March 04, 2006

Okra & Pasilla Omelet with Egg Noodle

Originally uploaded by Kolya Vishnevsky.

One of my best food memories, was a simple meal prepared by my then-boyfriend's mother -- the woman who opened up my palate to Vietnamese cuisine. It was a backyard bbq meal of grilled beef, salad, rice and grilled okra in a soy marinade. I have never had okra so delicious! They were tiny green jewels grown in her backyard -- picked at their peak, and lightly grilled with a little char on the outside. I've been on a quest to enjoy okra like this once more.

My recent break from red meat has re-sparked my interest in veggie varieties, outside of my staples. The trip to the market yielded the lovely oyster mushrooms from my last post, and a nice pack of small, tender okra. Craving a hearty breakfast, with the okra in mind, I went through my pantry, yielding a pack of Chinese dried egg noodle and chicken bouillon. I remembered a yummy, simple noodle dish, made by my friend Rio, that was basically fresh egg noodle quickly boiled in broth and drained, served with sauteed greens garnished with a drizzle of good oyster sauce. Inspired by this pairing, I came up with a similar dish incorporating the okra, and added omelet to "breakfast-ify" it.

Okra & Roasted Pasilla Omelet with Egg Noodle

1 med fresh pasilla pepper (sometimes called poblanos)
6-8 oz thin Chinese egg noodle (fresh or dried)
2 1/2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
*note* you may substitute water & bouillon with 2 1/2 cups diluted chicken broth
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
2 Tbs light, non-flavored oil (extra or virgin olive oil does not work here)
1 clove garlic, sliced
5-7 okra pods, sliced on the diagonal
1/3 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots
2 large eggs, beaten
Approx 1 Tbs oyster sauce (use a brand with real oyster extract)
Fresh radish sprouts for garnish
Salt to taste

- Roast the pasilla pepper on an open flame, or in the oven on broil, till blackened throughout. Set aside.
- In a saucepot, bring the water & bouillon (or broth) to a boil. Add the egg noodle and cook till just tender, but with bite (semi al dente). Drain, and place in serving bowl, tossed with the roasted sesame oil.
- Remove the blackened skin from the pasilla, rinse quickly or wipe with a damp towel to clean. Chop half of the pepper and reserve the other half for another dish.
- Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large skillet or wok, till oil shimmers, but not smoking.
- Add garlic, okra, bamboo shoots and a couple dashes of salt. Saute quickly for about a minute. Set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining oil on medium high, add chopped pasilla peppers, saute for approx 10-15 seconds.
- To the sauteed pasillas, add the beaten eggs. Let egg mixture cook by pulling the cooked edges to the middle, allowing the raw egg to seep to the edge of the pan, to cook evenly. Cook till eggs are set, but still moist.
- Turn out omelet onto the egg noodles, top with okra saute, drizzle oyster sauce on top and garnish with fresh radish sprouts.
- Makes 1 generous serving. Enjoy!