1 tablespoon palm or raw sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons fish sauce, plus 2 teaspoons extra
2 chillies, sliced
juice of 2 limes
2 carrots, cut in julienne (fine strips)
½ cucumber, cut in julienne (fine strips)
1 cup bean sprouts
3 tablespoons plain oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked jasmine or long-grain rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus 2 teaspoons extra
150g silken tofu, roughly cut, or firm tofu, cut into ½cm cubes
350g crisp lettuce leaves (I like baby cos)
1 cup fragrant herbs, such as Thai basil, coriander, mint, Vietnamese mint
8 eggs

Lettuce cups make a fun, hands-on meal and omelette is a perfect filling. You can make all the filling in one lot, but make the omelettes one at a time, so they stay warm. I like to use silken or soft tofu for the texture, but firm tofu also tastes good. If you don’t have a good non-stick frying pan, you can line the bottom of your pan with baking paper to stop the omelette sticking.


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1.To make the nuoc cham sauce, whisk together the sugar, vinegar and 4 tablespoons fish sauce in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
2.Spoon half into a small bowl and mix in the chillies and lime juice and set aside.
3.Add the carrot and cucumber to the remaining sugar/ vinegar/fish sauce mix in the bowl and toss to coat. Set aside, tossing once or twice.
4.Put the bean sprouts in a colander and pour over boiling water to blanch. Refresh with cold water and set aside.
5.Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat.
6.Add the shallot and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the rice and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
7.Stir through the bean sprouts for 1 minute then fold in the tofu. Set aside.
8.Arrange the lettuce leaves, herbs, cucumber and carrot and nuoc cham on serving dishes on the table.
9.Heat a little more oil in a large to medium-sized frying pan over a medium heat.
10.Whisk 4 eggs together with 1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon fish or soy sauce and season with a little salt.
11.Pour into the frying pan, swirling so the egg completely covers the surface.
12.Using a spatula, gently bring the cooked egg to the centre so the omelette cooks evenly.
13.When just done (still a little runny on top) spoon half the tofu filling over one side of the omelette and fold in half.
14.Gently slide onto a warmed serving plate and cut into 8 pieces.
15.Wipe the pan clean and make another omelette in the same way.
16.To serve, put a piece of omelette into a lettuce leaf with some cucumber and carrot and some herbs, then spoon over the nuoc cham.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles