Our Beloved National Dish
You can ask Thai people to name their all-time favourite staple menu over their rice. I guarantee that at least 90% of all population would vote for Khao Kai Jiew (Rice with Deep Fried Omelet). For those little ones whose milk is not their best friends. This unusual Thai omelette will be the right supplier for additional calcium and obtain umami flavours from the baby anchovies.
There is no clear evidence who invented nor when correctly, the famous deep-fried omelette was discovered. The use of oil, wok and stir-frying or deep-frying, this famous egg would relatively be influenced by Chinese cuisine. Historically, Thai had initially mingled with the wok and lard from the Chinese traders since the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351-1767). Before frying entered the Thai kitchen, our cooking techniques evolved from pounding, grilling, sun-drying, and boiling our food. Geographically, our indigenous locals settled themselves by the river. Our food source would be either small freshwater fish or foraging tiny wild animals. Slaughtering big size animals for food did not fit Buddhism belief. A relish accompanied by fresh raw vegetable, grilled fish, sun-drying fish paste in our soup were our staples for a common household.
Food or Fads
To ascertain its popularity, many tips and tricks to cook the best Kai Jiew are always viral on social media. In Thai culture, there is a thin line between being told by the elder and learning from the scientifically proven. Sadly to admit that miracle or belief can easily override science, especially in cooking.
The popular online video of the owner of a resort in Pai, who had accidentally discovered how-to cook a better Kai Jiew, was claimed to be the most updated technique in cyberspace. Many followers have tested and accepted that the new invention. Warming the oil up to 170 C before frying means nothing compared to his low-temperature frying ).
He added a massive amount of oil, (twice or thrice as much as the egg mixture). Add the egg mixture into the pan even before you turn on the gas to the lowest heat. He started to fry them slowly. Consequently, he showed off the same amount of oil was left in the pan after frying the egg. His crispy no soggy fried egg had reached its climax. Again, just like all political rumours has run this country, no one has attempted to explain this discovery scientifically. I just wish that one day, not only how to cook but how to survie here could realistically rely more on science and rationality rather than a miracle.
Nevertheless, I haven’t tried that famous method just yet. I still stick with my belief of appropriate proportion of oil, and fring at the medium heat. The only difference is that the shape of the pan I use. I prefer smallest pan size about 5” that is enough for one egg portion. I am happy with the result, crisp at the edge of the egg; fluffy inside, and no excessive oil within the fried egg. I remove the egg from the pan. Rest them on the paper towel or sieve for a few minutes before serving. Just a little reminder that kids need good fat more than we do. More than 50% of our brain are fat, kids need fat to support their brain development.
Plain Omelette Kai Jiew is already three stars satisfaction. To upgrade by adding more flavourful condiments are commonly acceptable. Shallot, onion, basil, fresh chilli, tomatoes, holy basil, sweet basil are standard. My all-time favourite protein is a 1/4 c of minced pork for two eggs. You can also add some Western condiment too like once I combined minced Chorizo with caramelised onion. My creative fusion didn’t fail me.
My dad, unconventionally added salted fish to the pork and mince them together for better aroma and natural umami flavour. Further seasoning sauce is unnecessary. Thanks to him and my own Japanese meal experience, I add the baby anchovies to Rima’s fried egg. Not only could she enjoy and learn new flavours, but also receive additional calcium with Baby Anchovies Omelette, killing two birds with one stone.
If you are new to Thai, it is worth cooking at home without having to drop by Asian markets. Although there is no sign of acclaimed spiciness, you will learn the development of flavours defined Thainess. Our food culture has rooted from the agglomeration of countless ethnicity. Thai food is already fused by its nature as the same as its people.
Baby Anchovies Thai Omlette
Kai Jiew, the most comfort and cooking-friendly dish in Thai home kitchen
- 1 tbsp Baby Anchovies (Sun dried)
- 2 Egg
- 1 tbsp Water
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil
Beat the raw egg until tiny foam is formed.
Add water and continue beating for 15 second
Add fish and mixed well and rest.
Heat the oil in the pan until begin bubling
Ingo the egg mixture, wait until you see the browning crisp on the edge then filp. Cook until the egg tuen golden brown both side.
Remove it from the pan and rest it on the paper towel. Allovw the excessvei fat, absorbed by the paper towel. Serve over jasmine rice, a staple dish that you can have everyday