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Bright Green Herby Omelet

Serves 1

The herb mugwort (ngải cứu in Vietnamese) is traditional in this omelet. It grows abundantly in garden beds, roadsides, and fields throughout North America. When I don’t have access to the perfumed mugwort leaves, which smell of sage and rosemary with hints of anise, I turn to a combination of Thai basil and cilantro. To these I add stronger-flavoured herbs such as red perilla, tarragon, dill, or a pinch of finely chopped rosemary or sage. A scallion or a few minced garlic chives often find their way into the mix as well. Just aim for balance so no single herb overpowers.

Sometimes I make the omelet as a filling for a Bánh Mì Sandwich. My friend Suzanne, a long-term resident of Việt Nam, regularly enjoys it for breakfast or as a light lunch with slices of tomato, cucumber, and avocado on the side. 


For the Dipping Sauce

  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt ¼ tsp
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper a pinch
  • Fresh Red Thai Bird Chile ¼, seeded and thinly sliced

For the Omelet

  • Mixed Herbs ¾ cup, loosely packed
  • (a balanced combination of some of the following herbs: Thai basil, cilantro, Vietnamese cilantro, dill, tarragon, rosemary, sage—finely chopped, or mugwort leaves, picked off the stem)
  • Organic Egg 1 large
  • Soy Sauce ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt a pinch
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper a pinch
  • Vegetable Oil 1 tsp

Cook It

  1. Prepare the dipping sauce: Stir together the lime juice, salt, pepper, and chile in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Wash, then dry the herb leaves, thinly slicing mugwort leaves. Crack the egg into a small bowl and add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Use a fork to beat the egg. Add the herbs and mix  thoroughly.
  3. Drizzle the oil into an 8-inch (20 cm) skillet and tilt to evenly coat the bottom with oil. Set the pan over medium heat. When hot, tilt the egg mixture into the pan, spreading it out to cover the entire bottom with the back of a spatula. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the edges are set and the bottom is golden brown. Use a spatula to flip and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the omelet into 1½-inch strips or into 6 wedges. Serve right away with the dipping sauce.

Recipe from Vegetarian Viet Nam by Cameron Stauch. Copyright © 2018 by Cameron Stauch. Reprinted with permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.