Give your eggs a makeover by whipping up the ultimate Vietnamese Egg Omelet, or Trung Chien. Light and fluffy eggs are filled with glass noodles, mushroom, green onion, and shallot. There's no shortage of texture or flavor here!
Simple Asian Style Eggs
"Trúng" means eggs in Vietnamese while "chiên" means fried. But "trúng chiên" usually refers to a dish resembling Vietnamese scrambled eggs or a filled omelet. Like any omelet, you can stuff it with pretty much anything you'd like - pork, crab, chayote squash, crab, and so on. But I prefer to keep it classic with glass noodles, or miến, and thin strips of wood ear mushroom.
This Vietnamese egg omelette is what my mom would make for my siblings and I when we were being picky about dinner. For the best flavor, season whipped eggs with fish sauce and add green onions and shallots for light flavor and crunch. The best part is how quickly it comes together. It's a win-win!
Why You'll Love It
- It’s a great way to feed a crowd. One omelet serves 8. But you can easily multiply the ingredients for thicker, larger portions.
- You can serve easy Trung Chien for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
- It’s ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes. The perfect solution for when you need food on the table quick!
- Clean out your fridge! Toss any leftover veggies and meat into the omelet. It’s a super versatile dish that goes with anything!
- Glass, cellophane, or bean thread noodles: In Vietnamese, these are called miến. They don't have much flavor on their own but absorb the flavor of what they're cooked in. They also provide a chewy, bouncy texture when cooked.
- Dried black mushroom: Dried mushrooms have a more concentrated flavor than fresh. They also last forever in the pantry! Once they're rehydrated, they have a meaty texture.
- Eggs: Use the freshest eggs you have for the best texture. I like pasture-raised eggs for more nutrients and a deep orange color.
- Fish sauce: Gives a sweet, salty, umami flavor to this Asian omelet.
- Green onion and shallot: Chopped up finely for an added bite and flavor depth.
- Cooking oil: Use a neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or avocado oil, so you don’t impact the flavor of the omelet.
Where To Find These Ingredients
Cellophane noodles: Very long, thin noodles that become transparent as they cook. They're most commonly made from mung bean flour - don't mix them up with the thin rice noodles, which can have similar packaging. These can be found at Asian markets or on Amazon.
Dried mushrooms: You can choose what type of dried mushrooms you want or buy the mixed bag. I prefer dried wood ear mushrooms. These can be found in clear plastic bags in the pasta and grain aisle. I buy mine from Asian markets, where there's a large variety. You can also buy them from Amazon. Store them in an airtight container or ziptop bag in a dark, dry, and cool place.
How To Make It
- Soak the cellophane noodles and dried mushroom. Soak both hot water in separate bowls for 10-15 minutes. Don't skip this step or else they'll be inedible! Once they've been rehydrated, drain the water and use scissors to give the noodles a rough chop and the mushroom a thin slice.
- Scramble the eggs. Season the eggs with fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Whip thoroughly until the eggs are homogenous in color and have frothed a little.
- Mix the add-ins. Stir in the green onion, noodles, and mushroom. You can get creative at this point and add your favorite meat and veggies.
- Sweat the shallots. Heat a generous amount of oil in a non-stick pan. Add the shallots and sweat until they start to get translucent.
- Add the egg mixture. Let sit for a minute to allow the eggs to set, then use the stir and tilt method. Use your spatula or spoon to push the eggs from the edge of the pan into the center, then tilt the pan to allow the uncooked eggs to fill in the space. Lightly scrambling the eggs like this will ensure an even cook. You only need to do it circumferentially around the pan once, or else you'll break the eggs up too much and it'll become a scramble. Then cover the pan with a lid and let cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Flip the omelet. This part can be tricky but if you used a generous amount of oil and non-stick pan, it should be easy to flip. If the omelet is too large to flip whole, cut the omelet in half or into quarters and flip each section one by one. Cook the other side 2-3 more minutes, uncovered, until golden brown. Serve hot and top with sliced green onion.
- Make sure to use a non-stick pan so it'll flip easily. My favorite non-toxic non-stick pans are from Caraway.
- When you first add the eggs, let sit for about 30 seconds to let the bottom set. Then use you spatula to scrape the bottom layer into the middle of the pan, while lifting and tilting the pan to allow uncooked eggs fill the empty space.
- Scramble the eggs just one time around the pan. Pushing the cooked bottom layer into the center and filling the edges with uncooked eggs allows the omelet to be cooked more evenly. But if you overdo it, you'll have too many thin areas that will break when flipped.
