Street food in South Korea is part of the national culture. In stalls and kiosks, you’ll find dishes with complicated names: pungopang bean-filled sweet buns, oden fish cutlets, pontagi boiled silkworm larvae… But they also serve hot dogs, kebabs, sandwiches, and omelettes. The cooking is fascinating.
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The Korean omelette, which is rolled in a roll, is called gyeran mari (gyeran-mari). It is a snack, a banchan (side dish), and anju (snack) served with a Korean alcoholic beverage, soju, based on sweet potatoes or grains. They like to put it in children’s lunchboxes for school.
As a street food, omelette is cooked on a heated flat surface with lots of eggs and no drop of milk. Various finely chopped ingredients are added to the beaten eggs: vegetables (onions, carrots, courgettes, green onions, garlic), mushrooms, ham, bacon, surimi (imitation crab meat), canned tuna, pollock roe, shrimp and cheese. A frequent participant in omelettes is gimme (seaweed). Use chopsticks to roll up the omelette into a large super roll. When serving, the omelette is sliced into 2-3 cm wide slices.
We did not choose this roll because of the sheer size of the food. You can make such a dish even at home from 6-8 eggs in a large frying pan. It’s just a great way of showing how an omelette can be made into a spectacular roll.
Recipe for geran mari, the Korean omelette
To make 6-8 servings you need:
6 arrows (stalks) of green onion
1 small red chilli pepper, seedless and cruciferous
1 paprika, seedless and stemless
200 g cooked ham or pork sausages
Chop onion and chilli. Chop bell peppers and ham into small cubes.
Crack the eggs into a bowl, add salt and whisk gently. Strain eggs through a sieve to make a perfectly smooth omelette.
Add the prepared ingredients.
Heat a large, heavy-based pan (30cm or more in diameter) over a medium heat. Add a little oil and wipe off with a paper towel so that the oil layer is minimal.
When the pan is hot, pour in ¼ of the egg mixture and stir vigorously as if you were making scrambled eggs or scrambled eggs. Once the egg mixture has set, push it to one side to prepare a place to roll up.
Reduce the heat and add another ¼ of the egg mixture. Stir gently and “join” the egg mixture at the rim. All these steps can be clearly seen in the video!
Turn the pan over so that the egg mixture is closer to you. Lift it up and place it on top of the thin layer of omelette. Roll up the roll tightly, using a spatula or chopsticks.
Roll up the roll by pouring ¼ of the mass twice and continuing to shape it as described above.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave the roll in the pan for a further 1-2 minutes. You can turn it over once.
Transfer the roll to a cutting board. If it’s not very straight, wrap it in a sushi mat and leave it in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Remove and slice into even slices. Serve with your favorite sauce.