Thursday, August 11, 2016

Or Luak / Oyster Omelette 蠔烙 / 蚵仔煎 / 蚝煎 - the healthy version and I like to cook it with NO oyster!

I like Or Luak especially the crispy ones balanced with a delicious chewy texture... but sadly, I'm allergy to oyster. So... no Or Luak for me? Fortunately, there are vegetarian food stalls in Singapore that will cook Or Luak to order so that the lucky me can enjoy the vegetarian Or Luak with no oyster and no worries!

What is Or Luak?

It is a Teochew originated hawker street food that is widely known in many Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Most people refer Or Luak as oyster omelettes but some say that Or Luak are more like oyster pancakes because of their chewy batter. According to Guai Shu Shu, there are many versions of Or Luak in Malaysia. In Kuching, it is usually thin and crispy. In Melaka and Penang, it is usually soft and gooey. In Singapore, I reckon that the kind of Or Luak that you get can vary from stall to stall. It can be thin or thick, crispy or chewy, as a whole omelette or scrambled. There are also Or Luak that is cooked with no chewy sweet potato batter which is commonly known as Or Neng.

If Or Luak is such a common hawker food in Asia, why do I have to cook your own Or Luak at home?

For me, I have no choice because I don't live in Asia... LOL!

For you who are living in Asia, you will be surprised to know that there are many good reasons why you should cook your own Or Luak at home...

(1) Do you have this guilty feeling after indulging an entire plate of Or Luak all in one go? This is because some Or Luak can be oily. In fact, some Or Luak are extra crispy and fragrant because they are cooked with lard or any fat that might be high in saturated fat and even trans fat. I know I know... You can tell the Or Luak cooking uncle to use less oil to cook your Or Luak but you can't tell the Or Luak cooking uncle to add THE oil that you want!!!

(2) If you are like me that is allergy to oyster and wish to eat Or Luak with fish sauce and spring onions, you know clearly that NO vegetarian Or Luak stall will cook any Luak like this!!! LOL!

If you cook Or Luak at home, you can have the choice of cooking the kind of Or Luak that you want. Whether it is going to be ...

  • Or Luak or Or Neng (Or Luak with no sweet potato batter)
  • the full-on vegetarian Or Luak with soy sauce and coriander or the not-so vegetarian Or Luak with
  • the Or Luak with fish sauce and spring onions
  • the scrambled kind of Or Luak with more crispy edges or the intact Or Luak with nice chewy batter
  • the thin and crispy Or Luak or the Or Luak with thicker chewy batter

Yes that you can cook any Or Luak all according to the way you want as long as you can master the principle of cooking Or Luak which involves a cycle of add batter, add egg, add oil, add batter, flip, add oil, add egg and cook until all are crispy!!! That's all!!! To ensure that your Or Luak is delicious and crispy, it is important to cook it in a large flat frying pan with high heat and flip it before the heated side get burnt... LOL! Sound so easy, right? You know... If I can cook my healthy version of Or Luak with a perfect balance of crispiness and chewiness with no rubbery texture at all, I believe that you can do it too.

Once you have mastered the art of cooking Or Luak, I'm sure that you will be so proud of yourself and there will be no turning back...

or luak oyster omelette pancake vegetarian healthy
My homecooked Or Luak 蠔烙, the healthy version.
Instead of cooking with real oysters, I'm using straw mushrooms to cook my Or Luak.
These are the flours that I used to make my Or Luak batter.
Some recipes use tapioca starch but I prefer to use sweet potato flour for milder chewy texture.
The batter is easy to prepare.
Just combine the flours with water and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs and ground white pepper.
To season the batter that is mixed with the oysters or mushrooms, I have added Shaoxing cooking wine.
... plus this fish sauce. For a full vegetarian option, please use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
Don't ask me why but the Chinese vegetarians in Asian countries can't eat garlic and onion.
So for those who can't eat spring onions or like coriander more than spring onions, you can replace the addition of spring onions with coriander. You can add both spring onions and coriander if you want but I like spring onions more than coriander :)
Now, cooking my Or Luak...

It is important to spread your batter very thinly while cooking this or you will get a thick chewy batter!
Continue to cook with high heat to get crispy edges.
Continue to cook until both sides are crispy.
At this stage, you can either scramble the omelette or cook it as a whole.
That's it! All done!
It's lunch time...
I'm eating my Or Luak with a good drizzle of sriracha.
or luak oyster omelette pancake vegetarian healthy
Or Luak with perfect crispiness and chewiness
No rubbery texture. Not oily. No guilt. Pure delicious and happiness :)

"Not bad! Your Or Luak really got standard!" said my usual-fussy husband when he was feasting my home cooked Or Luak.

