In cuisine, an omelette (also spelled omelet) is a dish made from beaten eggs, fried with butter or oil in a frying pan (without stirring as in scrambled egg). It is quite common for the omelette to be folded around fillings such as chives, vegetables, mushrooms, meat (often ham or bacon), cheese, or some combination of the above. Whole eggs or egg whites are often beaten with a small amount of milk, cream, or water.

Blond unbrowned omelet with mushrooms and herbs.jpg
Blond unbrowned omelette with mushrooms and herbs
Alternative namesOmelet, egg pancake
Place of originAncient Persia[1][2]
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsEggs, butter or oil


Browned omelette with herbs

The earliest omelettes are believed to have originated in ancient Persia.[1][2]: 65  According to Breakfast: A History, they were "nearly indistinguishable" from the Iranian dish kookoo sabzi.[2]

According to Alan Davidson,[1] the French word omelette (French: [ɔm.lɛt]) came into use during the mid-16th century, but the versions alumelle and alumete are employed by the Ménagier de Paris (II, 4 and II, 5) in 1393.[3] Rabelais (Pantagruel, IV, 9) mentions an homelaicte d'oeufs,[4] Olivier de Serres an amelette, François Pierre La Varenne's Le cuisinier françois (1651) has aumelette, and the modern omelette appears in Cuisine bourgeoise (1784).[5]

According to the founding legend of the annual giant Easter omelette of Bessières, Haute-Garonne, when Napoleon Bonaparte and his army were traveling through southern France, they decided to rest for the night near the town of Bessières. Napoleon feasted on an omelette prepared by a local innkeeper, and thought it was a culinary delight. He then ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs in the village and to prepare a huge omelette for his army the next day.[citation needed]

Alexandre Dumas discusses several variations of omelet in his Grand dictionnaire de cuisine. One is an omelet with fresh herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon), another is a variation with mushrooms that Dumas says may be adapted using green peas, asparagus, spinach, sorrel or varieties of truffles. The "kirsch omelet" (or rum omelet) is a sweet omelet made with sugar and liquor, either kirsh or rum. The omelet is rolled and sprinkled with powdered sugar. A hot poker is used to burn a design into the omelet and it is served with a sweet sauce made of liquor and apricot jam. Another sweet omelet, attributed to a royal cook of Prussia, is made with apples and brown sugar glaze. Of the Arabian omelet, Dumas writes "I have been concerned in this book to give the recipes of peoples who have no true cuisine. Here, for example, is a recipe the Bey's cook was good enough to give me." The omelet itself is made with an ostrich egg and served with a spicy tomato-pepper sauce.[6]

Variations by countryEdit

Omelette, plain
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy657 kJ (157 kcal)
0.7 g
12 g
10.6 g
Vitamin A equiv.
172 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.1 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.4 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.1 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
1.2 mg
Vitamin B6
0.1 mg
Folate (B9)
39 μg
Vitamin B12
1.1 μg
212 mg
Vitamin D
29 IU
Vitamin E
1.2 mg
Vitamin K
4.5 μg
47 mg
1.5 mg
10 mg
162 mg
114 mg
26.7 μg
161 mg
0.9 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water75.9 g
Cholesterol356 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central



  • Depending on sources, a standard omelette is cooked in butter on medium (or sometimes high[8]) heat,[9] is supposed to be golden brown[8] or "unbrowned or very lightly browned"[9] on the outside and soft in the inside[8] (though variations are possible according to preferences[9]); according to some American cookbooks reflecting high-end restaurant practices, a "French Omelette" should be unbrowned, cooked slowly over medium-low to medium heat, with initial stirring to prevent curds and sticking.[10] Good with just salt and pepper, this omelette is often flavored with tomato and finely chopped herbs (often fines herbes[11] or tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives) or chopped onions.
  • The Omelette de la mère Poulard, a Norman specialty first developed in Mont-Saint-Michel, has been called the most famous omelette in the world. It is served without fillings but often served with heavy garnishes.[12]


  • Egg Appam is an omelette made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk, an egg is broken into the batter as it cooks.
  • In Parsi cuisine, pora is an omelette made from eggs, onion, tomato, green chillies, and coriander leaves.[13] It is usually served for breakfast with Indian/Irani tea and bread.


