Even though it was one of the main areas of combat during the Vietnam war, Hue, the old imperial city, is still a magically beautiful place. When I watched these omelettes being made, the whole of Hue had a power cut and as the tiny restaurant serving this speciality possessed just two oil lamps it was quite hard to work out the exact method and ingredients. Also, since the charming family who ran the restaurant were all deaf and dumb, explanations were limited. However, my memory served me quite well and these light and crispy omelettes, stuffed with prawns, beansprouts and other Vietnamese flavours, make a delicious light supper or snack. Incidentally, they also taste good cold so would be excellent for a picnic.
Prepare the filling first. Cut open the chillies under running water and discard the seeds and stems. Slice the chillies across as finely as possible. Roughly chop the coriander and mint leaves. Put the prawns into a bowl and mix in the shrimp paste or anchovy essence. Have the beansprouts ready. Put 4 serving plates into a very low oven to warm, putting
To make the omelettes, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly with a fork. Then whisk in the water, season with salt and stir in the sliced chillies and
The first person to be served should really start eating at once, or you can keep the omelettes warm in a low oven until you have cooked all of them. Before serving, gently lift the omelettes with a spatula and ease the absorbent paper from underneath.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.