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Crispy Rice Paper Omelet

A few months ago, I stopped in Boston's Chinatown for a quick meal while changing trains. Eating Chinese food alone is a bit sad since it is at its most delicious when a group of people orders many dishes and then shares them, so I went with what was intriguingly entitled "Rice Paper Omelet", which seemed like a dish for one. Since I made summer rolls this summer and had over a half package of the rice wrappers left, I thought that I might get an idea of what I could use them for even if it wasn't a stellar dining choice.

It was and I did. This is an omelet on steroids -- a thin crispy shell on the outside, a custardy egg and vegetable center reminiscent of eggs Foo Yung. I cannot recommend this enough.

1 rice paper wrapper

2 eggs

1 cup assorted vegetables (I used a mix of onion, shiitake, bean sprouts and spinach, but anything you have on hand would work including roasted vegetables or -- which I will be attempting next time -- fried rice)

1 tsp soy sauce

2 tsps vegetable oil

Liberal amounts white pepper

Salt to taste

Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, if possible one the size of the rice paper wrapper as this will make for a neater omelet. As soon as the oil shimmers, add the vegetables and cook until fork tender (or until reheated, if using roasted vegetables.) It took about ninety seconds to get my onion and bean sprout to the right consistency. Stir the soy sauce and a generous shake of white pepper into the vegetables about a minute into the process and stir to combine well.

Scrape the vegetable mixture into a bowl into which you have cracked the eggs. Beat with a fork to combine and set aside.

Quickly wipe out the pan that you used to cook the vegetables and place it back on the hob, add the remaining oil. As soon as it shimmers, add the rice paper wrapper, which will puff up and bubble in places. Press down on these to keep the rice paper as flat as possible.

Pour in the egg and vegetable mixture and swirl the pan to equally distribute the mixture over the top of the rice paper. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Lower the heat and let the eggs cook through. moving the pan from time to time to ensure that all portions of the pan are getting access to the heat. This will take about three minutes. Keep in mind that, due to the vegetable juices, oil and soy, the eggs will look a little tacky on top even when they are cooked through.

Using a fork to lift the edge of the rice paper, fold the omelet in half and decant onto a plate.

This is a five minute and seven second to the table dish.

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