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Omurice Recipe - Omelet Rice (オムライス)

By Umami Recipe
Omurice Recipe - Omelet Rice (オムライス)

Omurice is a dish of stir fried rice seasoned with ketchup and wrapped in an egg omelet. It is one of the most popular dishes in Western style restaurants in Japan: what the Japanese call "Western cuisine" is usually a meal that consists of traditionally non-Japanese ingredients prepared with a Japanese twist. Omurice is a dish that can be made at home with satisfying results.

What is Japanese Omelette Rice (Omurice)?

Omurice is not complex, consisting of fried rice seasoned with ketchup, all wrapped in a savory egg omelet. Since it is quick and easy to prepare, it has become a go-to dish in many Japanese households. A happy moment that many Japanese have experienced is coming home in the evening, tired and hungry, but then are overjoyed to find that omurice is for dinner. The savoriness of the fluffy eggs and the rich taste of ketchup make for a harmonic combo. Since omurice is considered a Western-style dish, it is often eaten with a spoon instead of chopsticks.

Japanese Omelette Rice

If you love egg dishes, then you definitely need to try omurice. Omurice is a portmanteau of the words "omelet" and "rice" and is a well-loved dish in Japan. The mixed vegetables m...

The 3 Key Ingredients to Making Delicious Omurice

There are three main ingredients that make up a perfect Omurice. These are fried ketchup rice, eggs and sauce. All of these ingredients are easily available at your local supermarket, making it a Japanese dish that people living outside of Japan can easily prepare at home. We will take a look at a detailed explanation of the ingredients that make up an Omurice.

Ketchup Rice

Ketchup rice, as the name suggests, is rice fried with ketchup. After heating an oiled frying pan, add any leftover vegetables like onions, peppers, beans, meats and other ingredients to stir fry. Once the ingredients are cooked to your liking, steamed white rice is added to pan. The ketchup is then added and all the ingredients are stir fried further, completing the ketchup rice. Since the filling of the omelet will be this ketchup rice, whatever additional ingredients you choose to add to it will affect the taste of the final meal. As expected, many Japanese families have omurice variations that they call their own.

Eggs

A thin omelette layer is placed on the ketchup rice, completing the dish, making eggs an essential ingredient in omurice. Milk, sugar, cream, cheese or any other ingredients you like may be added to the beaten eggs before the omelette is made. Depending on the ingredients added to the eggs, the omurice can be savory or sweet. Tuck the sides of the omelette under the ketchup rice to create the classic oval omurice shape.

Sauces

The most common sauces used to top the omurice is ketchup or demi-glace sauce. Typically, ketchup is used at home and demi-glace sauce is used in restaurants. Why do we put sauce on an omurice? The reason is that the flavor from the egg omelette is lighter than the ketchup rice. So, in order to balance the taste, a sauce that is as flavorful as the ketchup rice is added.

The 4 Most Popular Ingredients for Ketchup Rice

There are many ingredients that can be used for ketchup rice. Here are a few recommended ones to help you find your particular combination!

Chicken (Chicken Rice)

Chicken is one of the most recommended ingredients for ketchup rice. Ketchup rice with chicken is called "chicken rice" and is considered a meal on its own but also commonly used as the filler for Omurice. It is also recommended to use chicken with the skin on to enhance the flavor. Beef, pork and even fried tofu can be used as an alternative to chicken. Test and try a few variations to find out what you like best.

Onions

Onions are a magical vegetable that adds depth of flavor to just about any meal. It is a vegetable that can be baked, boiled, or even eaten raw. When onions are used in ketchup rice, the sweetness and savory flavor of the hot onions will add further complexity to the taste. Especially good is if you stir fry the onions until they are brown and caramelized--your omurice will take on a new dimension of flavor.

Carrots

Carrots have important nutrients for the human body, like beta-carotene and potassium. Beta-carotene becomes vitamin A in the body and keeps the skin and hair healthy. Potassium is responsible for removing unwanted sodium from the body. By using carrots in ketchup rice, you can create a dish that tastes great and is also good for you. Many children do not like vegetables, but if you cut them into small pieces and add them to their favorite dish, they will often eat them with pleasure.

