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Crispy Thai omelette from Kiin.
Kiin, which means “eat” in Thai, includes more than 100 northern specialties as well as classic dishes eaten throughout the country.
Our cookbook of the week is Kiin by chef Nuit Regular. Over the next three days, we’ll feature more recipes from the book and an interview with the author.
Chef Nuit Regular dedicates Kiin , in part, to her son Phai. The memory of her now 21-year-old calling for direction on how to make a Thai omelette was part of what inspired her to write the book in the first place.
After she walked Phai through how to make an omelette her way, Regular realized there was so much more she wanted to pass on to her son and daughter, 13-year-old Chormarlee, about northern Thai cooking.
“One day when they’re ready to cook, I will be in the book,” says Regular. “Then they can hear my voice through the book. They can have the recipes I still can remember.”
Crisp and golden on the outside, airy on the inside, Thai omelettes (khai jeaw grob) have a unique personality. Every household has their own way of making them, says Regular: She favours adding plenty of vegetables and edible flowers for tartness.
“They’re simple, yes — but very special to me because we eat omelettes probably three times a day in Thailand,” she adds, laughing. “When we don’t know what to eat … we always go back to an omelette, rice and a little bit of fish sauce. That’s how it goes.”
CRISPY THAI OMELETTE
Khai Jeaw Grob
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) tempura batter mix
2 oz (55 g) ground chicken (optional)
1/4 cup (50 mL) packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1/4 white onion, thickly sliced
1/4 cup (50 mL) packed fresh Thai basil leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) Maggi seasoning sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) Thai oyster sauce
2 cups (500 mL) sunflower oil
Steamed Jasmine Rice (recipe follows), for serving
In a small bowl, stir together the water and tempura batter mix.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, chicken (if using), cilantro, onion, basil, Maggi seasoning sauce and oyster sauce. Add the tempura mixture and stir until everything is well mixed.
In large wok over high heat, heat the sunflower oil. You can tell when the oil is ready when smoke starts to rise from it. Once this happens, quickly pour the egg mixture into the wok and stir in a clockwise motion. Cook for 1 minute, until the omelette is puffed and crispy. Flip and cook for another minute. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
STEAMED JASMINE RICE
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) jasmine rice
2 cups (500 mL) water, at room temperature
Place the rice in a medium strainer or fine-mesh sieve over the sink. Rinse the rice well under cold running water for 1 minute. Drain well.
Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan, cover with the water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, cook, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon and making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. The water should be evaporated to the level of the rice. If not, continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir and let sit, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes. If the rice is too soft, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Recipes and image excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. Copyright © 2020 by Nuit Regular. Photography copyright © 2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020