Omurice is a Japanese omelette dish that's soft, fluffy, and creamy inside. There's no wonder why so many Japanese people love having spoonfuls of this warm and comforting egg and rice combination.
The most prevalent version in the country is kichi kichi omurice, which the restaurant Kichi Kichi sells. Long queues usually form as diners anxiously wait to sample their delicious omelette rice. But for some people outside of Japan, their only encounter with this dish is a mesmerising cooking scene from Juzo Itami's 1987 cult classic, Tampopo (often misspelt as Tanpopo).
Therefore, most people have the impression that the dish is hard to make at home with the same precision. But we've experimented and created our own fail-proof recipe that is easy to make at home! Of course, we've also provided alternative ingredients where necessary.
Do you like to eat rice snuggled in an omelette so you can pop it open like a delightful present via the ganso style? Or would you prefer it left open as a fluffy version of omelette rice in the original style?
We'll show you both ways in our recipe so you can customise it to your liking. Our recipe works for busy people who want an effortless solution, so let's start learning how to make omurice right now.
- What is omurice?
- Japanese vs Korean omurice
- What does omurice taste like?
- Omurice ingredients
- Omurice sauce
- How to make omurice sauce
- Make Ganso Omurice (Fried rice wrapped in an omelette)
- How to make fluffy Omurice (Lava)
- Using an omurice mould
- Cooking Tips
- Omurice Recipe (Fluffy Japanese Omelette Rice)
What is omurice?
Omurice is a dish made of Japanese omelette over rice that is stir-fried with mushrooms, diced vegetables, and meat. A sweet-savoury demi-glace omurice sauce is then drizzled over this Japanese take on a Western dish.
Apparently, a Japanese chef in the 1900s invented the dish so he could eat it with one hand while working in the kitchen. Whatever the actual story, the invention means modern folks can now enjoy this wonderful dish.
Japanese vs Korean omurice
The main difference between the Korean and Japanese omurice is that the Japanese version typically has chopped chicken bits or uses chicken rice. Whereas the Korean omurice does not.
Instead, Koreans tend to use beef, pork, or sometimes ham or bacon. In addition, although both versions use short-grain rice, the Korean variation has a stickier texture. Lastly, Koreans may make their sauce slightly spicier because they prefer it that way.
You might have seen creators cook a light, fluffy omurice recipe resembling that of a tornado on Tiktok or Instagram. A tornado omelette uses the same recipe, but the egg is whipped until it is souffle-like. This tornado dish is popular in both countries, and many well-known restaurants have it on their menu.
What does omurice taste like?
Omurice tastes like savoury fried rice, made gooey and soft with scrambled eggs. The omurice sauce adds a mild sweetness.
With the fluffy version, imagine creamy eggs served over fried rice interspersed with various ingredients. The ganso-style version is a unique variation with an omelette that you can cut open to reveal warm rice. It tastes the same as the fluffy version, but there are usually fewer ingredients because the rice has to fit snugly into the omelette wrap.
Whichever version you like, it's no secret that a Japanese omelette over rice is a comforting dish for adults and children alike.
Here are the omurice ingredients necessary for the dish:
For the rice:
- Short-grain rice
- Large eggs
- Mix of cut vegetables (peas, carrots)
- Cooking oil
For the omurice sauce:
- Soy sauce
- Tonkatsu sauce (alternatively, use tomato sauce)
- Avocado oil or any neutral oil
Japanese short-grain rice is best for our easy omurice recipe. Apart from the length, short-grain rice is much starchier and stickier than its counterpart. You'll want to rinse your rice with water before cooking. Presoak your short-grain rice for 2-3 minutes, then cook it with water in a 1:1 ratio.
However, If you cannot find short-grain rice, you can also use Jasmine rice, a long-grain type. There is a noticeable difference, though. Long-grain rice tends to be firmer and less sticky, while short-grain rice sticks together and is softer.
For long-grain rice, cook it with water in a 1:2 ratio. This is because long grains have a lower starch content, making them dryer - to counter this, we add more water. Also, you would need to presoak it longer than its short-grain alternative, for about 5-10 minutes. Soaking makes the rice grains swell, which reduces cooking time. That way, more nutrients remain in the grain.
