Yes, that is an omelet. And no, this is not me backing down on my 'in praise of unfamiliar breakfasts' manifesto of a couple weeks ago. This is a Lao omelet, and it was eaten in Luang Prabang, while sitting streetside on a wee wooden bench.
But that's not what makes it worthy of mention. This ethereally fluffy egg pancake was lightly folded over its contents like an envelope made of air. It enclosed a mixture of bean sprouts, green leaves, and herbs cooked barely past crisp-tender, and discs of local white sausage that boasted a rich porkiness. That's what makes this omelet a memorable one.
If you've traveled in Vietnam you may have had similar -- beaten eggs are mixed with a batter of rice flour and water, then swirled to paper thinness over the surface of a large wok. In go beansprouts and leaves.
A lid placed over the pan for a couple minutes softens the greens, and then the eggs are carefully folded over.
Taken with a dip of fish sauce, lime juice, fresh chili paste, and peanuts, it's one of the best omelets you'll ever eat.
I must admit, however, that the foreigner in me was imagining what this vendor could do with mushrooms and a wedge of goat cheese.
Lao omelet vendor, on street outside Talat Dara (Dara Market) near intersection with old hospital (now Amantaka resort). Excellent fresh spring rolls are also sold here. Caveat No 1 -- she's not entirely dependable but when she does show up it's around 1pm or 1:30. Caveat No 2 -- her sister (larger, rounder), who sometimes fills in, makes an equally tasty, if less finessed (torn in places, perhaps not quite as deftly folded) omelet.