What is omurice?
Omurice (オムライス, Omu-raisu) is a Japanese cuisine consisting of ketchup-based fried rice and omelet. The word omurice is the portmanteau of two words – omelet and rice.
Omurice is a western-influenced Japanese cuisine (yōshoku) originated at the turn of the 20th century when western café gained popularity in Japan. It is also one of the familiar dishes for the home cooks due to the simplicity of preparation and kids friendly.
Although conventional meat is chicken, minced pork, bacon, and ham can be used. It is pan-fried with plenty of ketchup and also added with soy sauce or demi-glace. The chicken and ketchup fried rice are wrapped inside the omelet and is drizzled or decorated with more ketchup by drawing various shapes like face, heart, and smiley. It is a fun dish to discover the secret underneath the scrambled egg skin, and that is why kids, as well as grown-ups, love it.
How to make omurice
Omurice is made up of two components- rice and omelet. Let’s dive into the details one by one.
1. Prepare the Japanese fried rice
I will ditch my cast iron wok and in favor of the non-stick frying pan. That is the Japanese way, and I want to follow the tradition and to leave my Chinese style cooking aside.
After all, the Japanese fried rice is best to be done by single serving each time, so my nonstick pan is just right for frying the rice.
Here are the steps:
- Cut the chicken breast meat into about a centimeter cube. You may want to keep the skin, but it is entirely your choice. Season with soy sauce.
- Dice a yellow onion.
- Heat the saucepan and add a tablespoon of cooking oil. You can use butter for a stronger flavor. The pan-fried process is similar to the Chinese wok frying, which requires high heat to obtain the optimum result.
- Once you can feel the heat by putting your palm an inch above the pan, throw in the chicken meat.
Now start cooking
- Keep flipping and stirring the chicken over medium heat. Quick flipping will ensure the meat is evenly cooked.
- When the chicken is about 50 percent cooked, add the diced onions. The chicken will cook through when the onions are done.
- Next, sauté the onions until translucent, which will take about 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms. You can also add other ingredients such as edamame. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked rice. If you cook the rice specially for this purpose, cook it with slightly less water because we will add ketchup and soy sauce to the rice. Break up the rice and combine well with the chicken and onions.
- Next, add the ketchup. It will taste better If you have demi-glace. Otherwise, just use ketchup and add a bit of soy sauce. Mix well with all the ingredients.
- Keep flipping the rice, and until it is well combined, and turns fragrant.
- Transfer the rice to the omurice mold and invert it on the plate. Keep the mold over the top to keep the rice warm. Alternatively, you can just pour the rice on the serving plate.
Simple, isn’t it? That is a wide margin of error, and it won’t be wrong even if you make some minor mistakes. However, things get a bit more complicated when it comes to preparing the omelet.
2. Making the Japanese omelet
Making the omelet is as simple as you think. However, to make an omelet with the egg still jiggling encased in an omelet skin that will flow out like lava when slice open is another matter.
Fortunately, you do not need to be at that skill level to prepare omurice. You can still make the omelets at home by shaping it like a piece of velvety blanket and cover the rice.
Here are the steps of how to make a simple omelet for the omurice
- Crack three eggs into a bowl. This quantity is just right for an 8-inch non-stick pan. Season with salt and pepper. You can add a tablespoon of milk, which is optional. The presence of milk will give you a smoother texture.
- Beat the eggs then pass through a wire mesh strainer to get a smooth texture.
- Heat an eight-inch nonstick pan.
- Coat the pan with cooking oil (or butter) and wait until you can feel the heat when you put your hand above the pan.
- Add the egg mixture. (use medium heat).
- Stir the eggs with the chopsticks while shaking the pan with another hand, until it is half-cooked but still jiggly.
- Now blast the heat for a few seconds to set the bottom of the egg.
- Slide the omelet on top of the rice. Garnish with some parsley or scallion or mint leaves, and more tomato ketchup.
3. The challenge to make a burst open style omurice
How about the fluffy omelet that burst beautifully over the rice served at the legendary Kichi Kichi restaurant by chef Motokichi Yukimura?
The famed Kichi Kichi restaurant serves the omelet on rice that burst open while slicing with a knife. Chef Motikichi had elevated the omelet to a virtual form of art.
Not for everyone. But I have tried and have started to get the hang of it. Although it is not perfect, yet I would like to share my experience with you and increase the odds of succeeding.
If you want to see how the master chef Yukimura Motokichi demonstrates how to make the perfect omelet, watch this video.
Here are the steps
- Follow the same method as in the previous section until the egg is half-cooked and still jiggly.
- Now tilt the pan away from you. Use the chopsticks or a silicone spatula to roll the egg to the pan’s side, away from you.
