Here's how to make an amazing omelet, one that's creamy, fluffy, almost custard-like inside. And stay-tuned, we feature some funky variations below.
Start with a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Use a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter -- clarified butter works best if you're really cranking the heat. The key, though, is to cook the eggs quickly but gently. If the omelet gets too browned, it can taste a little bitter.
Add the eggs to the pan. It will bubble and start to solidify. We're using all egg-whites in this demonstration, but the method works just the same with the yolks included.
OK, here's the key. Tilt the pan, and with a spatula, lift up the omelet at the edge, allowing the raw egg to run underneath. This technique serves two purposes: One, the omelet cooks faster (without too much browning) when you run the raw egg off the top; two, it creates subtle layers of creamy fluffiness.
When the raw egg has run off the top, turn off the heat. The omelet will finish cooking in the hot pan as you add your filling ingredients. If you're adding shredded or grated cheese, add it now to make it melty. Or sprinkle it over the top when you're done. Or both!
Some classic fillings:
- Sautéed onions, bell peppers, ham
- Avocado, tomatoes, red onions, feta
- Sliced mushrooms, garlic, spinach, cream cheese
- Bacon, chopped tomatoes, Swiss cheese
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese
- Pesto, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes
- Jalapeños, Cheddar cheese, salsa
Fold the omelet like a taco. Or into thirds if you prefer.
And slide it out onto a plate.
VIDEO: How to Make an Omelet
Watch Chef John develop thin layers of egginess, as he makes a light, tender three-egg omelet with goat cheese and chives.
Variations on a Theme
Hungry folks have, of course, hacked the classic method, coming up with all sorts of creative variations. For example,
Omelet in a Mug
Combine all the ingredients in a coffee mug and blast in the microwave. This is the one for people who really, really dislike doing the dishes.
Pepperoni Pizza Omelet
This recipe takes pizza for breakfast to its most logical conclusion.
It's omelet in cupcake form. The perfect grab-and-go breakfast for busy weekdays.
Baked Omelet Roll
This ingenious roll-up method let's you make six omelets at once.
Slow Cooker Western Omelet
Add everything to the slow cooker before you go to bed, and wake up to a wonderful omelet with ham and hashbrowns.
Omelet in a Bag
Mix eggs and toppings directly in a resealable freezer bag and cook in boiling water until set.
Omelets by Another Name
People all over the world have devised dishes involving whisked eggs poured into a hot pan. Here are just a few.
Japanese Tamago Egg
This traditional Japanese omelet includes mirin and soy sauce. "The omelet is sweet, has a light texture," says Pokerman11. "Serve over sushi rice with soy and wasabi sauce for dipping."
Spring Vegetable Frittata
An Italian take on the omelet. "Make sure all your vegetables are tender, hot, and well seasoned before adding your eggs, and not a lot can go wrong," Chef John assures us.
The Spanish version is essentially a thick, open-face omelet with slices of potato and onion...and maybe some serrano ham.
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