What to cook for my teenage son on the eve of his departure of a school field trip to Japan? The perfect midweek dinner. Omurice (オムライス). Japanese omelette rice (omu-raisu). Popular in Japan, it is considered yōshoku (western food). A contemporary fusion of Western omelette filled with Japanese fried rice. Modern comfort food, often prepared with leftover rice. So simple to recreate at home.
Traditionally made with chicken flavoured fried rice wrapped up in an omelette, generously drizzled with tomato ketchup. It is thought that omurice originated at a western style restaurant known as Renga-tei in Tokyo’s Ginza district at the turn of the 20th century. These days there are many variations of this well loved dish.
In my version I’ve substituted bacon for chicken in my fried rice, and rather than drizzling tomato ketchup over the omelette have used sweet chilli sauce. And that is the beauty of this dish, it is infinitely adaptable to the contents of your fridge. Nutritious and delicious. Quick and easy to prepare. It really is the perfect midweek dinner.
Omurice. Japanese Omelette With Fried Rice
For the Fried Rice
4 cups steamed white rice
2 tablespoons oil
1 small brown onion, finely diced
250 g streaky bacon or chicken thighs, diced
1 long red chilli, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled, finely diced
1 red capsicum, deseeded, finely sliced
1/2 cup fresh garden peas
3 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup long green spring onions, finely sliced
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 tablespoons Japanese sake or sherry
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
sea salt and white pepper
For the Omelettes
8 eggs (2 egg omelette per person)
4 tablespoons milk
4 teaspoons oil
For the Garnish
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce (I used 2 heaped tablespoons chilli jam thinned with sufficient mirin to achieve a drizzling consistency)
1/4 cup long green spring onions, finely sliced
To Make the Fried Rice.
HEAT wok until smoking hot, add oil and stir-fry chilli, ginger and garlic for 1 minute, or until very aromatic.
ADD onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.
ADD bacon and stir-fry for a further minute, or until lightly browned.
ADD celery, carrot, capsicum, peas and tomato. Stir- fry for another minute or so.
STIR in sugar and sake or sherry, stir-fry for 30 seconds.
ADD rice to the wok with spring onions and soy sauce. Stir fry for 3 minutes or until rice is hot and well seasoned. Set aside.
To Make A Two Egg Omelette Per Person and Assemble the Omurice.
WHISK two eggs in a bowl with a tablesoon of milk and a little salt and white pepper.
HEAT 1 teaspoon oil in a hot wok. Pour in beaten eggs and cook for about 1 minute, lightly scrambling them. Rotate wok to ensure even cooking.
PLACE 1/4 of the fried rice in the middle of the omelette and fold the omelette over the rice.
INVERT the fried rice filled omelette onto a serving plate. Keep warm while you repeat this process to make the remaining three omurice.
DRIZZLE each omurice with sweet chilli sauce and garnish with a little extra finely sliced spring onion. Serve immediately.