Senior Editor Lan Lam (unofficially dubbed our omelet queen) has made all kinds of omelets in her restaurant past, from the trickier, refined French roll to the more standard hearty diner version.
Treat Your Omelet Like Whipped Cream: Give It Stiff Peaks
There is also a third kind.
Often referred to as a fluffy omelet, this puffed up style dwarfs classic versions by at least a couple of inches. Some are so big that they resemble soufflés—which, in a way, they are.
Impressive height isn’t the only exciting thing about this light, airy omelet. It’s also incredibly forgiving and easy to make: You just spread the eggs in a pan and let the oven do the rest.
Here’s how Lan ensured an impossibly puffy omelet that also tasted rich and tender.
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3 Keys to an Ultra-Fluffy Omelet
1. Whip the egg whites separately. Some fluffy omelets call for whipping whole eggs, which doesn’t lead to as airy—or as stable—an omelet.
That’s because the fat in the yolk weakens the structure of the egg foam, the cluster of air bubbles made by whipping. Whites on their own whipped to stiff peaks form a far stronger foam.
2. Whip them with cream of tartar. When whites are whipped, their proteins unfurl and form a network that holds water and air bubbles in place. But egg whites contain sulfur atoms that form bonds that are so strong, they can squeeze out some of the water and air they hold.
An acidic ingredient such as cream of tartar slows the formation of these sulfur bonds, preserving the stability of the network, so air and water stay put.
3. Add butter to the yolks. Before folding the yolks into the whipped whites, she whisked in 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
The extra fat lent richness and tenderness to the omelet, and because the whipped whites were so stable, they could handle the added fat without weakening.
After creating a foolproof method that anyone can replicate, Lan introduced boldly flavored yet delicate fillings in small amounts that wouldn’t weigh down the omelet: asparagus and smoked salmon, mushroom and shallot, and artichoke and bacon.
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How to Make a Fluffy Omelet
- Whisk egg yolks, melted butter, and salt together in bowl. Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and sprinkle cream of tartar over surface. Fit stand mixer with whisk and whip egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks just start to form. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites until no white streaks remain.
- Heat butter in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom of pan. When butter foams, quickly add egg mixture, spreading into even layer with spatula. Remove pan from heat and transfer to oven and cook until center of omelet springs back when lightly pressed.
- Run spatula around edges of omelet to loosen, shaking gently to release. Slide omelet onto cutting board and let stand for 30 seconds. Using spatula, fold omelet in half. Cut omelet in half crosswise and serve immediately.