- Use the chopsticks to tap the pan to make some small shakes. This action will push the egg towards the edge slowly and gently. You can tilt the pan to about 45° to move the egg further until it starts to sit on the curve edge of the pan.
- Flip the omelet over with the help of chopsticks or silicone spatula. You will get a smooth and wrinkleless surface on top.
- Slide the omelet out from the pan onto the rice.
What I learned from my practice to make a burst-opened omelet
1. Control the heat by moving the pan
Making an omelet is a quick process. You cannot stop once the egg liquid is in the pan. At this point, both of your hands are holding something, so the best way to adjust the heat is by moving the pan away instead of turning down the heat.
2. Use medium heat throughout
The trick to getting the omelet that still jiggles inside while setting the outside quickly to form a skin. This step is best to accomplish with moderate to high heat. Once the omelet’s surface has set, you can quickly roll up the omelet to encase the still scrambled-like egg within. When I start to practice how to cook it, I fail mainly because the pan is not hot enough. As a result, the entire omelet is cooked nearly at the same time. When the outer ‘skin’ of the omelet is set at the bottom, the top of the omelet is also cooked and no longer looks jiggly.
3. Scramble the egg in the first twenty seconds
There should be a sizzling sound once you pour the egg liquid into the pan. The pan is not hot enough if this is not happening. Shake the pan and mix the egg vigorously so that the egg liquid will cook evenly. Once the egg starts to curdle, lift the pan from the stove and let the remaining heat of the pan to cook the egg. If you continue placing the pan on the stove, the omelet will receive too much heat, and the entire omelet will be overcooked.
4. Do not hesitate once you start to roll up the omelet
The pan is hot, and if yo!u do it slowly, not only the ‘skin’ of the omelet is formed, but the entire omelet is cooked, and you will not get the jiggly, soft scrambled egg encase within the omelet. Do it decisively.
Once you roll up the omelet, flip it over with a pair of chopsticks or spatula. This step is the trickiest part of the whole process. If you toss it too high, it will break when it lands on the pan. The omelet will also break if the ‘skin’ is still too soft. If you wait for too long, the egg is overcooked! I spend most of the time practicing this step.
If everything is correct, you can roll the omelet on the pan like a softball.
Related recipes to Omurice
If you like egg, you may want to try some other similar egg recipe on this blog. Egg foo young is the Chinese version of an omelet. It is fried in very hot oil and intentionally brown the surface of the omelet. You can check out the recipe here.
Another simple but incredibly delicious egg recipe is the Chinese tea egg. The egg is steeped in a concoction of soy sauce, tea, and spices. Easy and fun to make and will surely satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.
A Japanese omelet オムライス, Omu-raisu) is a western influence style Japanese cuisine consisting of ketchup-based fried rice and omelet.
For the fried rice
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (or unsalted butter)
- 120 g (4 oz) boneless chicken, diced
- 30g (1 oz) shimeiji mushrooms
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 120g (4 oz) diced yellow onion
- 3 tbsp (45ml) ketchup
- 220g (7oz) cooked short-grain rice
For the omelet
- 6 large eggs (for 2 servings)
- 1 tbsp milk
- Dash of pepper
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- Heat oil in the saucepan. Stir-fried the chicken is about 50 percent cooked, add the diced onions.
- Sauté the onions until translucent, Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked rice.
- Add the ketchup, and soy sauce to the rice. Mix well with all the ingredients.
- Keep flipping the rice, and until it is well combined, and turns fragrant. Transfer the rice to the serving plate.
- Crack three eggs into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add some milk and beat the eggs.
- Filter the egg through a wire mesh strainer.
- Heat the oil in an eight-inch nonstick pan. Add the egg mixture. (use medium heat).
- Stir the eggs with the chopsticks, until it is half-cooked but still jiggly.
- Blast the heat for a few seconds to set the bottom of the egg.
- Slice the omelet on top of the rice. Garnish with some parsley or scallion or mint leaves, and more tomato ketchup.
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Kishibori Shoyu (Pure Artisan Soy Sauce), Premium Imported Soy, unadulterated and without preservatives, 12.2 fl oz / 360ml
Nishiki Premium Sushi Rice, 10lbs
GreenLife CW002044-002 Healthy Nonstick Dishwasher Oven Safe Sta Soft Grip Diamond Reinforced 8" Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan, 8-Inch, Black
Heinz Tomato Ketchup, 64 oz Value Size Bottle
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11751Total Fat: 702gSaturated Fat: 193gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 439gCholesterol: 5353mgSodium: 4567mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1244g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 5/30/2020
Wednesday 16th of September 2020
Sound great I will have to a go at that one.
Monday 1st of June 2020
Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.