While many dinners in Japan feature this ultimate comfort food on the menu (it was even in an episode of Netflix's Midnight Diner!), omurice is a dish that can be easily made at home.
Omurice, or omuraisu in Japanese, is among the most delicious and easy Japanese recipes to include in your cooking repetoire. Learn to make your own Japanese omelette rice with this easy omurice recipe! We cover both classic omurice and kichi kichi omurice here.
What is Omurice?
Omurice is a simple dish of Japanese fried rice wrapped in a thin layer of omelette. Usually, the rice is pan-fried together with ketchup, chicken, and some vegetables, depending on your preference when making it at home. The omelette is made separately and then wrapped around the fried rice, typically with ketchup drizzled over the top.
Omurice works well with leftover rice, and it is a crowd-pleaser that’s quick to make! It is one of those easy Japanese recipes that can be adapted with your favorite veggies and protein or whatever you have in your fridge; just toss them in with the fried rice.
What Does Omurice Taste Like?
The base of any omurice recipe starts with the fried rice, made with soft scrambled eggs and rice that’s flavored with ketchup and a splash of soy sauce. It’s savory and soft in texture; a comfort food for both kids and adults alike.
Typically, omurice is served with extra ketchup over the top. It’s fun for kids, as you can decorate them with patterns or pictures if you are feeling creative. However, other sauces like demi-glace (a brown sauce with a Worcestershire sauce flavor) can add another element of savoriness.
Types of Omurice: Classic vs. Kichi Kichi Omurice
There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to making omurice in Japan, where the rice component essentially stays the same but the approach to cooking the egg is different.
Classic omurice is when the Japanese fried rice is wrapped in a thin layer of cooked egg. The rice is placed on the omelette and rolled up, or alternatively, you can layer the thin omelette over the top of your mound of filling and tuck it neatly under the rice.
Kichi Kichi Omurice
The slightly more modern version of this Japanese dish features a soft-set, fluffy omelette where the omelette does not fully encase the rice. Rather, the omelette is cooked gently to achieve a jiggly, saucy texture, and then placed on top of the fried rice. This is famously known as Kichi Kichi style.
How to Make Omurice
Click the video below to watch Shizuka learn how to make omurice from scratch at home!
When it comes to learning how to cook omurice, there are four essential components: rice, filling, omelette, and toppings.
For the Japanese fried rice:
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (defrosted)
- Generous pinch of salt and pepper
- 4 servings of cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- 2 tbsp ketchup (plus extra to be used for a topping or decoration)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
For the omelette:
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tbsp milk
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
Classic Omurice Omelette:
To make the classic Japanese omelette rice, firstly gather your ingredients for the Japanese chicken fried rice.
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil on medium heat and saute the onions until soft. (You can add garlic during this step for more flavor!)
Next, add the chicken pieces to the wok or pan and stir fry the chicken and onions until the meat is mostly cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper and stir through.
Add the frozen vegetables (or other fillings that need cooking if you are changing up your fried rice mix).
Continue frying the meat, onions, and vegetables until cooked through.
Next, add the rice to the pan and mix well.
Reduce the heat of the pan so that the rice won't stick but will still be warmed through.
Add the ketchup and soy sauce to the fried rice, and mix thoroughly. (You can add or reduce the amount of ketchup or soy sauce, depending on your flavor preferences.)
After adjusting the flavors and cooking the rice, the Japanese chicken fried rice component is done!
Put the fried rice aside and prepare a new well-oiled frying pan on low to medium heat for the omelette.
To make the omelette for this omurice recipe, add the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
(Pictured is just one serving, but you can mix the full amount of ingredients together and separate it into 4 servings. A small smattering of cheese is also optional if you like a cheesy omelette!)
On low heat, pour one fourth of the egg mix into the pan, cook it gently, and flip to seal the other side.
On top of the omelette, add one serving of fried rice, roughly in the shape of a football or oval.
Gently fold the omelette over to encase the fried rice. Be careful, it can be fragile. Try not to tear the omelette!
Carefully transfer to a plate, and drizzle with ketchup or your favorite sauce.
Repeat this process 3 more times so that there is an omelette for each serving of Japanese omelette rice.
How to Make Kichi Kichi Omurice: Recipe
To make a Kichi Kichi-inspired Japanese omelette, the main difference is in how you prepare the eggs. The aim is to not overcook the eggs; they should retain moisture so that the interior of the omelette is like soft scrambled eggs with a bit of ooze to them.
Kichi Kichi omurice isn’t exactly one of those stock standard, easy Japanese recipes to do, but with some practice, you can make a Kichi Kichi style omelette at home!
First, shape your Japanese fried rice onto a rounded or oval shape on a separate plate.
Add the beaten egg to a well-oiled pan on low to medium heat (you need the eggs to slide off easily and onto your rice).
Without flipping it, gently scramble the egg mix to form curds.
Once the egg is partially set but still moist, gently slide it off of the pan and over the fried rice in one piece.
Add your favorite topping and voila, that’s how you make a serving of modern Japanese omelette rice!
Pro tip: For experienced omelette makers, you can try folding the egg omelette over to become an oval shape, like Shizuka does in this video with Chef Motokichi. Place it on top of your rice and slice it down the middle to watch all the eggy goodness ooze out like lava!
Customize Your Omurice
One of the great things about making your own Japanese omelette rice at home is that you can easily customize it with a sauce and fillings that suit your tastes! For example, when creating the fried rice, you can substitute the chicken for tofu to have a vegetarian option, or add more veggies if you want to bulk out the mix.
Bacon can also be a delicious addition to Japanese fried rice for meat-eaters. It’s great if you are having a fridge clean-out with some miscellaneous veggies or ingredients that need using up!
To really customize your omurice, trade the rice for yakisoba (this variation is called omusoba), or try the Okinawan-style omurice using taco rice for another delicious take on this classic yoshoku dish.
The classic topping for any omurice recipe is of course a generous dousing of ketchup or tomato sauce on the top.
Another popular topping is demi-glace, a thin yet rich Worcestershire-flavored sauce that’s infused with a hint of ketchup.
If you want an even more adventurous take on omurice, Japanese curry sauce can easily transform regular omurice into omukare (omelette curry).
A beloved yoshoku dish where Japanese fried rice meets its match of a fluffy egg omelette, omurice is an easy and delicious dish to make at home! With this easy-to-follow omurice recipe you can whip one up at home anytime. Try both and decide whether you prefer classic or kichi kichi style!