By Quentin H. / December 17th, 2021
Since moving to California from across the country, I have been trying to make the best of it by experiencing as many new things as possible. A lot of them are good- like hiking through the redwoods and marveling at the extremely tall trees or visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and then eating some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had in a restaurant on some small side street.
There are bad things, too. For example, I’ve pulled into four different turn lanes that are actually part of the unofficial drive thru line for In-N-Out Burger, and I’ve experienced the absolute terror of my first-ever earthquake. Let me tell you – I’ll take a hurricane coming in from the Atlantic Ocean any day over feeling the ground move beneath me and it not being from a Carole King song.
All of these experiences don’t change the fact that I left my entire support network – friends, family, BODYJAM class members, coworkers, and more – behind. With some of them, those once-tight bonds are weakening despite my best efforts.
It’s hard. Really hard.
I am working on making new friends; it is slow going in no small part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, I have been really trying to put those particular pieces of my life back together again in some sort of way even before I started Cooking Eorzea.
If you’re new to this column, then just know that each week, I will be talking about my life post-cross country move and I will be cooking a dish from The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook by Victoria Rosenthal. As I share my cooking experiences – the good, the bad, and the Marlboro – I will be including pictures of the cooking process and my final product. I will also be highlighting a different ingredient each week, and I will be showing you what each dish is supposed to look like, too.
If you missed Part One last week, you should check it out here- Cooking Eorzea Week 1: Almond Cream Croissants.
Now, let us dive into this latest installment of a dish that I tried to make with Love, Eorzean Style.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe is the third recipe of the book: Dodo Omelette. This egg-cellent vegetarian dish comes from the Plainsfolk in the La Noscea region and has a difficulty rating of “Medium.” The recipe also makes two servings, which turned out to be quite the blessing for me…as the first serving turned out incredibly poorly by the time I was finished with it. Thankfully, I was able to (mostly) rescue the dish in my second serving attempt!
Take a look at what it is supposed to look like below!
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Featured Ingredient of the Week
This week, the featured ingredient is duck eggs.
While I knew that ducks do lay eggs, it never occurred to me that you could actually eat duck eggs. All I’ve known in my life so far is that you can eat chicken eggs, you can eat quail eggs, and that you can even eat a Scotch egg. But duck eggs? Never crossed my mind.
It also turns out to be next to impossible for me to find duck eggs to buy around here.
I ended up heading to a small co-op half-an-hour away from where I live to buy the duck eggs, as no store around me carries them. Duck eggs definitely are bigger than chicken eggs, and they also have bigger yolks. Also, when I cracked them, they felt more…runny than chicken eggs as they poured out of their shells.
My Cooking Attempt
As always, here is a photograph of all the ingredients that I used this week:
As a side note…I had also never heard of tonkatsu sauce until I was getting all the needed ingredients for this recipe. Anyway, the first thing I had to do was to get the rice going.
First, I pulled a cup of rice out of the rice bag using a rice measuring cup…
I washed the rice…
And then I set about cooking it. Now, thankfully, I already owned a small rice cooker that I fully intended to put to use to make this rice for this week’s Cooking Eorzea dish.
While the rice was cooking away in the rice cooker, I sliced and diced up my onion.
Setting the onion aside, I poured the tonkatsu sauce, the tomato paste, the honey, the ketchup, and the water into a saucepan. This is to ultimately make the red topping sauce for the dish. In the below photo, you can see me adding in the tonkatsu sauce.
I then whisked it all together over medium-high heat on the burner until it was well blended. You can tell that it was starting to thicken up some too.
After setting the sauce aside once it was properly combined and simmering, I threw some butter into a medium pan and let it melt. Unfortunately, the butter started to burn as it melted…I think the pan was too hot.
I then threw in the diced onions and the shittake mushrooms. They also started to cook rather quickly…and the onions started to burn some too.
After a few minutes of moving the onions and mushrooms around and they appeared to have been cooked, I added in the frozen peas. They almost immediately were cooked.
Once that was all cooked (or, more likely, burned), I added in salt and pepper and blended it all together.
