This dish is generally consumed as a side dish for any meal and is popularly served inside lunch boxes, as well. For Koreans, this is a simple dish that they can whip up very quickly to add on to their meals.
What is Korean Rolled Omelette?
Korean egg omelette is called gyeran mari or gyeranmari (계란말이). Gyeran (계란) means egg and mari (말이) describes the eggs as being rolled up. So, essentially, Korean egg roll, Korean rolled egg and Korean rolled omelette carry the same meaning! The beaten eggs are cooked until they are almost completely set and then tightly rolled/folded into layers, and finally cut into slices.
History of Korean Rolled Omelette
The dish’s origin are still uncertain and highly controversial. Egg rolls are closely related to, but yet distinct from, the spring rolls served in mainland China and were first seen in the United States in the early 20th century.An earlier reference to egg rolls emerged in a 1917 U.S-published Chinese cooking pamphlet, but the dish is dissimilar to the modern egg roll.
The 1917 recipe describes a meat and vegetable filling wrapped in an egg omelette, pan-fried, and served in slices, similar to Gyeran Mari. Andrew Coe, author of “Chop Suey: A Cultural omelette of Chinese food in the United States,” has stated that the modern American egg roll was probably invented at a Chinese restaurant in New York City in the early 1930s. He was referring to one of two chefs who both later claimed credit for the creation: Lung Fong of Lung Fong’s, or Henry Low of Port Arthur.
According to Coe, Low’s recipe, printed in a 1938 cookbook, Cook at Home in Chinese, included “bamboo shoots, roast pork, shrimp, scallions, water chestnuts, salt, MSG, sugar, palm oil, and pepper,” but notably did not include cabbage, which is an essential filling in modern egg rolls. Typically, egg rolls do not involve eggs in the filling, and the wheat flour exterior may or may not contain eggs.
In relation to the disputed origin of the dish, it is uncertain how the term “egg” emerged in the name, since the predominant flavour in American egg rolls is cabbage, not eggs. A 1979 Washington Post paper suggested that the Chinese term for “egg” looks similar to the Chinese term for “spring,” but this theory was not widely accepted.
Tips for making Korean Rolled Omelette
Gyeran mari is typically produced from one or two varieties of sliced vegetables, most frequently with scallions and carrots. There are limitless choices of ingredients to add such as onions, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, ham, bacon, cheese, etc. Gim (or nori) is another popular ingredient in this dish.
Gim can be used with other ingredients or eaten on its own. Once you’ve gotten the basics right, the meal is pretty simple. The key is to be patient and to cook the eggs over mild heat. If the temperature is too high, you will end up cooking the eggs too quickly causing them to harden and crack when folded. If the eggs aren’t evenly cooked, the rolled eggs will be runny in the centre. Thus, a perfect balance is needed for a successful Gyeran Mari.
Where to find Korean Rolled Omelette in Malaysia
The majority of Korean restaurants in Malaysia serve Korean rolled omelettes. Stone Bowl (Kuala Lumpur) will satisfy your cravings with its fluffy and mouth-watering egg rolls. Curious about the gyeranmari that is both sweet and savoury? Try one at Gongju Roll (Kuala Lumpur) where they offer you Korean royal omelette rolls served with salad and Gonju sauce.
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