Saturday, January 26, 2008

Taimeiken: Omuraisu (Japanese Rice Omelet)

The Japanese have some very interesting ideas about food.  Take this omelet for instance.  Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but they put rice in the omelet.  And ketchup.  Ketchup is apparently the coolest thing ever.  And somehow it all just works.  Plus, you get to use up that leftover takeout white rice.

Omuraisu (Japanese Rice Omelet)
Adapted from Taimeiken restaurant in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo

4 green onions, finely chopped
1 large white button mushroom cap, chopped
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 teaspoons butter, divided use
2½ tablespoons ketchup
½ cup cooked and cooled white rice
2 teaspoons sake or white wine
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs

Melt 2 teaspoons of butter in a small frying pan.  Saute the onion for a few minutes, then add the mushroom, and then finally the bacon.  When the onions in the pan become semi-transparent, season with the ketchup.  Add the cooked rice, sake, and a dash of salt and pepper.  Saute until done, then turn off the heat and leave in the frying pan.

Break the eggs into a bowl, beat lightly, then add a little salt and pepper.  Heat a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, and melt the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter.  Pour in the egg mixture.  Spread it around quickly with 3 broad strokes while moving the frying pan back and forth.  When the egg is half done, place the rice mixture on it, a little on the far side of center.  Take the frying pan off the heat, then tip the pan a little to make the half of the thin omelet near you flip over the rice mixture.  Raise one side of the frying pan a little, and tap the handle to roll the omelet, gradually wrapping the rice inside the omelet.  Keep tapping until the edges of the omelet come to the top, then change the position of your hands on the frying pan handle and tip the omelet onto a plate so that the edges are tucked underneath.  Decorate with a squiggle of ketchup.

Makes 1 omelet

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