  • In Betawi cuisine, kerak telor is a traditional spicy omelette that made from glutinous rice cooked with egg and served with serundeng (fried shredded coconut), fried shallots and dried shrimp as topping.
  • Fuyunghai or puyonghai is a Chinese Indonesian omelette, usually made from the mixture of vegetables such as carrots, bean sprouts, and cabbages, mixed with meats such as crab, shrimp, or minced chicken.


  • Kuku is an omelette frequently containing large proportions of other ingredients, including herbs, folded in.
  • Nargesi or spinach omelette, an Iranian dish, is made with fried onions and spinach, and is spiced with salt, garlic, and pepper.[14][15]


  • A frittata is a kind of open-faced Italian omelette that can contain cheese, vegetables, or even leftover pasta. Frittata are cooked slowly. Except for the cooking oil, all ingredients are fully mixed with the eggs before cooking starts.



In the Korean cuisine, traditional omelettes are known as gyeran-mari (계란말이, "rolled-eggs") which is a type of savory banchan. Gyeran-mari is made with beaten eggs, mixed with finely diced vegetables, meats, and seafood. This side dish is often found in most Korean banquet (janchi) meals, as well as Korean fast food (bunsik) restaurants.


In the Philippines, omelettes are known as torta, usually encountered with the enclitic -ng ("tortang") indicating it modifies the next word (the main ingredient); e.g. tortang hipon = torta ("omelette") + -ng and hipon ("shrimp"), meaning "shrimp omelette". There are many types of torta which are named based on their main ingredients. They include:

  • Tortang alamang or tortang hipon[17] - an omelette with krill or small shrimp. Also known as shrimp fritters,[18] although this term usually refers to okoy, a fritter made with shrimp and various vegetables (as well as other variations without shrimp).
  • Tortang carne norte - an omelette made from corned beef mixed with eggs. A common cheap breakfast dish.
  • Tortang dulong or maranay - an omelette, usually crispy, made with tiny fish from the family Salangidae known as dulong in Tagalog and ipon, libgao, or maranay in Visayan.[19][20] It is sometimes called okoy, though traditional okoy is not an omelette, but rather a type of fritter made with glutinous rice.
  • Tortang giniling or tortang picadillo - an omelette with ground meat (usually beef or pork) and sautéed vegetables.[21]
  • Tortang gulay - an omelette with peppers, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.
  • Tortang kalabasa - an omelette made with finely julienned calabaza, eggs, flour, and salt.
  • Tortang kamote - an omelette made with mashed sweet potato, eggs, flour, and salt.
  • Tortang sardinas - an omelette made with shredded canned smoked sardines (tinapa)[22]
  • Tortang talong - an eggplant omelet with whole grilled eggplants. Versions stuffed with ground meat (giniling) and vegetables are called relyenong talong.



  • In Thai cuisine, a traditional omelette is called khai chiao ไข่เจียว (khai meaning "egg", and chiao meaning oil-fried), in which the beaten egg mixture and a small quantity of fish sauce is deep fried in a wok filled with 1-2 cups of vegetable oil and served over steamed rice. The dish is usually served with Sriracha sauce and cilantro. A variation on this dish is khai chiao songkhrueang, where the plain egg omelette is served together with a stir-fry of meat and vegetables. Yet another type of Thai omelette is khai yat sai, literally "eggs filled with stuffing".[23]

Pontic GreeksEdit

  • Foustoron is an omelette made by the Pontic Greeks.[24] Foustoron is made with eggs fried in butter or oil; the omelette can be served plain or seasoned. Some modern varieties include yogurt and cheese. The recipe varied widely by region: some recipes included onion and dried red peppers, while others did not.[citation needed]

United StatesEdit


While the Spanish term tortilla and torta in Spain and the Philippines is applied to an omelette dish, in Mesoamerica it is a surrogate term for a flatbread made of wheat or corn. An omelette in Mesoamerica is commonly termed as tortilla de huevos, and more colloquially, omleta.[citation needed]



