A truly versatile dish, omelettes are eaten across the globe in one form or another. Sampling the various types is a delicious way to travel the world, no passport required.
There’s no omelette emoji (yet!) but if there were, it would probably look like an American omelette. Once an American omelette is cooked, it’s topped with fillings and folded in half before serving—sort of like a taco that uses eggs instead of tortillas.
French omelettes are similar to American omelettes in that the egg is cooked before fillings are added. But instead of being folded in half, they’re delicately rolled and folded to completely enclose any fillings (or served plain). If an American omelette is like a taco in shape, a French omelette is more like a burrito.
Tortillas de patatas—not to be confused with corn or flour tortillas used in many Mexican foods—are Spanish omelettes made with eggs and potatoes, and sometimes onions. Rather than cooking the eggs separately, the eggs and fillings are combined before cooking for a final dish that resembles a very hearty crustless quiche. While they share similarities with frittatas, Spanish omelettes are prepared entirely on the stovetop (as opposed to baking in an oven), and flipped once during cooking. They are served warm (not hot) or at room temperature.
There are two common types of Japanese omelettes. The first, Omurice (omelette with fried rice). First, fried rice is formed into rounded mounds on a plate, then a thin cooked omelette is placed on top. The edges of the omelette are tucked underneath the rice, and the dish is usually finished with a zigzag of ketchup (or more elaborate design, like a cute animal face) before serving. Want to try it yourself? Our friends at Tablespoon have a great Omurice recipe!
The second common type of Japanese omelette, tamagoyaki, is made by stacking thin layers of cooked eggs on top of each other and rolling tightly. The egg mixture often includes sugar, too, for a slightly sweet taste. Unlike American, French and Spanish omelettes that are prepared in round skillets, Japanese tamagoyaki are often prepared in rectangular omelette pans designed specifically for this dish.