I cooked this delightful Omurice – Japanese Omelet with Rice for Valentine’s Day after streaming the Netflix series Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. This western-influenced Japanese omelet was the centerpiece of the sweet story on Season 1, Episode 4, where the couple fell in love over Omurice.
After binging the episodes, I wanted to cook the Omurice immediately, so I turned to my go-to resource for Japanese cooking – Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook.
Omurice is considered one of the most popular, western-style Japanese food or yoshuku, as Namiko refers to it. She explains an extensive history and background to this Japanese favorite which dates back to post-World War II when tomato sauce was scarce in Japan.
I pan-fried the ketchup rice first. Filipinos love omelets and ketchup together. I used banana catsup, a Philippine staple. As the onions sizzled in the oil, I added the ham, mushrooms, peas and cooked rice to the skillet. I poured the thick, red, sweet banana catsup and blended everything till the rice grains were encased in a reddish hue.
The second step was to make the light, fluffy omelet in the skillet with butter. The hissing sound and savory aroma of butter melting in the pan sent signals to my family that something wonderful was going to be on the table. It didn’t take long for the beaten eggs to transform to a shiny, cloud-like omelet, which made it easy to add the ketchup rice in the center.
The rice in this dish makes it very appealing to Filipinos. Rice defines our Filipino meals. And feeding the ones we love comes naturally for us. That is what life and love are all about, even beyond Valentine’s day.
Omurice - Japanese Omelet with Rice
- Large Non-stick Skillet: 12 to 14 inches
- Large, flat turner
For Ketchup Rice Filling
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sliced white or yellow onion about 1/2 of a medium-sized onion
- 4 slices baked ham cut in bite-sized cubes
- 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms canned, drained
- 4 Tablespoons frozen green peas thawed; leave 1 Tablespoon for garnish
- 2 cups cooked white rice 1 to 2 days old; refrigerated
- 6 Tablespoons banana ketchup (Philippine brand) or use tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Omelet:
- 4 whole large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup tomato or banana catsup
To make the Ketchup Rice
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil. When oil is hot enough after 1 to 2 minutes, saute the onions till translucent.Add the ham, mushrooms and green peas. Mix and saute for 2 minutes.Add the cooked rice to the mixture. Pour the ketchup. Blend ingredients well till ketchup encases the cooked rice.Season with salt and black pepper. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.
To make the Omelet:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs till fluffy.Pour the milk and season with salt and black pepper. Continue beating the eggs for 2 minutes.
- Use a clean, non-stick skillet. Over medium heat, add the oil and butter. When butter sizzles and has melted after 1 minute, pour the beaten eggs mixture.Tilt the pan all around till egg mixture spreads evenly inside the skillet.It will take about 3 to 4 minutes for the beaten eggs to become solid, starting at the edges till the middle as the heat intensifies.Maintain a medium to low heat on the stove-top so that the omelet does not burn. Cover the skillet so omelet will be moist.When the omelet is no longer liquid-like, looks puffy and sides and center are firm, place about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the ketchup rice in the center, vertically.
- As soon as the eggs are cooked and solid, slip a large turner under the omelet. Very gently, turn the side of the omelet from the right to the left, to cover the ketchup rice filling. Carefully and lightly press the sides to seal the omelet.You should have an omelet that is shaped like a half-moon. Turn off heat so omelet does not overcook and get dry.Garnish with 1 tablespoon of cooked green peas. Serve the Omurice warm with catsup on the side.
- In the original Omurice recipe on Just One Cookbook by Namiko Chen, she makes a tomato sauce of ketchup, tomato paste and water, then after mixing, adds this to the fried rice sauteing in the skillet. I used the Filipino banana catsup (found in Asian markets here in the USA) for this recipe instead. Feel free to use tomato ketchup if that's more convenient.If there is leftover ketchup rice, serve with the dish or store in the refrigerator. The ketchup rice lasts for 1 day refrigerated.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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