Sunday, November 3, 2013

Teochew Preserved Turnip Omelet (serves 1)

I grew up eating omelets such as chai poh nung.  This one is made from chai poh or preserved salted turnips. Most of the time my parents served these omelets with a bowl of plain rice soup, called mue in Teochew or cháo trắng in Vietnamese (made from boiling water and a little rice).  Sometimes I make this and eat it with steamed rice.  This is a very simple meal and it always reminds me of my Teochew comfort home cooking.

My Ah Ma often tells me stories of her childhood near Swatow (or Suatao).  One of the stories is that her family was very poor and when she was a child her mother almost gave her away. However, her father decided that no matter how poor they were he would keep his family together.  I suspect that some of the dishes such as chai poh nung were created by the poor people such as my grandmother's family to extend their daily meal.  The preserved salted turnips can be kept easily in the house without refrigeration and a little of this goes a long a way! 

Teochew Preserved Turnip Omelet (serves 1)


1/2 cup of chopped preserved turnips
3 large eggs
1 tsp olive oil


1) Heat a small pan with oil over medium high heat.
2) Once the pan is hot add the preserved turnips.  Stir and fry for about 4-5 minutes.
3) Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork in a small bowl.
4) Add the cooked preserved turnips in the egg mixture, stir a few times.
5) Pour this mixture into the pan.
6) Cover the pan and let the egg mixture cook for about 2-3 minutes.
7) Uncover the pan and either flip the egg mixture or fold the 2 sides in.  Cover the pan and cook for another minute or two until the egg mixture is not runny anymore.
8) Serve immediately.

*Be sure to wash the preserved salted turnip well in water and dry before using.  
*After step 3 you can also pour the egg mixture into the pan.  Make sure to have the cooked preserved turnip equally scattered in the pan before pouring the egg mixture for equal distribution of both ingredients.
*You may purchase the preserved salted turnip in an Asian market.
*I found this interesting website with proper pronunciations on how to address people in Teochew.

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