Julia Child says, “How about dinner in half a minute?” And then she goes on to shake her omelet into submission in, yes, about 30 seconds. She makes it look so simple. The truth is, omelets can go very wrong. Rubbery, thick, brown: These are qualities to avoid.

Julia adds water; Jacques Pépin does not. Julia shakes vigorously; Jacques uses a fork to create curds. Dig a little deeper into omelet studies (you know you want to) and you’ll find it’s a minefield: proponents of competing techniques, all claiming to provide the fluffiest, palest, lightest specimen. To get you started, we’ve combined and simplified the various methods and suggested a few of our favorite fillings. Breakfast (or dinner) will be served soon—in 30 seconds!

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