Spanish omelette

Spanish omelette

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

When I was younger, my mother’s omelettes had quite a reputation. While high-school girlfriends initially found the idea of eggs and rice for breakfast strange, they would always whisper requests for her specialty the next time they slept over. As an adult, I make it myself for new friends, who ask the same thing: ‘Can you make those eggs again?’

Spanish omelette is far from being my mother’s invention; the tomato and onion omelette is a classic Filipino breakfast item. As with all good omelettes, it comes down to technique. The trick here is to cook the onion until nice and golden, then give the tomato a good mash to release its sweet juice.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, thickly sliced
1/2 large tomato, roughly chopped
4 eggs, beaten
steamed rice and catsup or tomato sauce, to serve


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Add the tomato and, using the back of a spatula, flatten to release the juice. Continue to cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the tomato is starting to break down and the juice is starting to caramelise.
  2. Meanwhile, season the eggs with salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper. Spread the onion mixture evenly in the base of the pan. Increase the heat to high and pour over the eggs, but do not stir for 30 seconds. Then, gently stir and fold in a figure eight motion every 10 seconds until the eggs are just cooked (slightly undercooked will result in a creamier finish).

Where does it come from?

  • Its name suggests origin, but the story is not so clear-cut. In Spain, an omelette is called tortilla. Its large round thick shape and ingredients, such as potato, produce a significantly different dish. The Filipino omelette most likely took its name from the Spanish sofrito (sautéed onion and tomato), which forms the basis of this omelette. Of note, in Mexico, the same preparation is called huevos a la Mexicana, meaning Mexican eggs.
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