Cooking your rice longer releases more starch resulting in increased stickiness. So, if you want a stickier product like Korean omurice, cook your short-grain rice for an extra 5-10 min. You could also use overnight rice to achieve this.
You can use two to three eggs, depending on how large you want your final product to be. The type, colour, and size make no difference to the final presentation of the dish.
However, we recommend that you use free-range or organic eggs. Free-range and organic hens tend to yield eggs with more nutrients. You'll also avoid runny eggs, which happens when chickens are raised with a calcium-deficient diet.
Finally, it's common to see ketchup listed as part of the omurice ingredients for the sauce. But if you're opposed to ketchup, it's alright! You can skip it.
You might also see Japanese restaurants use a type of barbecue sauce (brown okonomiyaki sauce) instead of ketchup. If you can find that in your local Asian store or want to use barbecue sauce - experiment with it. Our recipe will use ketchup for our fried rice with chicken recipe.
It is best to use skinless chicken breast for our omurice recipe. The chicken breast is the leanest and healthiest part of the chicken. Therefore, it makes a nutritious addition to the meal. It also cooks fast when you fry it in the pan with the rice, taking not more than 10 minutes. This means that you'll be able to enjoy your meal much faster!
Omurice sauce is a sweet and savoury brown sauce drizzled over the omelette rice dish. It's a modern demi-glace sauce, traditionally made by simmering and straining a mixture of beef stock and brown sauce.
However, this sauce has several different ways of making it. The easiest method is to throw heated ketchup sauce over the omelette dish. However, most home chefs work harder to simmer ketchup, soy sauce, store-bought tonkatsu sauce, oil, milk, and a pinch of sugar. Other versions include barbecue sauce, and some Japanese chefs even add curry. So, you can be creative here.
How to make omurice sauce
If you make the sauce at home, you can control the amount of flour, oil, and milk to your liking. Here's what you need to know about how to make omurice sauce.
- Except for the milk and water, combine all the ingredients together first. If you cannot find tonkatsu sauce, use more soy sauce instead. Let the ingredients simmer for five minutes over medium heat so the demi-glace sauce thickens and develops.
- Then, add the milk and water and let it simmer.
- Next, heat a frying pan under medium-low heat with cooking oil and cornstarch. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes until the liquid is a rich brown colour and consistency.
This is the most crucial step because it makes a roux. Roux is flour cooked with oil and used to thicken the base of the sauce. If you cook the roux longer, you'll get more flavour. Ensure that you stir the flour evenly, and monitor the time carefully. Otherwise, you'll end up with a lumpy roux that is either overcooked or undercooked.
- Lower the heat, and pour the sauce mixture (from steps 1 to 2) slowly into the frying pan. Stir the mixture often until fully combined.
It's easy to make omurice demi-glace roux at home, and you can freeze the sauce after cooking it. You can store roux for a long time, for up to a year in the freezer and six months in the fridge.
Additionally, you can use roux for soups and dishes such as macaroni and cheese.
If you're not confident about making a good roux, buying it from the store might be better. Buying store-bought roux saves time and effort. In addition, you can use it based on the recipe's needs or dilute it if you taste and feel the sauce is too rich.
You can also use a store-bought roux to flavour seafood dishes or creamy soups such as lobster bisque.
Take note that there are different kinds of roux. There are white, blonde, brown, and dark versions. The colours differ depending on whether you use butter, oil, or animal fats. In our recipe, we will make a brown roux.
Make Ganso Omurice (Fried rice wrapped in an omelette)
This variation of omurice results in fried rice wrapped in a thin papery omelette. You can use the same ingredients used to make fluffy omelette rice. However, for this omelette, here are a few extra tips:
- Use a non-stick frying pan to get a nice thin layer of egg.
- You must melt butter in the pan to have an excellent, oily base for the eggs to land. Alternatively, you can use a generous amount of cooking oil.
- As for the number of eggs, you will not need as many as the original recipe. So if you're using four eggs, you should use two or three, which is sufficient.
The ultimate trick is to scramble the eggs fast until you get a half-runny egg mixture, then quickly place half your ketchup rice in the middle. The eggs' final taste and texture mostly stay the same as the original version, except that the omelette is much thinner and may taste slightly undercooked in some parts.