On March 19, 1994, the largest omelette (128.5 m2, 1,383 sq ft) in the world at the time was made with 160,000 eggs in Yokohama, Japan,[29] but was subsequently overtaken by another, weighing 2,950 kilograms (6,500 lb), made by the Canadian Lung Association at the Brockville Memorial Centre in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, on May 11, 2002.[30] In turn, that record was surpassed on August 11, 2012, by an omelette cooked by the Ferreira do Zêzere City Council in Santarém, Portugal. This record-breaking omelette weighed 6,466 kg (14,255 lb), and required 145,000 eggs and a 10.3-metre (34 ft) diameter pan.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Davidson, Alan (August 21, 2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. OUP Oxford. p. 571. ISBN 9780191040726. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Anderson, Heather Arndt (July 11, 2013). Breakfast: A History. AltaMira Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780759121652. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  3. ^ ""Omelette"". Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  4. ^ "En pareille alliance, l'un appeloit une sienne, mon homelaicte. Elle le nommoit mon oeuf, et estoient alliés comme une homelaicte d'oeufs".
  5. ^ Three noted by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, (Anthea Bell, tr.) A History of Food, revised ed, 2009, p. 326; de Serres note "Le glossaire accadien" Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Alexandre Dumas' Dictionary of Cuisine, 1873
  7. ^ "Egg Foo Yung". Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c Ginette Mathiot (éd), La Cuisine pour tous, 1955, p.107 : "(...) laissez cuire à feu vif. L'omelette doit être dorée à l'extérieur, baveuse au centre."
  9. ^ a b c Terese Allen (1991). The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook. The Guest Cottage, Inc. pp. 79–. ISBN 978-0-942495-11-9. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  10. ^ "How to Perfect the French Omelet (Hint: There Will Be Butter)". Bon Appétit. March 27, 2017. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Julia Child, Bertholle, L., Beck, S., Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Vol. I), page 135, Knopf, 1961
  12. ^ Cloake, Felicity (June 4, 2019). "Bon appétit! How I rediscovered the joys of French cuisine". The Guardian (in British English). ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  13. ^ King, Niloufer Ichaporia (June 18, 2007). My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520933378. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  14. ^ "آشنایی با روش تهیه نرگسی؛ غذای رژیمی". Hamshahri newspaper. 12 December 2011. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  15. ^ "SPINACH OMELETTE". Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  16. ^ Itoh, Makiko (September 14, 2019). "Tenshinhan: A made-in-Japan omelette with Chinese influences". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  18. ^ "Small Shrimps Fritters (Tortang Alamang)". March 19, 2019.
  19. ^ "Tortang Dulong Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  20. ^ "15 Filipino Foods I Bet You Haven't Tried in the Philippines!". BecomingFilipino. 4 March 2015. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  21. ^ Merano, Manjo. "Tortang Giniling Recipe". Pansalang Pinoy. Pansalang Pinoy. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  22. ^ "Tortang Sardinas ( Sardines Omelette)". Pinoy Cooking Recipes. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  23. ^ "Kai Yat Sai Talay (Thai Omelette With Seafood) Recipe". March 4, 2008. Archived from the original on October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  24. ^ Thomai Kiziridou (2007). Pontian Delicacies (in Greek). Kyriakidis. p. 380. ISBN 978-960-343-648-5.
  25. ^ Ayto, J. (2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. Oxford Quick reference collection. OUP Oxford. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-19-964024-9. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  26. ^ of, S.T.; Oseland, J. (2014). Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook: More Than 1,000 of the World's Best Recipes for Today's Kitchen. Weldon Owen. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-61628-735-1. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  27. ^ "Denver Omelette Scrambler". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  28. ^ Brewer, S.; Siple, M. (2011). Low-Cholesterol Cookbook For Dummies. Wiley. p. pt94. ISBN 978-1-119-99679-8. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  29. ^ Guinness Book of World Records 2001. 2000. ISBN 0-85112-102-0.
  30. ^ "Largest Omelette". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on June 14, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2007.
  31. ^ "Largest Omelette". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on July 25, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.

External linksEdit