Like many traditional Asian husbands and fathers, my dad was the sole breadwinner in the family and worked long hours. While Dad was also a strong authority figure, I have fond memories of him running beside me gasping and grasping onto my bicycle frame as I wobbled my way along the bike path sans training wheels. And to this day, I can still recall how secure I felt when he wrapped his burly arms around me ever so tightly lest the crashing waves swept me off to sea.
One thing’s for sure, Dad hardly set foot in the kitchen; nope, he didn’t wash the dishes let alone cook! But he did break with routine, just once.
When I was six, my mom spent several days at the hospital after delivering my baby sister in a complicated C-section. In addition to moping around the house, we—Dad, my brother and I—ate dinner out everyday. Until one evening, Dad decided to attempt the one dish he had any inkling of putting together—Mom’s omelet.
I remember peering over the kitchen counter as Dad cracked eggs into a bowl, my eyes following the gelatinous streaks of egg white running down the sides. Then, he hacked through a bunch of green onions and stirred them into the eggs together with a handful of fried shallots. Lastly, he sprinkled in pepper and salt (or so I thought!)… a lot of it.
The final outcome was hardly attractive. I shoved my nose into the yellow mound as close as I dared. I shrugged at the familiar eggy smell. At least it didn’t smell bad. With my fork, I prodded it gingerly as if tackling an anthill. While the squishy texture was a little off-putting, my rumbling tummy took precedence. I ate one bite and then another. The omelet was sweet. Not just subtly sweet, but candy sweet. I squealed and proceeded to wipe my plate so clean I could have stacked it with the clean plates and no one would’ve known any better! What six-year-old wouldn’t love what amounts to a plate full of sugary sweetness?
The little girl I was then probably didn’t realize that Dad’s attempt at replicating Mom’s omelet was a loving gesture to help us ease the pain of her absence. And it worked. I was so riled up after I didn’t remember to sulk.
When Mom came home, we crowded around her, cooing over baby Mo and raving about Dad’s “egg candy” omelet all in the same breath. Mom was quite bemused by our enthusiasm for Dad’s cooking but perhaps it was for the best that she didn’t ask him to make it again.
Dad was recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and complains his memory is failing. When he came to visit the other day, I asked in jest, hoping to jog his memory, “Do you remember the time you made us omelets with lots and lots of sugar?” His eyes twinkled and his lips crinkled into a smile. “Of course, that’s the best way to make it! Heh…heh…heh…”
I guess some memories never fade.
Happy Fathers’ Day, Dad! I love you!
(Not My Dad’s) Omelet with Green Onions and Shallots
In my family, omelets have never been just a breakfast thing. My mum would tuck a ham omelet between slices of white bread for my school lunches, and oftentimes an omelet strewn with slices of Bombay onion was served as a side dish with meat and vegetables at dinner. My favorite way is to eat this simple omelet with green onions and fried shallots with rice. Dabbed with a little of my mom’s sambal terasi (shrimp chili paste), it’s a satisfying lunch for a lazy day!
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 tablespoon fried shallots
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
Serves: 1 hungry person
Time: 10 minutes
Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients except for the oil. Stir with a pair of chopsticks or a fork until barely frothy.
Heat a 14″ wok or 8” nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and swirl in the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, pour in the egg mixture. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the edges start to set, then break up the runny middle with a spatula (it will look like scrambled eggs but that’s ok) and allow the runny egg to seep underneath and cook.
Continue cooking until the top is almost completely set and the bottom is golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully lift one edge up and flip the omelet over.
Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the other side is golden brown and gently slide the omelet onto a plate. Serve immediately with jasmine rice and sambal of your choice.
This post is part of #LetsLunch, our monthly Twitter-inspired food bloggers potluck. This month we pay tribute to fathers everywhere.
Don’t forget to check out the Let’s Lunchers’ creations below. And if you’d like to join Let’s Lunch, go to Twitter and post a message with the hashtag #LetsLunch.
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Eleanor‘s Salmon Smoked Bok Choy Soup at Wok Star
Emma‘s Ham and Rice at Dreaming of Pots & Pans
Jill‘s Root Beer-Glazed Onion Dip at Eating My Words
Grace‘s Taste of Diversity at HapaMama
Linda‘s Sesame-Ginger Chicken Wings at Spice Box Travels
Lisa‘s Hot Sugary Lip-Smacking Jam Donuts at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Rashda‘s Beth Howard’s Apple Pie at Hot Curries & Cold Beer
Sonja‘s Spicy Smoked Paprika Lamb Shank Goulash at Foodnutzz