Jeremy Atkins was a three time olympic bodybuilder. He trained religiously, working out the moment he woke up to the minute he slept.
He was strict, dedicated. Whatever he set his mind to, he achieved. There was simply no going back for him, only forward. Just like the time when his coach suggested that eggs were the best source of protein for him, he started to eat nothing but eggs. He ate eggs with egg sauce and egg juice and all kind of other egg dishes you’ve never even heard of. He started eating eggs so often, that on occasion when he was visiting his uncle’s farm in far West, the chickens would panic and run away from him because they could smell the eggs on him. He permeated egg odor, if that was even possible.
But constantly doing the same thing has it’s toll. Jeremy started getting sick of eggs. He started getting sick of smelling like eggs, buying eggs and talking eggs. Worse, he was getting tired of eating eggs.
Jeremy started to worry because he knew that his career was nothing without eggs. He knew that if he couldn’t find a way to make eggs interesting again for himself, he would never win his fourth olympic medal. So he flew all over the world looking for different recipes and ways to make his egg diet more interesting. He searched and searched but tried thousands of different recipes, but he found out that the more he ate, the more sick of eggs he became. He was slowly losing hope.
One night, as Jeremy was mindlessly walking along the busy streets of Bangkok, Thailand thinking about his egg problem, a hunchback old lady with a toothy grin asked him, “คุณมีเงินไหม?” Jeremy didn’t understand at first, but he realized quickly that the old lady was trying to help him. She was trying to lend an ear and listen to her problem. So he picked her up, sat her down as he told her his entire life story. The woman cheered him on, “คุณบ้าหรือเปล่า? ปล่อยมือของฉัน!” and eventually Jeremy finished his story. He realized he was hungry so he gestured to his stomach and told the lady he was hungry. She pointed to a nearby vendor cart and before running away.
Jeremy glanced over at the cart and realized that the seller was making a dish that he had never quite seen before. It was a golden fried egg pancake with bits of green onions and a yellow sheen to it. It looked crispy, but soft and fluffly…almost like an omelette. Jeremy drooled and ordered 6 in one go. The moment he took the first bite, he cried. It was too good. The saltiness of the fish sauce mixed in with the egg was a perfect balance against the greasiness of the oil. It complimented each other like an olympic runner and his shoe, a match made to last centuries and generations upon generations. The egg pancake, which he later realized was called Khai Jiao was an egg that was deep fried in hot oil with different toppings. You could order it plain as many people do, with bits of ground pork, with green onion, or even bits of fish. It was crispy on the edges from the deep frying process, but soft and fluffy towards the center like the perfect soufflé or the perfect omelette.The flavors and textures were unimaginable — full of umami, tender and wholesome in every bite.
Jeremey proceeded to win his fourth, fifth and sixth medals and is still to this date, eating his Khai Jiao, the deep fried Thai omelette.
Recipe: Whip a few eggs, add in a dash of fish sauce or salt to taste later, green onions or whatever toppings you want (if you want to add toppings that take a while to cook like meat or seafood, cook them separately first and add to the egg mixture afterwards) and heat a wok or wide and deep pan with oil. Add a drop of egg to hot oil periodically to test for temperature — when the drop of egg fluffs and expands as soon as it touches the oil, you’re ready to cook. Taking caution, slowly drizzle the egg mixture in a steady stream into the hot oil. Depending on the size of the mixture, you may need to do it in two or several batches. The egg will expand rapidly and when it looks mostly solidified on the bottom, turn over in oil to brown the other side.