- Flipping the Vietnamese egg omelet whole can be tricky. To make it easier for yourself, use a non-stick pan and two flat turners or spatulas. If you’re still having trouble, use your spatula to carefully cut the omelet in half or into quarters in the pan. Then flip each piece individually.
- Take your eggs out of the fridge an hour before you’re ready to cook. Cold eggs take longer to set and are easier to overcook than room temperature eggs.
- Beat your eggs thoroughly. Make sure there are no white or transparent flecks in the mixture. It should have a frothy texture and pale yellow color.
- Don’t forget to cover your omelette with a lid while cooking. This will help it steam the top layer, making it cook faster and giving it a better texture.
Substitutions & Variations
- You can fill Vietnamese eggs with anything! Ground pork, tomato (ca chua), potato (khoai tay), and tofu (dau hu) are popular fillings! Just make sure you cook each ingredient first.
- Want more protein? Use all egg whites instead. I would use 10 egg whites in place of 5 eggs.
- Out of cooking oil? Use a little bit of unsalted butter to grease the pan instead.
- To keep this vegetarian, substitute fish sauce with soy sauce or coconut aminos.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: The best way to store trung chien is to leave it to cool to room temperature before placing leftovers in an air-tight container. You can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezing: You can place your omelet straight into the freezer if it’s inside a zip-loc bag. If it’s in plastic wrap, put it inside a zip-loc bag or an air-tight container, too. You don’t want any air touching the omelette. You can store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Reheating: The easiest way to reheat a Vietnamese egg omelet is to wrap it in paper towels and heat it in the microwave. This should take around 1 minute from chilled or 2 minutes from frozen. Flip the omelet over half way while reheating. You can also warm it up in a lightly oiled frying pan for 2 minutes on each side until hot.
I love eating it family-style with rice and several other meat and veggie dishes. You can also stuff it into a baguette (banh mi) with soy sauce to make an egg sandwich. Try serving Trung Chien with fish dipping sauce (nuoc mam), kimchi, fried rice, or bacon.
This depends on how you like your scrambled eggs. If you like creamy scrambled eggs, use 1 tablespoon of milk for each egg. If you like fluffy scrambled eggs, use 1 ½ tablespoons of water for each egg. For extra richness, you can use cream instead of milk or water.
These Vietnamese scrambled eggs use a little bit of fish sauce for a boost of umami flavor.
Despite what you’d think from the name, glass noodles are made from vegetable starch. Chinese glass noodles are most often made with mung bean starch. But you can also get Korean and Japanese glass noodles made from sweet potato starch.
Omelet and omelette are the same thing. The only difference is the spelling. Omelet is the American English version, while omelette is the British English version.
Omelet first appeared in the early 17th century, so it’s not actually an American invention. Omelette is the modern French spelling. Although in France you can also see the word written “amelette” or “alemette”.
There may not be a difference between an omelet and an omelette. But there is a difference between an American omelette and a French omelette.
A French omelette is most often served plain or with light fillings. They’re tightly folded and have a soft, pillow-like texture. An American omelette is thicker and crispier, commonly served with heavier fillings. French omelettes are rolled into a cylinder before serving, while American omelets are folded in half.
Looking For More?
For more traditional Vietnamese recipes, try these:
- Vietnamese Macaroni Soup with Pork (Sup Nui)
- Vietnamese Chayote Squash with Beef (Su Su Xao Thit Bo)
- Vietnamese Sticky Rice with Peanuts (Xoi Dau Phong)
- Instant Pot Chao Ga (Vietnamese Rice Porridge)
- Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)
Vietnamese Egg Omelet (Trung Chien)
- Soak noodles and dried mushroom in hot water, separately, for 10-15 minutes. Then drain. Thinly slice the mushroom (should be about 2 tbsp) and use scissors to roughly chop the noodles (should be about ¼ cup). Set aside for now.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, fish sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fish sauce is salty on its own so be mindful of how much salt you're adding. Then stir in green onion, noodles, and mushroom.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add shallots and a small pinch of salt. Sweat for 1-2 minutes, then add egg mixture. Let the edges set lightly for 1 minute, then scrape the cooked bottom layer into the center of the pan as if you were scrambling eggs. Then tilt and lift the pan to allow uncooked eggs to fill in empty areas. Do this once all around the pan. Then cover with a lid and let cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the lid. The edges should be set with a thin layer of liquid eggs in the middle. Shake the pan to make sure the eggs aren't stuck, then either flip the omelette whole or use a spatula to cut in half and flip each half. Let other side cook, uncovered, for an additional 2-3 minutes. When golden brown, transfer to a plate and serve.
- Miến can be labeled as glass, cellophane, or bean thread noodles. They are not the same as rice noodles.
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