Friday, 3 April 2009

Omu rice

I am a terrible cook and a complete culinary idiot. Ever since I started my life as a "煮妇" (literately translated as 'cook-wife' derived from the word house-wife) three years ago, fried rice is one of those few handful of dishes that I have constantly whipped up for my family. As my cooking skills improves, I ventured into more and more challenging dishes...and over the past one year, I find myself getting quite good at making omu rice ;)

Omuraisu or Omurice or Omu Rice is a Japanese dish with stir-fried rice wrapped inside an egg omelet. The rice is usually stir-fried with chicken and vegetables and flavored with tomato sauce or ketchup. It looks like a simple dish to prepare but it gets really tricky when trying to wrap the rice with the omelet.

I remember learning how to make my first omu rice by relying on recipes I found from the internet. Most recipes come with instructions that go along these lines: cook egg omelet in a pan; add fried rice and wrap; then place a plate over the frying pan and flip the Omu rice over to the plate. This is really easier said than done! Especially when I choose to use only 1 egg instead of 2 to make the omelet. It is possible to wrap the rice fillings with my 1-egg omelet, but only with a small amount of rice. So, instead of the signature crescent-moon shape, I ended up with a flat, longish omelet (see my first attempt). Too much rice, the omelet will probably break into pieces.

It was only after I got hold of a cookbook from the library that I learned another method of wrapping the omelet. It proves to be much easier, and I could finally come up with a fatter omu rice, and still using 1 egg! The trick is to flip only one side of the omelet over the rice...then pick up the pan and slide the half-wrapped omelet onto a serving plate...and carefully tilt and turn the pan over and you will have a nice omelet on your plate. The critical success factor of this method is to be "胆大心细" (careful and yet daring)! I know, I know, with my lousy description, I am sure you wouldn't understand what was I talking about. So, I plough through the web and managed to find this video clip. This is the one of the better video clips on how to make an omu is very professional done and the recipe is almost similar to the one I have adapted from the cookbook. However, I am really amused with what I saw towards the end of the vidoe, the chef actually used a paper towel to 'shape' the omu rice!

I have included the recipe below, but it is really up to individual preference when it comes to preparing the fried rice. Sometimes instead of chicken meat, I will use prawns and I always have to leave out the green peas, otherwise my kids will pick up each and single pea and pass them over to my plate! Having said that, it is still best to flavour the fried rice with tomato sauce or ketchup(use less if you don't like the sour taste) so as not to affect the authenticity of the dish.

I usually serve omu rice as a meal on its own, it is perfect whenever we feel like having a tv-dinner. Recently, my boys requested that I made Japanese curry rice for them, and instead of serving the curry with just plain rice, I paired it with omu rice. It turn out to be a great combo meal and it has since been included as a permanent item in our tv-dinner menu. Next time, I think I will serve it with hanbagu ;)

Omu Rice

Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 servings of cooked plain rice
1 chicken thigh meat, cut into bite size
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons green peas
2~ 3 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
salt & pepper
cooking oil
4 eggs

  1. Heat some oil in a wok or frying pan, sauté chopped onion until transparent. Add the chicken and sauté till chicken is cooked. Add green peas, stir through. Add in ketchup, salt and pepper to taste and continue to stir fry. Add in cooked rice and toss rapidly. Dish up and set aside.
  2. Lightly whisk 2 eggs in a bowl (I used only 1 egg). Heat up a frying pan with some oil. Pour in the egg mixture and tilt the pan to coat the base. Cook until eggs are almost set but still a little runny in the middle.
  3. Lower the heat and spoon half of the fried rice mixture in the middle of the omelet. With a spatula, flip one side of the egg over the rice mixture. Pick up the pan and with the unfolded side, slide the omelet from the frying pan to a serving plate, just half way through. Then, carefully tilt and turn the pan over and the omelet is on the plate. For this step, watch this video clip.
  4. Repeat the same for the remaining portion of the rice. Drizzle with ketchup and serve immediately.
    Recipe source: 轻松学做菜: 烹饪秘诀195


grub said...

Hello HHB,

Hehehe yummy looking omu rice. Are the green things you used to garnish the omu rice, parsley flakes?

Oh btw you can find more japanese cooking recipes and how to do videos on this youtube site:

It's great!


grub said...

HAHAH just realized it was from the same author after clicking the link...

Carrie said...

Hi Happy home baking,

You're Omu Rice looks so pretty and yummy!! Definitely on par with those that is sold in takashimaya B2 (thr's a "stall" tat sells omu rice)!


Kitchen Corner said...

Thanks a lot for sharing the tips. I always has problem wrapping the rice with eggs and now I learn something. Your omu rice looks really yummy! Looking at it, I feel that having a meal at home better than in the restaurant. Cheers!

Passionate About Baking said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I think children are the same-they'll pick all peas if they see them! Hahaha...My kids do that too!
Your omu rice looks really good! It's really pro, and no diff from the video! Oishi!!

Bimmer said...

got me salivating! looks better than the one in the video!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Grub, thanks for the link, there are many interesting Japanese recipes in that site!

Hi Carrie, I have not tried the omu rice at takashumaya, but I really doubt mine is comparable...I am a lousy cook you know!

Hi Grace, glad to hear that you have learn something from the video...hope it will be easier when you next make an omu rice :)

Hi Passionate About Baking, oh really?! I thought only my kids would do that!

