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March 7, 2006

[bento box with omuraisu, sauteed and fresh veggies]

Clockwise from top: omuraisu, ketchup pig, sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and stir-fried Chinese broccoli

Inspired by sakuraminamoto's bento post a while back featuring omurice (or omerice), I decided to give it a go. I think her version uses mincemeat (which sounds delicious, but I couldn't find a recipe...perhaps she will translate from Italian?), but I opted for the more traditional filling of fried rice with chicken and onions (picture of my filling on the right). Oh, and I just saw that mylunch also made omurice recently - yum!

Omuraisu (omu from "omelet" and raisu from "rice") is basically fried rice (most often with diced chicken and onion) seasoned with salt, pepper, and ketchup, then wrapped in a thin, sweet omelet and topped with a dollop of ketchup. You are probably thinking, "Ketchup on rice? Ketchup on eggs? Ew!" It wasn't too foreign a concept for me as my mom has always used ketchup or tomato paste to subtlely flavor and color her fried rice. The giant dollop of ketchup on top is another story though. I'll have to see how that goes. =^.^=

My recipe below is altered a bit for my tastes. I didn't sweeten the egg at all, and I added little bits of green beans and red and yellow bell peppers to the rice. If you don't like the idea of a big dollop of ketchup on top, I hear that demiglace is a good substitute.

2 cups cooked rice
2 chicken tenderloins (can leave out or substitute another protein or veggies)
1 cup diced vegetables (I used almost 3/4 cup of onion, then filled up the rest of the cup measure with red and yellow bell peppers and thinly sliced green beans)
1 tsp. canola oil
Cooking spray
1/2 tbsp. sake
2 tbsp. ketchup, plus some for garnish
salt, to taste
2-3 eggs per omelet (the rice amount above is good for at least 2 good-sized omuraisu)
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and stir-fry, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry until opaque and cooked through.
  2. Add the rice and mix into the ingredients, breaking up any clumps. Add the ketchup and continue cooking, mixing until the ketchup is well-distributed. Add the sake and salt to taste. Once well-combined, take the rice off the heat.
  3. Break eggs into a small bowl, then beat about 10 times with a fork (for ultimate fluffiness).
  4. Lightly spray a frying pan (large enough to hold your omelet) with cooking spray, then pour in the eggs, tilting the pan to cover the bottom of the pan. You want a thin omelet, but strong enough not to break when it is wrapped around the rice.
  5. Once the eggs set, lower the heat, then add rice in a line down the middle and slightly to one side. Fold the "long" end over the rice, and then roll the omelt towards the "short" end. The ends of the omuraisu should be tucked underneath and look like your average omelet on top. Most omuraisu I have seen look like little football-shaped burritos, but I made mine more cylindrical to fit in the bento box better.
  6. If you're eating your omuraisu right away, slide it onto a plate and top it with a nice big dollop of ketchup. If you're bento-ing, then place it in the box, but save the ketchup topping for later.

*Use gluten-free products.
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