This ground pork omelette was a regular packed lunch item when my siblings and I were in elementary school. I can still remember that scent when you first opened your plastic lunch box at the school canteen. It was a mixture of the pork, the bell peppers and the plastic. This always came with steamed rice and a good serving of catsup. I still cook this today and Spouse usually takes it with salsa and steamed rice or as a sandwich.
My mother always had a large container of the pre-cooked ground pork filling in our refrigerator for a quick lunch or dinner. She was big on convenience because she had seven kids to raise, a household to run, her garden to tend….and at one point, even a regular office job.
On school days, my mother had to see us off to three different schools so it was always chaos in the mornings. The older sisters were perpetually on a diet, so they preferred to have light sandwiches instead of the usual rice lunches. The younger ones required sandwiches for their morning snack aside from the rice lunches. My mother would start her day with a strong cup of coffee and start on those sandwiches. It took a whole loaf of bread to satisfy all the requirements of the day.
Meantime, whoever was the maid* assigned to do the cooking was preparing the packed lunches. I remember there was even a time when my dad insisted on having his rice wrapped in banana leaves! Apparently, someone would go out to the backyard and cut off a banana leaf, clean and prep it for that purpose alone. This all got done somehow and we left at the same time each morning for school and in my dad’s case, the office. Don’t ask me how we did it….I was always half alive in the mornings even then.
Back to this omelette, it’s a common Filipino dish that’s commonly called Torta. We just called it Omelette. You can use this for stuffing your Tortang Talong (eggplant) and other roasted vegetables. My dad once stuffed pandesal halves with this and dipped it in egg before frying the whole mess in just a bit of oil. That was good.
Here’s the recipe:
Ground Pork Omelette
1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. ground pork
2?tbsps. fish sauce
1 tomato, chopped
1 (or more depending on the number of kids you have) potato, peeled and diced
1/4 c. water
1 small carrot, diced
1 small bell pepper, seeded and diced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook till almost brown. Add the onions and cook till tender. Add pork and cook till all the pink from the meat is gone. Add fish sauce and cook a minute or two longer or until brown bits start to form. Add the tomatoes and cook until it’s incorporated into the mix. Add the potato and water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Add carrots, cover and cook a minute or two. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook another minute longer.
Set aside to cool.
For the omelette, beat one egg for about 2/3 cup of the ground pork mixture and mix. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Pour in the egg and meat mixture into the pan. Cover and lower heat to medium. Cook for about 3 minutes or until bottom turns brown. Flip and cook uncovered until the bottom is brown. Repeat for the remaining meat mixture.
*NOTE: This was way back in the early days when maids in the Philippines were begging to be taken from the provinces just for a chance to live in the city.