Friday, July 22, 2011

Spanish-Style Omelette


Do a Google search for "Spanish Omelette" and "recipes" and you will find yourself looking at many, many ways of making the potato omelette (I ended up with 1.4 million hits!) It's pretty confusing. Some sites claim the authentic Spanish Omelette comprises just potatoes, onions and eggs seasoned with salt and cooked in olive oil. Not even pepper should be added. Others add pepper and along with it red peppers or tomatoes or cheese or mushrooms or a combination of these ingredients and then some. 


It's the same with the Spanish Omelettes I've eaten in restaurants: no two have been the same. 


Well, until a senora or senorita comes to me with an authentic recipe, I'm calling mine a Spanish-Styled Omelette, an omelette inspired by the tortilla de patatas.  

(If you're perplexed like me, check out How To Make a Perfect Spanish Omelette in the Guardian. While it doesn't really answer the question of "What is an authentic Spanish Omelette", it does explain the different ways various chefs approach the dish. Renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria apparently uses crisps (yes, potato chips) instead of sliced fresh potatoes! The article leaves off with a recipe for the "perfect" Spanish Omelette which you may want to try)

I stuck with the basics: potatoes, eggs, onions, chopped parsley; salt and pepper. I used olive oil, of course.

I did however add a garnish of grated Parmesan and red chilli flakes (definitely not authentic but I like chillies) right at the end.

The potatoes and the egg make the Spanish Omelette a perfect comfort-food dish. The layers of creamy, soft but not mushy potatoes and the lightly caramelised onions that are encased in an egg custard is just so simple but so fulfilling. It's a warm dish and I don't mean temperature. It warms you up.


3 large potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
2 large onions (white or red) sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk (optional)
red chilli flakes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
a handful of grated Parmesan

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions and potatoes and toss them in the oil. Turn the heat low and cover the pan to let the onions and potatoes stew slowly. Stir occasionally so they cook evenly. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft but not mushy; season lightly with salt.

Beat the eggs (and milk), season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and 3/4 the parsley and mix.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and when hot, pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Keep the heat moderate to low. Cover for about 5 mins and check if the bottom is browned. When it is, sprinkle the chilli flakes and Parmesan and pop the omelette under the grill for about 5-7 minutes to firm up and lightly brown the top.

Garnish with parsley.


  1. Like any other dishes, the Spanish omelette has had a variety of cooking styles and versions as time passed. It's kind of difficult to figure out which one was the original. Anyway, yours seems to be delish with parmesan cheese, but in my experience, goat cheese is the most delicious! Austin Black @ El Toro Restaurant

    1. Oh! Goat's cheese does sound perfect ... will give it a go, definitely. Thanks Austin!

  2. Hello Indra,

    I've just discovered your blog and am browsing through your recipes and enjoying it very much so far!

    As a señorita I am answering your call and sending you an authentic recipe for tortilla de patatas. I don't know what the original recipe was, and I have no idea to what it will evolve, but this recipe is 100% authentic in the sense that this is the way my mom and my grandmom, and 90% of the people I know and bars I have been to (and I have been to a lot) prepare it.

    Of course each cook has his or her own little tricks and preferences. For example, the Spanish population is divided in those who cannot stand onion in their tortillas and those who cannot understand tortilla without onions (and you wouldn't believe how lengthy such discussions can be!). Then there are also many innovations. I personally find that caramelised onion in the tortilla gives it a delicious touch, but on the other hand would never-ever put cheese in it, I find cheese great in other tortillas but somehow it does not fit my concept of tortilla de patatas.

    Another big difference I usually find when reading recipes not written by Spaniards is that we deep fry the vegetables for the tortilla. Sure that turns the dish into a caloric bomb, but deep frying in olive oil is what gives the tortilla its unique taste. So I'd rather not eat tortilla that often but eat the good stuff.

    Anyway, sorry for the super-long comment. It is so typical Spanish (and Italian!) to just spend hours talking about food ;) Here is the recipe I wrote some time ago for my non-Spaniard friends.


    1. Hi Eli

      Thanks for your lovely message and for sharing your recipe for an authentic tortilla-de-patatas with me. Will definitely try and and repost it, tagging you :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails