Preserved Radish Omelet (Chai Poh Nooi) is a favorite Hokkien side dish usually eaten with plain congee. Only 4 ingredients and just minutes to prepare.
In the west, eggs and omelets are mainly served during breakfast with a few exceptions. Half way around the world in Asia, eggs and omelets are served throughout the day. Because it cooks so easily and quickly, an omelet or hard boiled egg is often piled on top of a bowl of rice or noodles. The Asian people love eggs, perhaps a little too much. 😉
Many Chinese side dishes are prepared using eggs. The omelet loaded all kinds of meats, vegetables, and pickles is very popular. Such omelets are served with either plain steamed rice or boiled congee. Omelets with pickles like this Preserved Radish Omelet (Chai Poh Nooi) are more often served with congee because pickles taste better with congee.
Preserved/Salted Radish (Chai Poh)
Aside from the eggs, the most important ingredient in this Preserved Radish Omelet (Chai Poh Nooi) is the preserved/salted radish. This ingredient commonly known as chai poh can be purchased at Asian markets or online. They come in two types – chopped or in larger pieces. I prefer to buy those that come in larger pieces and chop them myself when needed. A little goes a long way and so it is best to buy them in small packages.
A popular dish cooked with preserved radish is Char Koay Kak. Only a small amount is used here but it does make a difference. Many will tell you that Char Koay Kak without chai poh will not taste the same.
Tried and Tested Preserved Radish Omelet
Now, back to our Preserved Radish Omelet (Chai Poh Nooi). This recipe has been around in our family ever since I can remember. It is a very kid friendly dish. Hence, Mom prepared it often especially on days when plain congee was on the menu.
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- 3 large eggs
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 50 g preserved radish (chai poh), chopped
- Crack eggs into a medium sized bowl. Add ground pepper. Whisk with a fork until well combined.
- In a medium sized non-stick pan, heat vegetable oil. Add preserved radish (chai poh) and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Pour in prepared eggs to cover base of pan. Allow eggs to cook and set for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Flip omelet over and allow it to cook and brown for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove and serve immediately.
I served this Preserved Radish Omelet (Chai Poh Nooi) with Sweet Potato Congee and two other side dishes – Braised Soy Sauce Minced Pork and Diced Preserved Radish Long Beans Stir Fry (Chai Poh Tao) which I will be sharing in the days ahead. Inside this bowl is a typical Hokkien meal consisting of congee and three side dishes. This meal is popularly served for breakfast or lunch.