This tasty protein-rich vegan omelette is stuffed with flavoursome cabbage, pickles, spring onions and coriander leaves. Inspired by Asian flavours, this recipe is infinitely versatile. It also makes for a filling lunch or supper.
Cabbage: The Forgotten Hero
Cabbage is such a tasty vegetable, yet it rarely gets to be the star of the show. We eat a lot of it. The trick is to prepare it properly. It doesn’t need to cook for very long and when it’s finished, it should have a bit of a bite to it.
I like to use red cabbage for this Asian style vegan omelette recipe. Mostly because it’s cheap, tasty and gives a striking colour contrast. I cook it with Japanese ingredients so it has a delicious deep umami flavour with notes of garlic, ginger and sesame.
If you can get sesame oil, I highly recommend it for frying vegetables in Asian-style dishes. It does make a difference. However, I often run out and fall back on good old sunflower oil. As with many things in life, use what you have.
Toasted sesame oil is a different story. I highly recommend searching out this fabulous ingredient. A bottle will last a long time as you only ever need a small amount of it. It has a deep toasted sesame flavour and you add it at the end of cooking.
The other more unusual ingredient I use for this cabbage is mirin. It’s a type of fermented rice wine, similar to sake, but sweeter and less alcoholic. It has a complex flavour profile and adds both acidic and umami notes to dishes as well as sweet ones.
Mirin is another of those ingredients that’s well worth stocking up on. It lasts for ages and you don’t need to keep it in the fridge. Feel free, however, to swap it for cooking sake if you happen to have any of that in your cupboard.
In line with the other Japanese ingredients, I add a little rice wine vinegar. It’s such a small amount, however, I very much doubt that the subtlety is noticeable. So feel free to swap this for whatever vinegar you have to hand.
As I’ve already stated, red cabbage is both cheap and delicious. But it’s absolutely fine to use any type of cabbage or indeed, the vegetables of your choice instead.
Omelette or Pancake?
Whilst I have to admit this vegan omelette looks more like a pancake than it does an omelette, it does actually taste quite eggy. There are two ingredients responsible for this. The first is nutritional yeast. Where would vegans be without it? But the second is less well known. It’s black salt, otherwise known as kala namak or Indian black salt.
Kala namak is an Indian volcanic salt from the Himalayas. In fact it starts life as Himalayan pink rock salt. The salt is kiln-fired to a high temperature and mixed with other compounds which turns it into a pungent smelling purple coloured condiment. Why it’s called black salt rather than purple salt, I’m not entirely sure.
The salt contains both iron and sulphur compounds. The former is responsible for the dark purple colour and the latter for a certain eggy odour. When you cook it with other ingredients, it imparts a moderate but noticeable eggy flavour with subtle smokey notes. Because you only ever need a small amount, it works really well in vegan “egg” dishes.
Chickpea flour makes up the substance of this omelette. Chickpea flour is wonderful stuff and it makes excellent gluten-free pancakes as well as omelettes. It’s nutritious in all sorts of ways and protein rich too, so it’s an excellent ingredient for vegans.
You don’t need to mix it with milk as it already has plenty of body. All you need is water. However, you do need to make sure it’s cooked through as raw chickpea flour tastes quite bitter. Once it’s cooked, all bitterness fades away. But for this reason, much like a pancake, you’ll need to flip the omelettes over so that both sides have cooked through.
Asian Style Vegan Omelette with Cabbage
Although there are a few parts to this Asian style vegan omelette, it’s actually quite a quick meal to put together.
The omelette batter is really quick to make, but it needs to stand for a good twenty minutes before you use it. Don’t go anywhere though, as this gives you the time to prepare the cabbage filling and any toppings.
Most of the toppings need little preparation, but it’s good to get everything primed in advance, so that when you cook the omelettes, everything else is ready to go.
The cabbage takes around fifteen minutes to cook. However, the omelettes take about five minutes each. This means that once you’ve got the cabbage prepped and actually cooking it’s a good idea to start frying the omelettes. Unlike an egg omelette, these vegan omelettes do need to cook on both sides.
Whilst you’re waiting for the second omelette to cook, it’s fine to place the first one on a plate and keep it warm in the oven. Just don’t leave it too long, or it will dry out and no longer be soft. If you have two frying pans at your disposal, so much the better. You can fry both vegan omelettes at once.
As soon as both omelettes are done, pile the hot cabbage on one half of each omelette. Top with the pickles, sliced spring onions, chopped coriander leaves and any other toppings you fancy. Then flip the empty half over the top of the cabbage and voilà, you have your very own delicious Asian-style vegan omelette.
