On The Hunt For OmeletsOno, You Know
March 25, 2018
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: MARK GALAGAC
With April 1 right around the corner, I suspect many of you are gathering the kids around to decorate and dye your eggs, then stow them away in secret corners of the backyard for an epic Easter egg hunt. Well, here at Dining Out, we do love seeking out all of those candy-wrapped chocolate bunnies hidden about, but we also have a few other ideas in mind for what you can do with those eggs. I’ll give you one hint: It’s all about eating them.
Not surprisingly, this time of year sees a spike in cravings for “egg-cellent” fare, from deviled eggs and egg salad (my mom makes the best one every Easter!) to tamago, hard-boiled eggs and those yolky ajitama gems in our bowls of ramen. And let’s not forget about flan and egg tarts for those of us with a nagging sweet tooth.
Now that I have you salivating over eggfilled bites, I’m going to turn your foodie attention toward a morning-time specialty, and I’m not talking about a simple scramble or sunny-side-up. I’m referring to the delicate art of omelet-making, and though we normally associate this with the French omelette, this dish has become somewhat of a global phenomenon that, as you’ll see here, is not only eaten for breakfast!
We Americans love our omelets, and when you want the perfect mix of all-American diner fare and local-style favorites, you can find it at the comfort-food mecca known as Big City Diner.
Although the local dining chain, complete with six locations around Oahu, is known for such indulgent dishes as guava barbecue baby back ribs, burgers and kimchee fried rice, the menu also is home to a host of healthier options, from salads to veggie-filled stir-fry and fresh fish options in between. In fact, Big City Diner’s Kailua and Windward Mall branches offer dishes that are in accordance with the Blue Zone Project, a large-scale initiative aimed at helping communities across the U.S. lead healthier lifestyles.
When it comes to having a nutritious breakfast at any Big City Diner location, Ultimate Tofu Veggie Omelet ($14.49) is the way to go. As corporate executive chef Dennis Franks explains, “The idea is to have something healthy, but also quite large so that people leave full after eating it.”
This showstopper is packed with lean, healthy ingredients like 6 ounces of egg whites, tofu, tons of veggies — spinach, local tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, sweet onion and broccoli — and some cheddar and jack cheeses. With the addition of whole wheat toast, brown rice and a choice of drink (orange juice, coffee or tea), there’s no way you won’t feel satisfied, and guilt-free.
Patrons also have the option of building their own omelets, so don’t hesitate to be the chef of your own marvelous combo of veggies, cheese and meat — such as Portuguese sausage, Spam, ham and bacon.
Before leaving, Franks let Dining Out in on an insider secret: Ask about the chili or kalua pig omelets, both off-the-menu favorites (limited availability). Last, but not least, the chef reminds readers that Big City Diner’s Famous Guava Barbecue Sauce is now available by the bottle at all restaurants.
GET INTO THE MIX
If you haven’t tried the Chinese-style omelet egg fu yung, I urge you to make it your next meal. And whether it’s your first time tasting this dish or it’s already one of your favorites, be sure to order it from Asian Mix.
Owner Daniel Leung says that the dish may be a rather simple recipe, but it remains popular with patrons because it is a comfort-food staple.
Asian Mix prepares its Egg Fu Yung ($8.95) with green onion, shredded onion and bean sprouts, while sesame oil and a touch of white-pepper ensure it is well-seasoned and flavorful. What I love most is that the large, lightly pan-fried egg patties are deliciously soft and fluffy. The dish is made with five to six large eggs, so it’s quite a filling portion, but if you would like to add even more heartiness, you also can order fu yung with barbecue pork or shrimp incorporated into the egg mixture (prices vary).
The traditional way to enjoy Egg Fu Yung is with gravy poured on top, so Asian Mix offers the option of adding gravy for 50 cents. The light yet flavorful gravy is prepared with chicken broth and oyster sauce. Also good to note: This is not a breakfast dish, but rather commonly enjoyed as part of a lunch or dinner spread. Leung recommends savoring it with steamed rice on the side.
If you like what you taste, be sure to consider Asian Mix the next time you need catering, as that side of the business continues to grow in popularity.