How to make fluffy Omurice (Lava)
Another variation is lava omurice. Lava describes the way that the omelette is made. When you spear this omelette with a fork, it explodes, and a creamy trail of egg oozes out - just like lava.
The technique to make this is to quickly roll a partially cooked scrambled egg in the pan, folding it fast into a melon-shaped omelette. The chef removes it from the heat and plops it onto the rice.
You can use three to four eggs. Although, the more eggs you use, the harder it might be to cook a perfect runny omelette. The taste and texture are similar, regardless of the number of eggs you use. Our recipe will teach you how to make lava omurice, so hop to the recipe section and check it out.
Using an omurice mould
Omurice moulds are designed for shaping your fried rice into perfect papaya-like rice mounds. So, once you finish stir-frying your rice, you can just serve and press it into the mould. Then, just plop it onto the plate for you to have nicely shaped rice that looks like it was served at a restaurant.
They're also easy to clean and maintain with dish soap and water. If you have a family, a mould can save a lot of time and effort! However, moulds can be expensive if you do not use them often. It will take up space and become a white elephant in your kitchen.
Ultimately, you don't necessarily need a mould to create an awesome Japanese omelette rice. You could just as easily use a regular rice paddle and shape it yourself on the plate.
How to avoid spongy omelettes
The most common problem is when your omelettes turn out spongy and not with a whipped, fluffy texture. The reason for sponginess is often because of a pan that is too small. The omelette mixture tends to become too thick and folds into itself with insufficient space.
However, if you're using a too-large pan, your omelette will be spread thin and prone to overcooking. Therefore, Japanese chefs recommend using any regular pan around 22 cm in diameter to create the right texture and accurate depth for a two-egg omelette.
Why is my omelette not fluffy?
Add 1 to 1½ teaspoons of water for every egg you use to ensure a fluffy omelette. You'll also need to whisk your egg mixture enough so that white peaks form in your egg whites.
Another trick is simply mixing a few pinches of cornstarch (or potato starch) into a bit of milk or water before adding your eggs to the bowl and whisking. This way, the cornstarch mixture can hold your scrambled eggs, rendering a tender and fluffier mixture when you whisk it.
Omurice Recipe (Fluffy Japanese Omelette Rice)
For the rice:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ small onion diced
- ⅓ cup frozen peas and carrots
- 1 cup cooked short-grain rice
- ½ tablespoon ketchup plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ cup (80 grams) diced, skinless chicken breast
For the omelette:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
For demi-glace sauce:
- 1½ tbsps cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon regular soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tonkatsu sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup water
- To make the demi-glace sauce, combine all the omurice sauce ingredients. Then heat this mixture while adding milk and more water. Cook until the mixture is a simmering brown.
- Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick pan or skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add rice and cook until pale brown and toasted. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add another tablespoon of oil and turn the pan to high heat. Wait for the oil to smoke slightly. Once it's smoking, add peas and carrots and cook before adding chicken. Now add the cooked rice from Step 1. Cook for five more minutes and set aside.
- Add ketchup and cook, stirring and tossing, until the ketchup sauce becomes thin and coats each grain of rice. Toss in onions last as they burn quickly. Cook, then remove rice from heat. Whip the eggs with milk, salt, and water until peaks form in the egg mixture.
- Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Return to medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil and heat until shimmering. Add eggs and stir rapidly with a spatula. Move the spatula around the pan to break up curds and lift them from the bottom as they form. Stop stirring once the eggs are creamy.
- Using a spatula, gently spread the egg evenly. Swirl the pan around to cook for a few more minutes if it looks too runny or undercooked. Remove from heat. Now you can place your omelette atop your rice. Drizzle with demi-glace sauce and serve your fluffy Japanese omelette rice hot.
- For more detailed instructions on how to make the demi-glace sauce, refer to our section on how to make omurice sauce above.
- We've shown you how to make lava omurice but if you're looking for the ganso style, check out our section on how to make it above.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
If you liked making this easy omurice recipe, you must also try ketchup spaghetti.
For more recipes, follow us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks, where we share more of our favourite Asian fusion cuisine.
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