The perfect omelette is plump and golden on the outside, while meltingly soft and silky on the inside. Served plain or stuffed with any manner of delicious fillings, the humble omelette is one of the most versatile dishes you can make.
Often seen as a measure of a chef’s cooking skills, making the perfect omelette at home may seem daunting. But once you’ve mastered cooking the perfect omelette, you’ll be able to whip up a healthy, satisfying meal at any time of the day.
How to make the perfect omelette
1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and optionally add the water. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, then whisk until the egg whites and yolks are thoroughly combined.
2. Heat the butter in a small frying pan on a high heat until just melted.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and leave it to cook for 10 seconds or so until the edges begin to set.
4. Using a wooden spoon or a heat-resistant rubber spatula, draw the edges of the omelette in towards the centre and tilt the pan so that the liquid egg runs in to fill the gaps that are left.
5. Keep doing this until there’s just a little liquid left on the top of the omelette. An omelette will continue to cook even when transferred to a serving plate, so it’s important that the surface should still be wet before you start folding.
6. There are a couple of ways to fold an omelette. Tilt the pan, then simply fold one half of the omelette over the other and slide it onto a plate. To create the classic cigar-shaped omelette instead, fold the edges of the omelette towards the middle on both sides so they overlap in the centre, then flip the omelette onto a plate so the seam is hidden underneath. Serve immediately.
While a plain omelette is a feast in itself, there’s no limit to the tasty fillings you can add to make it a more substantial meal. Try adding finely chopped fresh herbs; grated cheese; diced cooked ham, bacon or sausage; onions; peppers; spinach; diced tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms – separately or in any combination you like.
Pan size is important when cooking omelettes. If your pan is too large, your egg layer will be too thin and at risk of overcooking. For a two-egg omelette, choose an 8-inch (20cm) non-stick pan. Always cook omelettes on demand, one at a time even if you’re feeding a crowd. They’re super fast to make – ready in less than a minute.