When you ask a foreigner to list a few Japanese food, rarely you’ll get Omurice on the list. If you have never heard of Omurice, you’ll be surprised how genuinely original Japanese food it is.
Omurice (OMU-RICE) is a Japanglish word made by shortening the word “omlette” and putting it together with the word “rice”. It is a popular dish both commonly cooked at home and can be found at many western style diners in Japan.
The origin of omurice is very much unclear but some believed that it started from a popular western restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo called ‘Rengatei’ during the Meiji period (1900). Omurice was cooked for the restaurant staff with left over ingredients after the restaurant was closed. The idea of having omelette and rice together was later recognized by the customers and eventually Omurice was conceived and included in the menu.
Omurice is typically consists of chicken and fried rice with ketchup and then wrapped in a thin sheet of fried egg. These days, the ingredients used varies extensively, for example replacing chicken with beef or BBQ pork and seafood instead of meat. Other sauce apart from ketchup like beef stock, demi-glace white sauce, tomato cream sauce, etc are used to create a whole new set variations.
Omurice in “cake” shape
Children, in particular, enjoy omurice, and it is often featured on kids’ lunch box. It is one of those mom’s home cook meal which you cherish the most when you are living abroad and have no desire to cook :o)
Here’s a video of how omurice is cooked in a restaurant. This chef is very skillful!