At this point, I added in the rice that I had set aside earlier, more ketchup, and the soy sauce.
I then blended it all together in the pan and let it cook some more.
At the time of the above photo, I confirmed that I had definitely burned the onions. I pushed through this disappointment, and split the rice mixture into two separate dishes on the side.
I finally cracked two duck eggs into a large bowl. The eggs were actually thicker and harder to crack than chicken eggs, and it took several good whacks against a glass cup to crack them. You can see in the (slightly fuzzy, sorry!) photo below how big the yolk is! I also ended up having to fish some small shell bits out of the bowl too.
After adding in two duck eggs, I added in the goat milk and started to whisk it all together into one blended mixture.
I then poured the mixture into a pan and tilted the pan around to make sure the egg and milk mixture coated the entire bottom. Once they started to cook through, I lowered the burner temperature.
I then added in the (burned) rice mixture on top of the eggs.
I tried to fold the cooked egg/milk mixture over onto the rice…but it became very clear that I had burned the eggs and milk mixture too.
According to the recipe, I am supposed to fold the egg/milk mixture onto of the rice mixture. However, I had burned everything so badly that that wasn’t going to happen. So, I just poured it onto a plate.
I tried to shape the burned dodo omelette into a pointed oval with a paper towel…but it wasn’t moving.
The final result of my first portion. I tried to eat it, but it was completely inedible and so I tossed it in the trash.
Thankfully, this week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe called for two portions to be made…so I blended more duck eggs and goat milk together and added it back to the pan. I then added in the rice mixture…and because I was more careful this time, I actually didn’t burn the egg/milk mixture! As a result, I was able to now more or less successfully fold it over the rice mixture as seen below.
Not going to lie- I actually felt kinda proud of myself for learning from the first portion screw-up.
Even though the omelette wasn’t perfect (you can see that it is slightly burned, but not too badly), I was still able to plate it.
I then used a paper towel to more or less shape it into a pointed oval…
Well, kind of like a pointed oval.
I generously topped it off with the sauce mixture that had been sitting aside for quite a while. It was a very, very thick and cooled pour, and I ended up having to scoop the last bits out of the pan to get it on the food.
The final dish!
Immediately after taking this final Cooking Eorzea dish photo, I sat down and ate it! My first thought was that the dodo omelette was quite different from a regular omelet. The onions and peas and rice blended quite well with the duck eggs and goat milk despite me having burned everything to various degrees. Most of the way through eating it, I discovered a shittake mushroom that was quite a pleasant surprise. The real winner here, though, was the sauce. It had a very bold flavoring, most likely due to the tomato and tonkatsu flavorings. It meshed well with the omelette itself and didn’t actually overpower that flavor. I ended up eating all of the second portion.
I can’t say if I would make it again or not, if only because of the sheer difficulty I had to get the required duck eggs. I would definitely love to try the sauce again on regular fried eggs or something though.
This was my second week doing this project, and I am still working on trying to figure out how to set up a proper cooking and writing schedule with everything else going on in my life. Part of me is honestly extremely excited to be doing this project…and part of me is dreading how much work this project has turned out to be over just the past two weeks. All that said though, I am already starting to plan ahead and buy hard-to-find ingredients for the next two weeks…and in fact one of those ingredients arrived in the mail today.
I don’t intend to give up on this project, though. This actually makes me happy, and that seems to be in short supply at times for me at the moment.
I want to extend a special thanks to Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes are actually supposed to look. Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You can check him and his works out over on Twitter.
Finally, I want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online in both iterations of the game.
Next week’s recipe is the Farmer’s Breakfast, and I’ve never cooked with a cast-iron skillet before. So that will be very interesting, and I hope you will return for it.
Have you ever cooked with duck eggs before? What about making the Dodo Omelette?
Let us know in the comments below!
CookbookCookingCooking EorzeaDodo OmeletteEndwalkerEorzeaFFXIVFinal FantasyFinal Fantasy XIVHiromichi TanakaInsight EditionsMMORPGNaoki YoshidaVictoria Rosenthalyoshi-p