Hi Bimmer, thanks for your encouraging words :)

Small Small Baker said...

Your omu rice looks great! Thanks for teaching us how to make it and the video is excellent for lousy cook like me. But flipping the omu rice onto the plate like this may be a problem for me, cos I'm afraid I will be too slow and make the rice scatter all over the place. Keke! :)

Elyse said...

Wow, this dish looks and sounds delicious! Yum. I love the combination of eggs and rice. So classic! Great job.

Bakeling said...

How did you do it ?

I think if I make this rice , I will face a problem : the omelette will not be as perfect as yours ,the rice must be leaking and scatter in the pan ! (全都散到盘的四周 !)

Jo said...

yummy yummy.......!

Family First said...

I always thot they were totally wrapped in, but now I can see that they only wrap the 2 corners of it. Yeah, the tissue to shape it is a real good tip! I will try this for my pattaya fried rice!

Rinnchan said...

In Msia we call sth like this "Nasi Goreng Pattaya". Could be originated from Thai..I dont know. When reading your 1st attempt with the instruction frm the internet, it immediately reminds me of one scene I saw at one food court here. While waiting for my orders to arrive my eyes were wildly looking around until they were caught by this one man action in making omurice. He was confidently spreading his omelette on his hot wok and after sometime he poured the ready cooked nasi goreng. Then he folded the omelette from side to side. Next he put a plate on the folded omurice and overturned the wok. Buuuuut....when he rised the wok...heh heh heh....the only thing left on the plate was the scattered fried rice, while the omellete still stucked on the wok... I noticed he himself laughed at what'd happened. Could be his wok is a non-stick one..that's why the omellete was still there. Yours look so beautifully done....

Peng said...

Hi HMM...nice omu rice! I've been thinking of making Dan Bao Fan also!

Missy said...

my god u did a good job. i prob will not atttempt this cos my egg will break into pieces like scrambled egg :S

KWF said...

HHB, this is one dish that I cannot do well for the past years, even with two eggs! Till now still a bit "phobia" to try it.

Tasmin said...

Urms do you know where to buy japanese ingredient for cooking japanese dishes in Singapore? I want to try make some Okonomiyaki. xD

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Grub, sorry I missed the question you asked earlier...yes, those are dried parsely flakes.

Hi Tasmin, you can check out the supermarkets at Isetan Scots or Liang Court.

Hi SSB, don't worry, even for my first attempt, I could wrap the omelet just that it was quite flat, so I am sure you are able to do it :)

Thanks Elyse!

Hi Bakeling, as I menitoned, you have to be daring enough, dont worry too much and try to wrap it. You can start off by using a smaller amount of rice.

Hi Family First, for my method which is slightly different from the video, the rice is completely wrapped in the omelet. Just fold one side of the omelet over the rice, slide the whole thing onto a plate and turn/flip/tilt the pan over to the plate. It works like magic :)

Tjamls rinnchan! I have not heard about Nasi Goreng Pattaya! Thanks for sharing your encounter :D

Hi Peng, will love to see your Dan Bao Fan on your blog soon!

Hi Missy, do give it a try, if a lousy cook like me can make it, I am sure you will have no problem :)

Hi KWF, if you follow the method I have outlined, I am sure you can make a nice omu rice!

sherlyn said...

Hi HHB, I hope I can do one omurice like yours after viewing the video and practicing it, cos this is one of my kids' the fav dish and I never got it done as nicely as yours .. sometimes i put the omelet into a bowl and put rice into it, wrap it up like lotus leave rice and overturn the dome shape rice into their plate hahaha play cheat lor.

btw, my kids pick up all the peas too ... can't imagine what will happen if they stay in the West .. the peas are used so frequently by the westerners.

Thanks for the tips .. japanese food are my family's favourite.

Quinn said...

HHB, I just made these cuz I couldn't resist the pictures you posted. They were really delicious. I followed the recipe from the link you gave. Thanks a lot! I've linked you from my blog too!

sherlyn said...

I am gog to make this rice for them for lunch, easy mah, just the kids ... i just view the video (if i see earlier i also will forget) .. looks easy but like what SSB say, perhaps i will scatter the rice all ard ... later will know liao hahaha .. so .. they never wrap up everythg, no wonder their omelette can cover so nicely .. i always try to wrap up everythg.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sherlyn, I wrap up everything too. My method is slightly different from the one shown in video. For the first attempt, try not to put too much rice, you should be able to do it :)

Ernest Moretti said...

I love Omu rice. You're Omu Rice looks so pretty and yummy. Your expression was very easy to read and understand. This is a great tips. I remember my mom making omelet with tomatoes, onion, and cheese. That was yummy. I love the combination of eggs and rice. Keep up the great work. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I couldnt resist making this dish each time I see it. I finally got to it last nite. I used the Cooking with Dog recipe though but without the white wine and bay leaf. My girl likes it but she would much prefer the runny egg in this clip from the movie Tampopo.

Tks again.


Anonymous said...

waa.. I want to eat an OMU RICE...!
that picture of Omu rice looks GOOD..!

Angie said...

Hi, HHB! ^^
I'm a 13 year old in Singapore.
For our Home Economics practical, I'm going to use your recipe of omu-rice for the test (:
I just hope it turns out right tomorrow! xD

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Angie, I have a 13 yr old niece too :) All the best to your Home Econs practical!