Poj Spa Kar (pronounced phot saphaa khaan) is Bangkok’s oldest restaurant. The current chef, Nathamon Jaidet, married into the family of the owner, whose relatives were former cooks in the Thai royal palace. She continues to use some of these royal recipes, my favourite of which is this simple, but delicious Thai-style lemongrass omelet.
Unlike a French-style omelet, which is cooked on one side in a small amount of butter, Thai-style omelets (khai jiaw) are essentially deep-fried on both sides. Minced pork is a common addition, but this unusual version uses finely sliced lemongrass, which provides the dish with a slight citrus flavour. The ideal Thai omelet is ‘fluffy’, which Nathamon claims is due to the addition of a squeeze of lime juice. The cooking process is also unique, and Nathamon insists on using very hot oil, which results in an oil-free omelet. She also pours the egg mixture into the oil from about a foot above the wok, producing an omelet that is crispy and layered, not unlike a pastry.
Lemongrass, 1 stalk
Oil for deep-frying
Bottled chili sauce
Slice white section of lemongrass as thinly as possible.
Beat Eggs thoroughly. Add a squeeze of lime juice, beat again. Add lemongrass and combine.
Heat at least four cups of oil until just beginning to smoke. Pour eggs into hot oil with a swilrling motion, from about a foot high. When omelet is slightly brown on the bottom, about 20 seconds, flip. Cook until slightly brown and crispy on opposite side, a few more seconds. Drain oil and serve with optional garnishes of sliced chili and cilantro, and a small bowl of bottled chili sauce. Serve with rice.