The humble omelette gets a luxury upgrade from chef Frank Shek. Food Safari Water
- 150 g mixed Asian mushrooms, enoki, shiitake, shimeji, oyster, black fungi
- ½ punnet snow pea sprouts, halved
- handful bean sprouts
- ½ bunch garlic chives, halved
- 2 spring onions, cut into julienne
- 2-3 tbsp mushroom soy sauce (we use Healthy Boy brand)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 4 eggs
- pinch of ground white pepper
- 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable oil, for frying
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 60 ml (¼ cup) oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp palm sugar syrup or 1 tbsp grated palm sugar
- 2 tbsp deep-fried ginger julienne (see note), to serve
- 3-4 medium whole green lip abalone
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 whole cloves
- ½ tsp whole white peppercorns
- ½ small knob ginger, sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the abalone confit, using a metal spoon, remove the abalone from the shells and trim off the guts. Scrub the abalone to remove any grit and slime, then pat dry.
Place the abalone, oil, spices and ginger in a ziplock bag, then zip up the bag ¾ of the way. Slowly place the bag inside a container of cold water and as you lower it, the air will be pushed out of the bag. Once the air is all gone, complete the seal. Place a plate inside a saucepan of cold water and bring to 90˚C over very low heat. Gently lower the ziplock bag into the water, then cover with another plate. The plates prevent the bag from catching on the bottom and also keeps it submerged. Cook for 3 hours, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the temperature between 85- 90˚C.
Remove the bag from the water and stand for 5-10 minutes before submerging the bag in ice-cold water. Drain the abalone and pat dry with paper towel. Slice finely.
Thinly slice or tear the mushrooms into a large bowl. Add the sprouts, chives, sliced abalone and half the spring onions. Season lightly with some of the soy sauce and sesame oil. Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a pinch of pepper.
Place a wok over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, pour in the egg in a fast steady stream. It will form a puffy raft. Using 2 spatulas, rotate the raft to allow it to cook evenly without burning on the edges. When puffy and golden, pour off the excess oil, leaving the omelette in the wok. Place the abalone mixture on top of the omelette and use a spatula to flip the omelette in half to cover the filling. Pour half the chicken stock around the omelette and cook for 1-2 minutes so the filling ingredients are gently steamed. Transfer the omelette to a chopping board and reserve the cooking liquid in the wok.
Use a spatula to shape the omelette into a cylinder. Trim off the ends and place on the bottom of the serving plate, the top with the whole omelette.
Add the remaining chicken stock to the liquid in the pan. Season with some of the oyster sauce, palm sugar syrup and remaining soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste for balance and adjust if needed. Spoon the sauce over the omelette, then spoon over the remaining oyster sauce. Top with the fried ginger julienne and the remaining spring onion. Serve immediately.
• To make the deep-fried ginger julienne, heat a shallow pot of oil to 160C. Gently lower your julienned strips of ginger in a spider, and fry till golden brown.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.