Sausage

Sausage is another ingredient that can greatly enhance the flavor of ketchup rice, but be careful not to use two kinds of meat together, as the flavors will clash with each other. A good thing about sausage is that they require very little prep work. Just cut into bite-size pieces and add to the fried rice. 

The 2 Ways to Prepare the Eggs for the Omurice

There are two styles of omelette that are popular in omurice: thin or fluffy. Because it is a simple dish, the slightest difference in the way the egg is prepared can make a big difference in the texture and taste. Here is a detailed explanation of how to prepare the egg to wrap your ketchup rice in.

A Thin Layer of Egg

The first method of making omurice is pan frying a thin layer of beaten egg. After the egg layer is cooked, carefully place the ketchup rice on top and wrap the sides of the egg over the rice. The first step in this method is to beat the egg in a bowl or cup, then pouring it into an oiled pan so that it covers the bottom. Once the egg is cooked, the ketchup rice is added on top of the egg while it is still in the pan. Important in this method is placing the rice on the thin egg omelette so that it does not tear. Alternatively, you can set the ketchup rice on a flat plate beforehand and gently slide the cooked egg layer on top of the rice. It is a good idea to start with a small omurice as it is easier to handle. If you are a beginner, then the latter method is recommended because there is less risk of tearing the egg. If you are making omurice at home, this thin layered egg recipe is considered the classic style.

The Fluffy Egg

If you enjoy the half-raw texture of scrambled eggs, then this style may be for you. The first step is to beat the eggs with milk in a bowl. Then, pour the egg mixture into an oiled frying pan on medium heat. When the eggs are half raw, fold the egg in half to make an omelet. Have the ketchup rice on a plate and place the omelet on top. A knife is used to cut a slit through the omelet, revealing the soft half-cooked egg inside. The tricky part of this fluffy omelet is transferring the soft egg omelette to the top of the ketchup rice. One proven technique is to use two spatulas to carefully move the omelete from pan to plate. WIth practice, you will soon have delicious omurice that looks perfect in shape.

Recommended Sauces

There are three recommended sauces that go well with omurice. All of them are sauces that Japanese people are familiar with. Here, we will take a quick look at sauces that are perfect for this egg meal. 

Ketchup

Ketchup is one of the most popular sauces used in omurice. The reason for its popularity is its deep favor and accessibility. Ketchup, with its tangy and sweet taste of tomatoes, is a versatile sauce that adds flavor to many dishes. Also, the contrast of the red of the ketchup and yellow of the omelete stimulates the appetite. What makes ketchup different from other sauces is that you can draw or write on the omurice for a bit of fun. By writing the name of children on the omurice before serving, it becomes a perfect dish for birthdays and other special occasions

Demi-glace Sauce

Demi-glace is a sauce often used in Japan on stewed hamburgers. It is also called brown sauce because of its color. When you go to a Western-style restaurant in Japan, you will often find demi-glace sauce used on omelettes. Demi-glace sauce is characterized by the flavor of vegetables and meat simmered in a pot for a long time with water, wine and spices and the unique bitterness of wine. Since the main ingredients of an omurice are ketchup rice and eggs, it can be difficult to create depth of flavor. However, by pouring demi-glace sauce over the rice, the flavor and depth of taste are instantly enhanced.

White Sauce

White sauce is made by heating butter and flour in a pan. Time management is very important for this sauce. While on low heat for about 20 seconds, salt, pepper and consommé are added to the mixture. Then heat in a microwave oven at 600W for about 2 minutes while adding the milk. Once the sauce is finished, add mushrooms or chicken breast and heat. The completed white sauce is then placed over the omurice.

Try Cooking Omurice at Home

In Japan, omurice is known and loved by people of all ages, from children to the elderly. Unfortunately, it is rarely seen in Japanese restaurants abroad. Western food in Japanese cuisine is an interesting fusion of Western and Japanese cooking. Omurice is easy to make with ingredients that are available in most countries, so why not try it at home first? There are many variations depending on the ingredients and sauces, so discover the flavor that suits you.

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