When I first saw pictures of #omurice trending on Instagram, my brain’s initial reaction was “I need you, omurice!” (This was what happened when I allowed myself to look at Instagram at bedtime while Mr Sweetie was away on a business trip. For over two hours, I turned into a zombie scrolling through food accounts until 1 o’ clock in the morning! Wasting time on social media is very rare for me so this one was a treat. I had fun.)
What is omurice, you ask? I also have never heard of this dish until two nights ago. Since then I learned so much by Googling food blogs. Omurice is a portmanteau of “omelet” and “rice.” It is western-style Japanese food also known as yoshoku or Japanese dishes with western origins.
Omurice is often called “chicken rice.” All of the recipes that I found online make use of chicken as protein in its fried rice. In omurice, an egg omelet is stuffed with chicken fried rice mixed in with ketchup. However, I also read that omurice can be made with ham, bacon or without meat instead of chicken. Some recipes add cheese.
I think omurice is more about the cook’s state of mind. I think it is really all about the process of making it with key major ingredients (rice, eggs, ketchup). The rest just plays second fiddle. Omurice also comes in different shapes. I found some that were shaped like an American football or just folded like an American diner omelet. (Sorry, being from the United States, these are my personal points of reference.) Some folks prepare the eggs scrambled and elaborately swirled.
Some omurice recipes were “gourmetized” with extra steps to transform this simple food into an ultra-elevated dish. Well, to each their own. I am a comfort food kinda chef in my kitchen. The simpler, the heartier, the more rustic, the better.
Out of the close to a dozen food blogs that I stalked, I chose to adapt my omurice recipe from No Recipes because of its simplicity, balance and very clear step by step instructions. (Actually, you can just stop reading my post and head on the No Recipes — it is a lovely food blog. But please come back to my post because I worked hard to write this! LOL!) And I am happy to report that I chose well!
I made omurice using mixed frozen seafood instead of chicken. (I am not really a big fan of chicken.) Let me just say, omurice has been added to my “Meals I Can Quickly Cook While Working From Home and Zooming in my PJs” list. It was really good and easy! I loved biting into big pieces of fluffy scrambled eggs and ketchup-seasoned fried rice in every bite. I was feeling dubious about dousing my rice with ketchup but the combo really works! And lastly, why go through the trouble of filling an egg omelet with rice? Why not just mix scrambled eggs with rice just like your garden variety fried rice? It is really just not the same. You have to make it and see for yourself. You might meet your next comfort food.
You Will Need
- 2 skillets (one for making fried rice and one for frying the omelet)
- A bowl for molding the rice (optional)
- Chopping board
Ingredients For The Rice
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- Plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce (for marinating chicken, if using)
- 1/2 cup onion, minced
- Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- Choice of meat (optional) *Please see my notes
- 1/4 chicken breast, diced
- In lieu or addition to chicken: diced ham, bacon (cooked), seafood (shrimp or mixed), Spam, tofu or without meat
For The Omelette
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cream (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil or butter for frying
- Green onions, sliced
- A tablespoon or so ketchup for topping
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COOKING THE RICE
- If using chicken, marinate chicken in 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Skip this step if using other meats.
- If using bacon, Spam, ham or tofu, fry in 1 tablespoon oil until brown and cooked then set aside.
- Fry the onions in the frying pan (same one where bacon, ham, etc were fried in) until brown and soft.
- If using chicken, add the chicken to the onions until chicken is no longer pink or raw.
- Add the rice to the chicken and onion mixture. If using ham, bacon, seafood, tofu, etc instead or in addition to the chicken, add these to the rice mixture.
- Add the ketchup and soy sauce to the rice and meat mixture until combined and thoroughly heated through. Season with pepper. Keep warm.
- Next step is to fry the egg. See below.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COOKING THE OMELET
- Break the eggs into a bowl along with the cream (if using) and salt. Whisk together until the mixed.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add butter or oil until hot.
- Add the egg and cream mixture until the bottom is set.
- Gently stir the egg while shaking the pan to continue to cook the omelet.
- Remove from heat while the top is still moist and soft. Do not overcook. (Overcooked eggs are when the eggs become dry and hard.)
TO FILL AND SHAPE OMURICE
You can just fill the eggs as this point with the fried rice and enjoy it from here. You can also plate it into a round shape making it more pretty-looking. Your choice!
- TO FILL: After frying the eggs into an omelet, spoon the fried rice on the bottom half of the eggs. Fold the eggs like you would a regular omelet, creating a pocket-like/half-moon shape. Drizzle some ketchup and garnish with green onions or cilantro (optional). The end. Enjoy! Or you can make it beautiful. See below.
- TO MOLD INTO A ROUND SHAPE
- Fill a small round bowl with the fried rice until full. Firmly pack the rice in.
- Put a plate on top of the bowl and gently flip with the bowl ending on top of the plate. (See photos above.)
- Remove the bowl. The fried rice will be molded into the rounded shape of the bowl.
- Carefully slide the egg omelet on top of the round-shaped fried rice.
- Drizzle with more ketchup.
- Garnish with green onions or cilantro (optional).
- Some recipes I found included frozen mixed vegetables into the fried rice. I added mushrooms instead.
- Add grated cheese of your choice with the fried rice until melted, if desired.
- I think it is okay to not add cream to the eggs if you do not want to dairy. (Eggs are not dairy.) I used buttermilk instead of cream since I never have cream in my fridge but I always have buttermilk for baking. Adding it made the eggs creamier and fluffier.
- I bet omurice is really good with Spam! I will use Spam next time.
- I think omurice is what you make it. Just have fun with it!
PS I could not resist not including my little sumo dolls in the photos of this dish. These dolls were given to me by Mr Sweetie when we first started dating over 10 years ago. The stress dolls (like squeeze balls) were given to him by his Japanese clients who were visiting from Japan. I treasure these little dolls.