Oyster omelette

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A hawker is making oyster omelette in the Shilin Night Market of Taipei.

The oyster omelette (Chinese: 蚵仔煎; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ô-á-chian) is a dish that is widely known for its savoury taste in Taiwan, Fujian and Chaoshan, as well as many parts of Asia. Variations of the dish preside in some southern regions of China, although the taste and appearance of these can vary by a lot from the Taiwanese version. The oyster omelette is a Taiwanese "night market favorite",[1] and has constantly been ranked by many foreigners as the top dish from Taiwan. Its generous proportions and affordable price demonstrates the trait of night market cuisines. It is also popular in other places with Chaoshan and Fujianese influences, such as in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.

Ingredients

The dish consists of an omelette with a filling primarily composed of small oysters. Starch (typically potato starch) is mixed into the egg batter, giving the resulting egg wrap a thicker consistency. Pork lard is often used to fry the omelette. Depending on regional variations, a savoury sauce may then be poured on top of the omelette for added taste.

Spicy or chili sauce mixed with lime juice is often added to provide an intense kick. Shrimp can sometimes be substituted in place of oysters; in this case, it is called shrimp omelettes (蝦仁煎).

Names

Modern-style Taiwanese oyster omelette.
Oyster omelette from Chien-Cheng Circle, Datong District of Taipei.
Oyster omelette and chili sauce from Newton Food Centre, Singapore.

In different Chinese languages, the "oyster omelette" is known by various names in different Chinese geographical regions.

Chinese name Pronunciations in different spoken variations Geographical areas that use such a name
蚵仔煎 In Hokkien: ô-á-chiān
In Mandarin: ézǎi jiān
Taiwan and southern half of Fujian
蠔煎 In Cantonese: hòuh jīn
In Mandarin: háo jiān
In Hokkien: o-chian
Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia
牡蛎煎 In Mandarin: mǔlì jiān most areas of mainland China
煎蠔餅 In Cantonese: jīn hòuh béng
In Hakka: jien hao biang
In Mandarin: jiān háo bǐng
Hong Kong, Macau and neighbouring Liangguang
蠔仔餅 In Cantonese: hòuh jái béng
In Hakka: hao zhai biang
Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta
蠔仔煎 In Cantonese: hòuh jái jīn
In Hakka: hao zhai chien
Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta
蠔烙 In Teochew: o-lua in Chaoshan region and overseas communities connected to the region

See also

References

  1. ^ "Oyster omelet the nation's favorite". Taipei Times. staff w/ CNA. 2 June 2007. p. 2. Archived from the original on 24 Sep 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
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