Hue omelettes


The family who swiftly cooked and served these delicious omelettes from their shack in Hue did so silently, but with wide smiles. Since they couldn’t explain how they made the omelettes, I could only watch, guess and experiment later. This is an ideal quick supper.


  • 1-2 fresh red chillies
  • generous handful of coriander leaves
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 225 g cooked peeled prawns
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Thai shrimp paste
  • 100 g bean sprouts
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • groundnut oil for frying
  • sea salt


Cut open the chillies lengthways under running water and discard the seeds and stems, then slice crossways as finely as possible. Roughly chop the coriander and mint leaves, keeping them separate. Put the prawns into a bowl and mix in the shrimp paste. Have the bean sprouts ready.

Put a sheet of kitchen paper on each serving plate and place in a very low oven, to warm. For the omelettes, break the eggs into a bowl and mix lightly with a fork, then whisk in the water. Season with a little salt and stir in the chillies, together with 2 teaspoons of the chopped coriander.

Pour a 1 cm depth of groundnut oil into a small frying pan and place over a high heat until smoking. Now pour in a quarter of the egg mixture and swirl to form a round. When the mixture has bubbled up right through to the centre and is very brown and crispy underneath, quickly pile a quarter of the prawns, bean sprouts, remaining coriander and mint on one side, then fold the omelette over to enclose the filling. Using a wide spatula, carefully transfer to one of the warmed paper-lined serving plates.

The omelettes should really be eaten straight away, but you can keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest, then serve at once. Gently lift one side of the omelette with a spatula and ease the paper away from underneath before serving.