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Thai Cha-Om Omelette Recipe (Acacia Leaves Egg)

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Thai cha-om omelette is the perfect way to start your day! This easy breakfast recipe combines umami-flavored eggs with a distinct Thai vegetable, acacia leaves. Authentic, delicious, and so simple for every home cook.

Close-up of Thai cha-om omelette served in a white dish with a lime wedge.

Just like my recipes for Thai pork omelette and Thai soft-boiled egg, this egg recipe is ready in just 20 minutes. It’s easy, healthy, and unique!

What is cha om

Cha om is a tropical herb from the acacia family, often used in Southeast Asian and Thai cooking for its unique, slightly bitter and distinct taste. Known for its feathery leaves, it’s used in omelets, soups, and stir-fries.


The young acacia leaves from the acacia penatta tree often get called ‘stinky leaf’ for their pungent aroma, but fear not – that aroma vanishes once cooked.

My Thai grandma has several trees growing in her tropical garden, but you can find frozen acacia leaves at your local Asian grocery store and some Asian markets.

Kai jeow cha om (ไข่เจียวชะอม)

The Thai name for this dish is kai jeow cha om or ไข่เจียวชะอม, which translates to omelette with acacia leaves.

Acacia omelette recipe

Cha om omelette is a unique and delicious egg dish from Thailand. It’s made with acacia leaves, a vegetable that’s incredibly popular in the Northeastern part of Thailand, known as Isan.

Feel free to turn this into a Thai omelette with vegetables by adding your favorite veggies, like broccoli or onions.

Thai acacia omelette accompanied by a wooden fork in a white dish. In the distance are raw eggs and a lime wedge.

It’s a quick and easy recipe, which makes it perfect for any meal of the day – whether you’re looking for a fast breakfast, a light lunch, or a simple side dish for dinner.

The key is to create a firm omelette, easy to hold between your fingers, ideal for dipping into your favorite sauces. Pack in as much cha-om as you want.

I typically eat it for breakfast or around noon. If you’re having it for dinner, try pairing it with a cucumber and egg stir-fry or a simple side of jasmine rice.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Top-view of ingredients for cha-om omelette: Acacia leaves, eggs, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and a lime wedge.
  • Acacia leaves – You can get acacia leaves fresh at Asian markets or frozen at Asian supermarkets.
  • Eggs – I recommend three per person for a rich omelet base, but feel free to tweak to your preference.
  • Lime – A squeeze of fresh lime juice adds freshness and a tangy, zesty flavor.
  • Garlic – Infuses the eggs with garlic-flavor and a fragrance that’s absolutely irresistible.
  • Oyster sauce
  • Fish sauce – This duo of sauces are a staple in Thai cuisine. They add a savory, umami flavor to the omelette, making it can’t-stop-eating-this good.
  • Oil – For frying your egg, use a neutral oil like canola oil or vegetable oil.

How to make Thai cha-om omelette

Hand presenting chopped acacia leaves and garlic.

Step 1: Mince your garlic and roughly chop the acacia leaves into 4–5 pieces.

Acacia leaves and egg in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and toss in the chopped acacia, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and fresh lime juice. Thoroughly combine.

Garlic frying in a wok.

Step 3: Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until golden and aromatic, or approx 20 seconds.

Cha om omelette ready in a wok.

Step 4: Pour your egg mixture into the pan, spreading the acacia leaves evenly. Let it cook for several minutes, until one side is cooked.

Step 5: Carefully flip the omelet and cook the other side until done. Both sides should be perfectly cooked through. Serve hot off the pan.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Non-stick wok with spatula
  • Mixing bowl

Thai vegetable omelette recipe tips

Don’t overcrowd the pan: If you’re adding a generous amount of cha-om, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if needed.

Use fresh cha-om: You can source fresh cha-om at Asian markets or grocery stores. Fresh cha-om leaves are vibrant green and tender. If they’re not available fresh, frozen ones can be a good substitute but make sure to thaw them properly.

Taste-test: Thai cooking is all about balancing the flavors to your taste. If you prefer Thai cha-om omelette spicy, feel free to add some fresh chili peppers. A bit of extra fish sauce can add more saltiness, and a touch of sugar balances it out.

How to serve cha om omelet

In Thailand, we love having Thai-style omelet with a spicy dipping sauce called nam prik kapi, which is made from fermented shrimp, and some Thai sticky rice on the side.

You can also have this omelet with different things like a Thai vegetables stir-fry, jeow bong, or just a simple bowl of steamed jasmine rice. It’s a great meal for any time of day because it’s full of protein and nutrition.

Cut your omelet into small pieces that are easy to eat. Then, just take a piece with your fingers, grab a little ball of sticky rice, dip it into your favorite spicy sauce or chili dip like nam prik kapi and nam prik noom, and enjoy!

Storing leftovers

This dish tastes the best when it’s fresh and warm. Saving it for later isn’t the best idea because it might get dry and lose some of its yummy taste. Gather around, share, and enjoy it in one go!

Authentic Thai egg recipes

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Thai Cha-Om Omelette Recipe (Acacia Leaves Egg)

Close-up of Thai cha-om omelette served in a white dish with a lime wedge.
This Thai cha-om omelette recipe is easy to make and absolutely delicious. Serve hot with a side of rice and a chili dip.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Serving Size 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.6 ounces acacia leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Instructions

  • Mince your garlic and roughly chop the acacia leaves into 4–5 pieces.
  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and toss in the chopped acacia, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and fresh lime juice. Thoroughly combine.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until golden and aromatic, or approx 20 seconds.
  • Pour your egg mixture into the pan, spreading the acacia leaves evenly. Let it cook for several minutes, until one side is cooked.
  • Carefully flip the omelet and cook the other side until done. Both sides should be perfectly cooked through. Serve hot off the pan.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Serve with Thai sticky rice, a spicy dip, and other side-dishes of your choice.
  • Acacia leaves - You can get acacia leaves fresh at Asian markets or frozen at Asian supermarkets.

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