Recipe Review

I Made the “Tornado” Omelette the Internet Went Nuts Over. Here’s How It Went.

published Jan 30, 2020
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Credit: Grace Elkus
Tornado Omelette

Forget cat videos, it seems like viral omelette videos are the latest Internet sensation.

A few months ago, we were mesmerized by a video of a cook effortlessly making this Indian-style bread omelette concoction. After watching the video too many times, I decided to cook up a version at home, and after just a bit of trial and error, found myself sitting down to a delicious breakfast sandwich. So, late last week, when week we caught wind (get it?) of another viral video, this time for something called the tornado omelette, I knew I had to give it a go.

The tornado eggs are just one part of a Korean dish called a tornado omurice, where a whirlwind of scrambled egg is placed over a mound of rice, and surrounded with curry. (The one in the video below is sold at a street-food stand in Seoul.) For the purposes of trying out the swirling technique, however, I decided to focus solely on the eggs.

I Tried Making a Tornado Omelette at Home and I Wouldn’t Recommend It

Unlike when I set out to make the bread omelette, I had a hard time finding thorough instructions on how to make a tornado omelette. With a few videos as my only guidance, I was left guessing at the number of eggs, the amount of oil, the heat of the pan, and so on.

Nonetheless, I was determined to try the technique. I bought a few dozen eggs, grabbed a couple pair of chopsticks, and headed to the kitchen. After several failed attempts, I came to the conclusion that while I could create a small swirl in my omelette, unless I was going to make the whole dish, it really wasn’t worth it!

Part of the appeal of the omelette in the video is that it gets draped over a delicious-looking mound of rice, and then bathed in curry. But making the egg portion alone doesn’t serve much of a purpose — and doesn’t look as pretty when it’s not lifted up by the rice. It also tastes the same as a non-swirled omelette, but requires way more fuss.

What to Know If You Do Want to Try the Tornado Omelette at Home

If you, like me, can’t help but give it a go, I’ve included a few tips below.

  • Start with your smallest nonstick pan. The trickiest part of this technique was getting the outermost part of the egg circle to swirl, so the smaller the pan, the better. One with sloped sides, like in the video, is also preferred for this reason.
  • Use three large eggs and one tablespoon water. I tried this technique with two, three, and four beaten eggs, and found three eggs to be the sweet spot. Two eggs created too thin of an omelette that tore when I used the chopsticks, and four eggs created too tall of a swirl. It may have just been that by the time I started adding water I was getting better at the technique, but I found the eggs had less tendency to tear with the addition of a splash of water.
  • Get the oil really hot. Before you add your eggs, you’ll want to heat one tablespoon canola oil (or any oil with a high smoke point) until it’s very hot. Typically, we recommend heating oil until shimmering, but in this case, you want to go beyond that. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it starts to pull away from the sides of the skillet. It may even begin to hiss a bit. This took almost a full three minutes for me. When you pour in the eggs, the edges should immediately begin to set and the center should begin to bubble.
  • Rotate the chopsticks and the skillet. After dragging the chopsticks to the center of the pan, you’ll want to rotate them with one hand while rotating the skillet with the other. It’s easy to let the chopsticks get too close to one another, but you’ll want to try to keep them about an inch apart. Rotate both the chopsticks and the pan until the eggs stop swirling, then slide the omelette out of the pan (it will look runny, but the eggs will continue to cook off the heat).

Your turn: Have you tried making the tornado omelette? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below!