Omurice, or omelette rice, is a Japanese rice-and-egg dish that fuses local cuisine with the Westerner’s love for ketchup.
Western dishes, including the omelette, were introduced to Japan during the last quarter of the 19th century. It was the Meiji era, Japan had discarded the hereditary class system, and opened its doors to Western technology and the modern capitalist system. That explains the extent of Western presence in Japan at the time that omurice was born in 1902 at a Western-style restaurant called Renga-tei in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
Except for the presence of the omelette wrap and the ketchup on top, there is no universal formula for making omurice. In fact, there is even no single formula for cooking the omelette. It can be thin like a crepe or it can be fancy like when the egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks to make a fluffy omelette or when the still-wet beaten eggs are twirled in the pan with chopsticks to resemble a tornado.
As for the rice, in Japan, the default is chicken fried rice and the seasoning can be something as basic as salt.
We came uo with something different, however, that fuses Korean culinary traditions with this Japanese fusion dish.
See our recipe for kimchi omurice.