The Salty Turnip Omelette of Your Dreams

It’s a new year, folks, and as the weekend approaches, it’s time to ask yourself some serious questions, specifically about how you start your day: are you tired of eating the same thing over and over again? Is it possible that your boredom reflects a boredom with your life itself? Is it time for a new job? A new spouse? A new child? Well, before you make any hasty decisions, might I suggest that you start with breakfast. Here’s one that I created based on a dish that I love at Ruen Pair (my favorite Thai place in L.A.) and, as nervous as I was to make something that I didn’t fully know how to make, the results were so astonishingly delicious, I nearly toppled my kitchen table over with my enthusiasm. We’re talking, of course, about a salty turnip omelette–a strange concept, yes, but follow my directions, and you’ll be so blissed out, you won’t even realize how much you hate your life.

The recipe begins, obviously, with turnips.


Peel ’em and grate ’em on a box grater. Then squeeze out the moisture with a paper towel or two. If you have an onion, slice about 1/4 of it into thin slices and toss them with the turnip shreds.

Now in a non-stick skillet, heat a splash of vegetable oil on medium heat until moderately hot and add your turnip and onion and a dash of salt:


After stirring around for a bit, the turnips looked a little dry so I also added a pat of unsalted butter:


Continue to cook, on medium heat, stirring every so often for about 10 to 15 minutes until your turnips begin to caramelize deeply.


Take them as far as you can without burning them, then whisk three eggs together in a bowl with a pinch of salt, add them to the turnips along with a nice healthy splash of soy sauce.


Stir all around while shaking the pan and then, when everything’s worked together, let the omelette sit on the heat for 30 seconds or so until it really firms up on the bottom and the center is still slightly moist.

Fold it on to a plate, splash some more soy sauce on top and sprinkle with cilantro. Here’s the Instagram representation:


What you get is something both sweet and salty, eggy and vegetal all at once. It’s a whiff of Frenchness (it is an omelette, after all) by way of Thailand and though everyone will stare at their plate in confusion, at first, I guarantee that one bite in, you’ll be so beloved, so adored, your whole life will be renewed with a sense of purpose and power. “If I can make this, I can make anything!” Just the kind of breakfast you need to start the new year. Happy 2014.

Recipe: The Salty Turnip Omelette of Your Dreams

Summary: Based on a dish at Ruen Pair in Hollywood.


  • 2 turnips, peeled and grated on the largest holes of a box grater
  • 1/4 yellow onion, sliced very thinly (to match the turnip shreds)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • White pepper (if you have it; I didn’t)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (plus more to taste)
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Combine the turnips and onion together in a pouch of paper towels and squeeze out the moisture into the sink.
  2. In a non-stick skillet, heat the vegetable oil and butter until hot, then add your turnip onion mixture with a pinch of salt. Stir and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the turnips are deeply golden brown and can’t be cooked any further without burning.
  3. At that point, add the eggs and the soy sauce, stir all around while shaking the pan, and when everything’s worked together, stop stirring and leave the eggs on the heat for 30 seconds to firm up on the bottom. Fold the omelette on to a plate, splash a little more soy sauce on top and garnish with cilantro.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 1

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

17 thoughts on “The Salty Turnip Omelette of Your Dreams”

  1. Beautiful! I’m too lazy to make this at home but I”ll definitely check it out at Ruen Pair, which is one of my favorite places to eat at in Thai Town – but I always order the same thing…

  2. Thanks to you, I eat at Ruen Pair every time I drive to LA from here in Palm Springs. I spent some time in Thailand years ago and my first bite of the string beansAt Roen Pair brought a very vivid taste memory after all these years. Wonderful, “real” food thanks to you!

  3. Interesting that you used fresh turnip – if it’s anything like the Chinese version that we eat with congee, I imagine preserved (aka. Salted) turnip is used, with a splash of fish sauce.

  4. This recipe sounds so good. I have not had Turnips in years, my mom would make them for me and she was a gourmet cook.

  5. Excited to find this recipe, thank you! The omelette at Ruen Pair is kind of sweet… where does the sweetness come from?

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