Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fried Oyster Omelette

Fried Oyster Omelette is another famous street food in Asia.  It is said that this is a must-try hawker food when one visits Asia and this is the reason why this food has been constantly ranked as one of the most sought-after hawker food in Taiwan.  This Chinese dish is widely found in many parts of Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.  Easily found in night markets, this is one heck of a dish to die for.  It is savoury, creamy, zesty, chewy, some gooey and some crispy! 

In Malaysia, it is commonly called Oh Chien, literally means fried (chien) osyter (Oh) in the Hokkien dialect.  This dish is easily available in any foodcourts in Penang and Malacca (where I'm currently residing). 

Needless to say, I really have weakness for this food where I got infatuated with it when I was seven, if I may recall.  I could still remember how my mom and my uncle used to occasionally bring back this food nicely wrapped in a sheet of plastic and newspaper.   Though closely wrapped, the aroma would somehow make its way out wafting the air and I would be like YES!  Mom knew very well that I loved it so much that she boldly tried frying one plate for me.  The result was quite shockingly disastrous where all I got was a big lump of starch clumped together.  I did not want to disappoint her, so I tried to pretend that it was okay and edible.  Somehow or other, my innocent expression failed to cheat and convince her!

Whatever it is, this dish is truly a comfort food for me until today.  The combination of omelette, starch, fresh oysters and sprigs of fresh coriander leaves with a zest of squeezed lime juice just blend so beautifully making the dish deliciously sublime and leaving you totally perked up.

Surprisingly, this dish is so easy to prepare.  Not many ingredients involved.  They are quite easily available except for the oysters where you may have to buy them fresh from the morning market and at times it could be hard to come by.   Preparation only takes less than 10 minutes and frying only eats a miniscule 5 minutes.  So, barely 20 minutes, a plate of vibrant looking and savoury Oh Chien is already sitting nicely on the table ready to fire your palate and appease your appetite.

I got the recipe from Kenneth Goh of Guai Shu Shu in which he gave a very well write up on the dish.  Of course, there are aplenty of them on the net but Ken's photos somehow caught my hungry eyes.  The photo shots were spot on.  The colours looked deliciously vibrant making the dish looked irresistibly tempting.  Everything was perfect, just the exact type of fried oyster I used to eat when I was just an innocent young boy.

So, for those of you who have not had this dish before, I highly recommend that you give it a try.  Certainly, you don't have to be physically here in Asia, just scroll down and you will have this delectable Asian treat right before you, in your humble kitchen.    

The Ingredients:
(makes one big plate, as per picture)
  • A handful of fresh oysters or defrosted frozen oysters
  • Some spring onion (chopped separately for the white portion and green portion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch or corn starch  or sweet potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon of rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 10 tablespoons of water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Some sprigs of coriander leaves for garnish

The Steps:
  1. Defrost the frozen oysters completely, wash carefully in cold water and drain well.
  2. Mix the tapioca/corn/potato starch and rice flour together with the water to make a watery starchy solution.  Set aside for later use. 
  3. Heat the frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.  Stir fry the white portion of the spring onion and garlic until fragrant.  
  4. Pour in the starch solution until the batter is half cooked (about 15 seconds)
  5. Add in the beaten eggs and when the eggs are almost cooked, add in seasonings (fish sauce and white pepper).  Stir until well mixed. 
  6. Add in the fresh oyster and stir fry for another one minute. 
  7. Off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves or spring onions (the green portion)
Note: Best served hot as a snack with homemade garlic chilli sauce and squeezed lime juice.

 Bon Appetite!

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