Toppings for Vegan Cabbage Omelette
Although the cabbage is pretty delicious in its own right and makes a tasty meal wrapped up in this vegan omelette, a few added extras turn it into something a bit more special. They give colour, additional flavour and delight the senses.
Pickles are pretty much essential for this Asian-style vegan omelette. They give contrasting crunch and act as a refreshing flavour boost.
Spring Onions (Scallions)
Raw spring onions are a common ingredient in many Asian dishes. They give freshness, crunch and flavour. This vegan omelette just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Slice them on the diagonal for extra interest.
How I wish we could grow coriander leaves. We keep trying, but they just don’t seem to like us. They give an authenticity to Asian food, which is hard to replicate. I often substitute parsley, which we are able to grow, but it’s just not the same.
Do make the effort to get hold of some coriander leaves for this dish if you can.
It’s fun to have choices in a meal and pile on the flavours. Here are a few ideas to enhance your Asian-style vegan omelette even further.
I do love a bit of chilli to liven things up, so for me a drizzle of hot sauce is almost essential. I use my favourite homemade chilli sauce.
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are intrinsic to both Chinese and Japanese cuisines. For additional flavour, toast them in a dry frying pan for a few minutes first. Use either black or white sesame seeds, though a mixture of both is the bee’s knees.
Nori Seaweed Flakes
Nori is a mild tasting dried seaweed from the species of red algae called Porphyra. It’s ubiquitous in Japan and is used to make the seaweed sheets that we commonly associate with sushi.
You can, however, also buy it in the form of flakes. These are particularly good for sprinkling over soups or seasoning such dishes as my samurai samphire noodles.
Furikake is a popular Japanese seasoning. You’ll usually find some on the table to sprinkle over rice or whatever else you happen to be eating, much like our salt and pepper.
It’s a mix of toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, bonito, salt and sometimes chilli flakes. For obvious reasons, I make sure I use a vegetarian furikake which doesn’t contain the fish element of bonito flakes.
Other Asian-Style Recipes You Might Like
- Aduki bean miso dip
- Beetroot miso soup
- Easy one pot ramen with tofu and vegetables
- Sticky chilli broccoli
- Teriyaki rice bowl with tofu & Brussels sprouts
- Teriyaki sauce
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try this Asian-style vegan omelette, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more vegan recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Red Cabbage Vegan Omelette. PIN IT.
Asian Style Vegan Omelette with Cabbage – The Recipe
Asian Style Vegan Omelette with Cabbage
- 120 g chickpea flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp black salt (aka kala namak)
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 250 ml water
- 2 tsp sesame or sunflower oil
- ½ red cabbage (about 400g) (or any type of firm round cabbage)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (can use sunflower oil)
- 1 large garlic clove – minced
- 2 cm piece of ginger – minced
- 1 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamari (or use your favourite soya sauce)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 spring onions – sliced
- pickles (I use homemade carrot pickles)
- coriander leaves – roughly chopped
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds – optional (black or white)
- hot sauce – optional (I use my homemade chilli sauce)
- a sprinkling of nori seaweed flakes – optional
- a sprinkling of furikake – optional
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the centre and add the water and vinegar. Whisk from the inside out until you have a smooth and lump free batter.
- Leave to stand for twenty minutes.
- Once the cabbage is cooking, start to fry the omelettes.
- Place a large non-stick pan over a moderately high heat and add a teaspoon of the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, pour in half of the omelette batter. Leave it to cook until the top is no longer liquid (about 3 minutes), then flip it over and cook the other side for a couple of minutes.
- Put it onto a plate and keep it warm in a low oven whilst you cook the second omelette with the remaining batter.
- As soon as the second omelette is ready, place it onto a second plate. Heap a good portion of cabbage on one side of each omelette, scatter the spring onions, pickles and coriander leaves over the top. Add any optional toppings and flip the bare side of the pancake over the cabbage to form a semi-circle.
- Whilst you’re waiting for the pancake batter, prepare the cabbage.
- Quarter the half cabbage lengthways and remove the hard core at the bottom. Slice the rest into thin shreds. The smaller the shreds, the quicker it will cook. On the other hand, it’s nice to have a bit of substance, so they don’t need to be superfine.
- Pour the oil into a large lidded pan and place it over a moderately high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add the cabbage and continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the mirin, rice wine vinegar, tamari and a splash of water. Give it a good stir, then turn down the heat a little and put the lid on. Leave to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cabbage is done to your liking. Give it an occasional stir and check that it’s not sticking to the pan. If it looks too dry, add another splash of water.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the toasted sesame oil.
- Whilst the cabbage is cooking, prepare the toppings, then start cooking your omelettes.
I’m sharing this recipe for Asian-style vegan omelette with The Peachicks Bakery for #CookBlogShare.