Home cooking: Omurice

Easy Japanese recipes for beginners

With many, including us at japan-guide.com, staying home due to the pandemic and restrictions laid out by the government, cooking has been one of the distractions we have used to get by with this new indoor lifestyle. If you are a complete beginner at cooking and looking to widen your repertoire, then this series is definitely for you. In "Simple recipes to try at home", we will be focusing on simple Japanese recipes that use ingredients which are readily available in most places. Without further ado, let me proudly present our first recipe, omurice.

Omurice (オムライス, Omuraisu) is a yoshoku dish, and yoshoku refers to a western style of cooking which is given a Japanese twist and arranged to suit the Japanese palate. Yoshoku is very much part and parcel of Japanese life, and the quintessential family restaurant would typically have yoshoku dishes like curry rice, hamburger steak, Napolitan pasta and korokke on the menu.

Ingredient list for omurice

  • 90 grams of rice
  • 100 milliliters of hot water to cook the rice in
  • Butter or oil for cooking

For the fried rice

  • One small carrot, peeled and diced
  • Half an onion, top layer removed and diced
  • A bunch of mushrooms, cleaned and cut into small pieces
  • Ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the omelette

  • Two eggs
  • A splash of milk

Directions for making omurice

  1. Wash the rice till the water runs clean. Pick the smallest saucepan you have at home. Put the saucepan on medium-high heat and add some butter or oil to it. Fry the uncooked rice for a minute or two. (Note that this step is optional and can be excluded. We decided to go for it to add a bit of flavour.)
  2. Add 100 milliliters of hot water to the small saucepan, put the lid on and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 12 minutes before turning the heat off. Let the cooked rice steam for about 5 minutes untouched. Do not open the lid at all during this time!
  3. Take a small to medium sized frying pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add some butter or oil in it. Add the ingredients for the fried rice starting with the onion and fry for a few minutes. Next, add the carrots and continue frying the two for a few more minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry the three ingredients together for 1-2 more minutes. Add the cooked rice into the frying pan. Finally, add some ketchup and mix everything together until all the rice is coated with a bit of ketchup. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  4. Turn the heat off and transfer the fried rice to a plate.
  5. In a bowl, beat two eggs with a splash of milk.
  6. Give the frying pan from before a quick wipe, and heat some butter or oil on medium-high heat. Add all of the egg mixture into the frying pan and scramble it for a minute or so before letting it set.
  7. When the top of the omelette is not too liquidy, take half of the fried rice, make it into a log shape and add it to the center of the omelette carefully. Try to lift the top and bottom of the remaining omelette to wrap the rice, with the seam or exposed rice facing up.
  8. Invert a plate over the frying pan and flip the completed omelette wrapped rice out. Add some ketchup dressing on top and bon appetit!
Home Delivery by japan-guide.com is a series of articles on Japanese culture, life and travel for all of us who are currently staying home to flatten the curve. Many travel plans, including our own, have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. While we aren't able to share new content from the road, we hope this collection from our travel archive helps you explore a bit of Japan from your own home.