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Recipe: How to Make Authentic Omurice at Home

By Umami Recipe
Recipe: How to Make Authentic Omurice at Home

It is one of the most popular yoshoku, or western-style, meals in Japan, beloved by everyone from children to the elderly. It’s easy to prepare, and highly customizable, yet there are a few recipe rules that you can’t ignore if you want to end up with an authentically Japanese version.

So, what is this mystery dish?

Well, since you’ve read the title you know already but what the heck we’ll say it again: Omurice!

Japanese omelet rice, omurice as it’s known locally, is one of our favorite foods here at Umami Recipe. It’s a simple yet surprising fusion of Japanese and western-cooking styles, and the best part is that you can put your own stamp on it by mixing up the ingredients as you like.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how to make an authentic omurice that’s all your own.

What is Japanese Omelette Rice (Omurice)?

A favorite speedy staple of Japanese home cooking, Omurice isn’t exactly the most difficult dish to cook. All you need is to fry up some rice, season it with ketchup, wrap it all in a savory egg omelet, and, bam, you’re done.

There’s no sourcing of seasonal ingredients or fancy table setting or even eating with chopsticks – as a western-style – and somewhat messy – dish, omurice is typically eaten with a spoon.

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 and they are all readily available at your local supermarket.

Ketchup Rice

Ketchup rice, as the name so eloquently suggests, is rice fried with ketchup. So, how do you make it? Well, simply get a frying pan, add your choice of vegetables (we normally go for something like onions and peppers), plus any other ingredients you want to chuck in there, and stir fry. Next, the steamed white rice goes in. Finally, squeeze ketchup over the rice and mix to your heart’s content (or at least until all the rice is covered).

Eggs

Milk, sugar, cream, cheese, or any other ingredients you like can be added to the beaten eggs, and in this way you can make the omlet that sits on top of the rice as savory or sweet as you like. To get that classic oval omurice shape, you need to lovingly tuck the sides of the omelet under the ketchup rice mixture, just as if you were tucking a small child made of starch in bed.

Sauces

What’s the deal with putting sauce on omurice? Well, the idea is that the flavor from the omelet is more subtle than the flavor you get from the ketchup rice. The sauce is there to balance it out.

The most common sauce used to top the omurice is ketchup or demi-glace sauce. Typically, ketchup is used when you’re at home and demi-glace sauce is used in restaurants, or if you’re feeling bougie.

The 4 Most Popular Ingredients for Ketchup Rice

The list of ingredients that can be used in your ketchup rice is up to your imagination. But below are a few of our favorites.

Chicken (Chicken Rice)

Ketchup rice with chicken is actually a meal called "chicken rice" in Japan, although it is most commonly used as the filler for omurice. We recommend keeping the skin on the chicken to enhance the flavor. Beef, pork and even fried tofu can be used as an alternative.

Onions

When onions are used in ketchup rice, the sweetness and savory flavors together add further complexity to the taste. It’s especially good if you caramelize the onions – your omurice will take on a new dimension of deliciousness.

Carrots

Ramp up the nutritional quality of your omurice with a bit of crunchy carrot. It’s a classic trick among Japanese parents to cut the carrots into small pieces and hide them inside the rice to get their kids to eat their veggies!

Sausage

Sausages are another ingredient that can really amplify the flavors of ketchup rice. Be careful not to start some sort of sausage party and use several different kinds of meat together – the tastes will clash. Pick one type – we suggest frankfurters – and simply 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 omelet that are popular in omurice: thin and fluffy. The difference in the way the egg is prepared can actually have a big impact on the texture and taste of your omurice.

How to Create A Thin Layer of Egg for Your Omurice

Beat the egg in a bowl or cup, then pour into a well-oiled pan so that it covers the surface with a thin layer of egg. Once the egg is cooked, lay it on a plate and carefully spoon a mound of ketchup rice on top and wrap the sides of the egg around it. “Slowly, slowly is the name of the game in this method to make sure that the omelet doesn’t tear.

Alternatively, you can set the ketchup rice on a flat plate first and gently slide the cooked egg layer on top of the rice. The smaller the mound of rice, the easier it is to handle. If you are a beginner, then try this way as there is less risk of tearing the egg.

Making omurice at home and want to be as authentic as possible? The thin layered version of the omelet is considered the classic style.

The Fluffy Egg

But if you enjoy a bit of height and drama (alongside the texture of scrambled eggs), then the fluffy omelet style may be for you.

First, beat the eggs with milk in a bowl. Then, pour the egg mixture into a well-oiled frying pan on medium heat. When the eggs are half raw, fold the egg in half to make an omelet.

With the ketchup rice ready on your plate, shimmy the omelet out of the pan on top of the rice mound.

Take a knife and cut a slit through the omelet with flair (a.k.a. Salt-Bae-style), allowing the soft half-cooked egg to tumble out over the rice.

To get the hang of this tricky technique, try using two spatulas to carefully move the omelet from pan to plate.

What Are Some Recommended Sauces That Go With Omurice?

Each of these sauces is a staple of Japanese kitchen cupboards, making them an obvious choice for finishing off an omurice.

Ketchup

The OG of omurice sauces, many would-be master chefs will write messages on top of their omurice using ketchup. This makes omurice a cute dish for birthdays and other special occasions.

Demi-glace Sauce

Sometimes called brown sauce, restaurants will use demi-glace on their omurice to enhance the depth of flavor. If you’ve never had it, demi-glace sauce tastes a bit like vegetables and meat simmered in a pot for a long time with wine and spices.

White Sauce

White sauce with milk, butter, flour and consommé, plus mushrooms or even chicken, is another way to level-up your omurice game. This is the rarest of the sauces you’ll see on omurice which makes it even more special!

Try Cooking Omurice at Home

In Japan, omurice is known and loved by people of all ages and could be considered one of the nation’s favorites. Sadly though, it rarely gets a mention on the menu of Japanese restaurants abroad.

Since omurice is easy to make with ingredients that are available in most countries, why not try it at home first? In the meantime, we’ll continue our mission of making omurice global!

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