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An omelette is a cooked egg dish made from eggs that are beaten, then poured into a frying pan, cooked to form a thin "pie", then folded in half to form one of two classic folds, either the half-moon shape or the letter fold.

Often a filling is put on them before being folded. The type of filling can determine whether it is a breakfast, lunch or dinner dish.

Omelettes are almost always served hot.

For this reason, they are usually cooked for 1 person at a time. Some can be made big enough for two people, but after that they get unwieldy to manipulate in the pan.

Don't try to make omelettes for a crowd; it's not worth the stress.

There are special pans that are meant to make cooking omelettes easier, though many people have the knack of making them in plain old cast iron pans (usually the same people who could cook perfect fluffy rice in a tin can over a campfire.)

Cooking Tips

As a general rule, allow 3 eggs per omelette. You can reduce that to 2 eggs for light eaters, or for meals where there will be other stuff on the plate.

Adding salt to the eggs can toughen them; salt them at the table instead.

Water makes lighter omelettes than milk.

If a filling for the omelette is to be used, it needs to be the first thing you do before you start the omelette. The filling should be ready to go and either at room temperature or warm before you start cooking the eggs.

Swish the pan around so that runny uncooked egg will move to the sides of the pan where it can cook faster. You are ready to fold when the egg mixture is still just a bit wet on the top (but first, spread any filling or cheese on top before folding). You can do the classic half-moon fold, or the "letter" fold -- one-third on one side over to the middle, then one-third on the other side over to the middle on top of the previous fold. (The letter fold is meant to be served upside down). After folding, you can remove it right away from the pan if you like omelettes soft, or let cook for a little bit longer if you like your omelette drier and firmer.

The total cooking time for the egg mixture should be no more than 3 minutes, which gives a very firm omelette; 2 minutes for a soft one.

Language Notes

From the French word, Omelette. From there, things get strange.

Linguists speculate that the word came from "alumette", a sword blade, referring to the omelette's flat shape. Omelette's weren't always half-moon or letter-shaped, though. There are pictures of omelette's made by historical food re-creationists who have made them long and flat, which might make the word's origin make more sense.

See also:

Egg Dishes

Buttered Eggs (2); Coddled Eggs; Devilled Eggs; Eggs Benedictine; Eggs Benedict; Frittata; Migas; Omelette; Quiche; Tortilla (Egg)

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Also called:

Tortilla francesa (Spanish); Omelete (Portuguese)


Oulton, Randal. "Omelette." CooksInfo.com. Published 16 June 2004; revised 12 March 2010. Web. Accessed 06/23/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/omelette>.

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