I was never the biggest fan of omelets, although more likely because of the adverse symptoms that would inevitably accompany my consumption of them than their flavor. Like many foods, I've always found the idea of an omelet to be superior to its reality. Protein breakfast packed with savory veggies, cheese and herbs? Fantastic. Migraine headaches, sinus congestion, muscle aches and strange brain fog that prevents me from formulating simple sentences? Unless I'm feeling particularly masochistic, I'll pass.

When I was happily living my days as a strict vegan, I could solve (I thought) this conundrum by fixing up a faux-egg dish with tofu. Mmm! Once I isolated soy as a trigger for nerve inflammation, though, I was stuck. God bless Kim at Affairs of Living for figuring out a solution to the soy-free egg scramble. She posted a recipe here that got the wheels in my brain working. In her post, she mentioned her goal of figuring out how to use a similar formula to make an omelet. The concept intrigued me, so I started experimenting myself. It didn't take long for me to work the recipe out to my liking, and since then I've made countless variations of it. The version I'm sharing with you here is Japanese-inspired, and appropriately, is also an entry for Kim and Ricki's (of Diet, Dessert & Dogs) Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge this month, where the featured ingredient is the sesame seed.

This recipe includes ingredients that you may not recognize. Mugwort powder is used in Japanese cuisine to flavor mochi, dumplings and soups. Any witches or mystics out there may also recognize it, as it is purported to aid psychic powers, and to cleanse divination tools. My books on herbalism say that it aids in digestion, is soothing to the nervous system, stimulates the liver, and is anti-parasitic. It has an earthy flavor reminiscent of green tea.  (Here is an interesting synopsis of its medicinal and metaphysical properties.)

Perilla seeds, or shiso, along with sesame seeds, are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also necessary for the health of the nervous system. Both of these ingredients were purchased at a local asian market, Reliable Market in Somerville's Union Square. The ground kelp, which has countless health benefits, can be purchased from the bulk spice and herb section at Harvest Coop in Central Square, Cambridge.

This has a lovely, subtle and savory flavor to it. I often add more mugwort powder; either way it's a dream.

1/2 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp kelp granules (finely ground kelp)
1/4 tsp mugwort powder (aka sagebrush powder)

3/4 cup water
1 tbs fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about one lemon wedge)
1/2 tbs tahini

1/2 tbs green perilla seed (aka shiso)
1 tbs sesame oil
sesame seeds (or Seaweed Gomasio if you're a salt hound like me) for sprinkling

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and add the water a 1/4 cup at a time to work out the lumps. Add lemon juice, tahini, and then the perilla seeds. Pour the tablespoon of sesame oil into a heated (medium heat) 10-inch non-stick pan, and turn to coat. Pour the batter into the pan. It should settle fully into the base of the pan, but help it with the back of a spoon if it doesn't. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the batter immediately, before the batter starts to set. Cook this way until the edges start to look slightly crisp, and the bottom is golden brown in spots. Carefully work a large, flexible spatula (like this) around the edges of the omelet until it is loose. Work the spatula under, and quickly flip. Cook until bottom is golden brown.
Transfer to a plate and serve with salad greens and tahini, sauteed greens (mizuna! mustard greens! chard!), homemade seed cheese, or whatever else suits your fancy.

serves 1


Ricki said...

What an intriguing recipe! I recently discovered that there's an Italian version of a chickpea flour "frittata" as well and can't wait to try it. Your omelet looks fantastic--and I love the combination of seasonings! Will have to get myself to a local Asian supermarket for the sagebrush, etc. I love gomashio! Thanks so much for submitting this to the SOS Challenge this month. :)

Kim - Affairs of Living said...

Wow, this looks awesome! I've been playing a lot with chickpea omelettes, but never with the japanese twist! Thanks for participating in the SOS Kitchen Challenge! :) Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com

KRIS said...

Ricki, thank you for the kind words! I've also played around with a faux quiche made with chickpea flour, still perfecting it! Thanks so much for taking a look!
Kim, I'm so indebted to you; thank you for coming over!

KRIS said...

Let me know if you try it, Ellen! I can suggest a million wonderful variations, too. (Lavender and basil version is gonna be my breakfast today.)

Rita said...

Chickpea flour is one of my gluten-free favorites. This pancake sounds like a delicious way to break up breakfast monotony.

KRIS said...

It is such a versatile flour, isn't it? I'm quite grateful for it. Thanks for taking a look, Rita!

Anonymous said...

Wow - I've never heard of those ingredients, but this sure looks intriguing. We have a great Asian grocery store, and another one that's purely Japanese that I've never been in. Time to do some investigating!

KRIS said...

You should definitely do some exploring! I will be putting together some guides for ingredients in such markets in the next month or so. It's so exciting to discover new flavors and textures. Thanks for commenting!

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