If you’re like me and secretly enjoy covering your scrambled eggs in ketchup, then you’ll love omurice(オムライス). “Omu” is an abbreviation for “omuretsu” (omelette pronounced with a Japanese accent) and “rice” (pronounced raisu) refers to the sweet and savory chicken rice it’s filled with.
It’s unclear where the dish originated, but in Japan omurice is considered yōshoku(western food) and it was probably created around the turn of the last century when western style cafes became popular. In older preparations it’s made exactly like an omelette in that the chicken rice was wrapped in a thin sheet of egg. However, in more recent years, most places ditch the thin papery egg for a luscious blanket of soft scrambled eggs on top. There are even some restaurants that specialize exclusively in omurice.
The rice is seasoned mainly with ketchup, which makes it the perfect sweet and tangy contrast to the creamy egg on top. For my omurice, I like using this homemade ketchup because the red peppers and spices make for a more interesting flavor profile than plain old ketchup. I also tend to make this with leftovers when I roast a chicken. This not only saves time, I almost always have leftover roast carrots and onions as well, which I just chop up and add to the rice.
If ketchup with rice isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. The technique I outlined below for making the egg creates a rich, fluffy blanket of egg with curds that have just barely set, making this a tasty way to serve just about any kind of fried rice. I also like adding some cheese to the egg from time to time. Another way to change this up is to top the finished omurice with Hayashi sauce or Japanese curry.
Equipment you'll need:
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