microwave?

Yes, although the texture won’t be the same. Add all the omelette ingredients into a microwave safe container, keeping the toppings and sauces separate. At lunch time, scramble and microwave in short bursts until the omelette is cooked through, the add the toppings and sauces.

What can I serve with this omelette?

Try it with freshly steamed white rice / sticky rice, a simple salsa of diced tomato and cucumber, or a slice of hot buttered toast.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Make It Your Way – Try adding your favourite combo of sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, herbs (chives, coriander/cilantro or dill), chopped garlic, chilli, etc. You could even add BBQ chicken, cheese or tofu for a little extra protein and flavour. 
  • Add Spice – Tweak the flavours with a sprinkling of cayenne, paprika, shichimi chilli powder, or Sriracha hot sauce
Close up shot of the finished lao omelette showing the crushed peanuts sprinkled on top.

Try more delicious Asian pancakes and crepes next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Simple Lao Omelette - This fluffy egg delight is stuffed full of veggies to keep you satisfied all afternoon. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Simple Lao Omelette

For crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside omelettes you can whip up in 10 minutes, check out this Simple Lao Omelette. Filled with perfectly wilted greens and dished up with a tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce, this vegetarian omelette is deliciously filling AND healthy!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Lao
Servings: 1 omelette
Calories: 409kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $7

Ingredients

Optional Toppings

Dipping Sauce

Instructions

  • To make the batter, mix the rice flour, warm water and salt. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then pour into batter. Mix until combined.
  • Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, ensuring the oil reaches all over the pan.
  • Using a ladle, spoon the mixture around the edges of the wok, then swirl to spread it out evenly over the entire surface.
  • Top the omelette with bean sprouts, spring onion and spinach slightly off centre. Cover with a lid to steam until the veggies have wilted slightly (around 1 minute).
  • Dab your spatula with oil and drip more around the edges of the omelette – this is a crucial step to stop it sticking. Gently lift the edges of the omelette with the spatula and fold over the middle to create a parcel.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and serve with finely chopped peanuts, chilli and dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce:

  • In a small bowl, add the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and vegetable oil. Give it a quick stir and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Make It Your Way – Try adding your favourite combo of sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, herbs (chives, coriander/cilantro or dill), chopped garlic, chilli, etc. You could even add BBQ chicken, cheese or tofu for a little extra protein and flavour.
  • Add Spice – Tweak the flavours with a sprinkling of cayenne, paprika, shichimi chilli powder, or Sriracha hot sauce.
  • Batter Consistency – Aim for a thin consistency, not a thick batter. This will help you swirl it out to the edges of the wok and create that nice thin omelette layer.
  • Oil the Wok – Make sure the oil coats the wok evenly to avoid the omelette sticking or tearing.
    Veggies – Place the veggies slightly off centre to make it easier to fold over the top.
  • Golden Brown – Fry until the bottom is golden brown, carefully fold over the veggies, then flip and fry the other side until cooked.
  • Rice Flour – This is what adds that crispy crunch to your omelette. The most popular/widely available brand is Erawan Thai rice flour. You can usually find it at Asian grocers or in the international aisle of larger supermarkets. Look for the bag with the red label (the green one is for glutinous rice flour which is not what we want for this recipe). Substitute with potato starch if you need.

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 491mg | Sodium: 2784mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1086IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Simple Lao Omelette

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara | Belly Rumbles
    21/04/2016 at 12:16 am

    The good old omelette is a Sunday night saver. Even better when you add a simple Lao twist to it. Delicious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/04/2016 at 12:50 pm

      All hail the omelette! All round life saver and delicious morsel whenever you need it haha.

  • Reply
    Camilla @FabFood4All
    20/04/2016 at 10:25 pm

    5 stars
    I love omelettes but have never thought to make a think one like this so am going to try this:-)

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/04/2016 at 12:49 pm

      It’s a nice way to bring extra flavour and texture, plus it makes it super healthy too. Win win!

  • Reply
    Priya
    20/04/2016 at 9:46 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t eat eggs but my hubby loves it! Got to make this omelette for him..

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/04/2016 at 12:47 pm

      Hope he enjoys Priya! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    20/04/2016 at 9:45 pm

    Mmm such a mouthwatering dish! So delicate and elegant!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/04/2016 at 12:46 pm

      Omelettes are the best! They’re light and fresh and tasty and make you feel so good. 🙂

  • Reply
    Cristie | Little Big H
    20/04/2016 at 9:40 pm

    Oh I love this so much. It looks and sounds so good. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/04/2016 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks Cristie, hope you enjoy the flavours of Laos!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    20/04/2016 at 7:53 pm

    5 stars
    These flavors in this omelette sound amazing! Will definitely have to give it a try!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      21/04/2016 at 12:45 pm

      So similar yet so different. Must try! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rose
    10/12/2015 at 6:12 am

    Is “two TABLEspoons of salt” a typo? Seems like a lot. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/12/2015 at 4:49 pm

      Whoooops. That could have caused a few salty tears! Thanks for pointing that out, we’ve updated the recipe now. Hope you enjoy, let us know how you go. 🙂

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