Still not sure if you can cook Or Luak with standards??? LOL! Please pardon our Singish :p You might want to watch this one-minute video...

Here's the recipe that very modified from the book, The Little Teochew Cookbook by Eric Low

Serve 1 very hungry person like me or 2 in snacking portions
For the batter:
25g sweet potato flour
10g rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
100ml water

To cook, you need:
2 tbsp cooking oil, preferably something that is neutral tasting and healthful (low in saturated fat and trans fat free) plus more if you prefer - Please do not use olive oil as it can be unstable in high cooking temperature and it is also not neutral tasting.
2 eggs
pinch of ground white pepper
5-6 oysters, washed and drained or straw mushrooms, drained from a can and halved
one handful of spring onions, coriander or both, cut into 1-2 cm lengths, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce, or more to taste
1/2 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine

To serve:
sliced chili
your favourite chilli sauce and I love enjoying my Or Luak with Sriracha
extra fish sauce or soy sauce, to taste
extra dash of ground white pepper
sweet sticky plum sauce if you prefer for the Taiwanese style Or Luak

To prepare the batter:
In a large bowl, combine sweet potato flour, rice flour, salt and water. Mix well and divide mixture into 2 portions.

Add oysters or mushrooms, spring onions or coriander or both, fish sauce or soy sauce and Shaoxing cooking wine into one portion of the batter and stir well to combine.

To prepare the egg:
Break eggs into a bowl. Add a pinch of ground white pepper and use a fork to beat the eggs roughly.

To cook:
In a large and flat frying pan, heat 1 tbsp oil until very hot. Pour one portion of the batter onto the hot frying pan and swirl the frying pan immediately for the batter to form a thin layer. Using the high heat, cook for 2-3 mins until the edges of the batter are crispy.

Pour 1/4 of the egg mixture on top and another 1/4 around the cooked batter and add 1/2 tbsp oil around the edges to crisp the edges further. Cook for 2-3 mins until the edges of the omelette are crispy.

Flip the omelette whenever its heated side is deep golden brown to avoid the heated side from getting burnt.

Pour oyster* or mushroom batter around the edges of the omelette and add 1/2 tbsp oil around the edges to crisp the edges further. Cook for 2-3 mins until the edges of the omelette are more crispy. *If you are cooking with real oyster, please bear in mind not to over-cook the oysters, making sure that you cook your omelette with very high heat and reduce the cooking time to 1-2 mins on each side.

Flip the omelette if required and pour the rest of the egg mixture around the cooked omelette. Add 1/2 tbsp oil around the edges if desired... I didn't do this anymore at this stage because I feel that the amount of oil added is sufficient enough to suit my taste. Cook for 2-3 mins on each sides or until the edges of the omelette on both sides are crispy.

At this stage, you can scramble the omelette into small pieces for more crispy edges or just leave it as one large omelette for a combination of crispy and chewy texture. I like my or luak to be both crispy and chewy and so I didn't scramble mine into smaller pieces.

Transfer omelette to serving dish. Garnish with extra spring onions and coriander. Serve with sliced chili, more fish sauce or soy sauce and also your favourite chilli sauce if desired. Enjoy it while it is freshly cooked and crispy.

Happy Cooking
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  1. Looks very good Zoe! I love your vegetarian version because I don't like oyster. This one is easier to duplicate at home. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Zoe, with or without oysters, this Or Luak sounds delicious to me! I believe those round shaped mushrooms are straw mushrooms and not oyster mushrooms :)

    1. Thanks Phong Hong for pointing out my error. You are right they are straw mushrooms, not oyster mushrooms. LOL! I have changed my mistake :)

  3. Ahh, this is a different kinda omelette.. Sounds delicious..I think I should make it sometime as we r an omelette loving family :)

  4. Zoe, you sure fooled me! I thought it was oysters in there. That said, I don't have great love for oysters so this recipe is perfect for me. :D

  5. oooh at first you were making with oyster. hmmm have to see if I can grab a tin of these oyster mushrooms!! just for my self , boys dont like mushrooms or so they say have sneaked then into their meals sometimes LOL. have a nice weekend

  6. Love how you cheated with straw mushrooms instead, Zoe! Very smart indeed! Happy weekend, my dear! xoxo

  7. Hi, may I know if u use non-stick frying pan? Can u recommend the brand u are using?

    1. Hi Bee,

      The frying pan that I'm using is the basic large non-stick frying pan from Ikea. Personally, I think that you can buy and use any frying pan as long as you are happy with the product :)