Why go all the way to Japan to enjoy Japanese cuisine when you can have it in your kitchen?!
Five years ago, when I had just moved to Japan, one of the things I was most excited about was the local food. I couldn’t wait to try all the tastes and textures that Japan had to offer.
It’s true, as a vegan I don’t eat everything, but the variety is still incredible. I learned a lot about the local dishes, as I have written about in the past. You might remember the posts about traditional Buddhist cuisine, and the vegan ramen and gyoza. Also, there are quite a lot of options when eating out in restaurants and markets around Japan.
As I was thrilled to discover all kinds of local food, what astonished me the most was Japanese-Western dishes. These are Japanese meals that are heavily inspired by Western influences, like doriyaki and omurice.
What is omurice?
Omu is an abbreviation of omelette, and rice is… well – it’s rice. The omurice dish is red rice rolled in an omelette and usually topped with ketchup.
If you’re skeptical about it – trust me, it’s absolutely delicious!
There are many variations to omurice, it can be served with curry, or even topped with cheese in some places.
In this post we’ll make the classic version of a vegan omurice.
You’re more than welcome to add your own touch to it!
Prep time: 30 minutes for the rice. 20 minutes for two omelettes.
Total time: 50 minutes.
Serving: 2 omelettes. 5-6 portions of rice (You can make more vegan omurice with the leftovers!)
Does it keep?: 4 days for the rice. The omelet should be eaten right away.
- 600g round rice (or 3 cups of 240ml)
- 1.5 liters of water
- 2 medium-size carrots
- 1 white onion
- 200ml tomato sauce
- A handful of dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
- 2 tsp salt (if the dried tomatoes are salty, reduce the salt to 1-1 ½ tsp)
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- frying oil
- 150g silken tofu
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp besan/gram flour (alternatively, you can use chickpea flour)
- 3 tbsp potato starch
- 150ml unsweetened soy milk
- Wash the rice a few times, add it to the water, and put aside.
- On medium heat fry the carrots and onion until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Then add the rice and water, salt, dried tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
- When the water boils, cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat. Keep the lid closed the whole time.
- After around 20 minutes, when the rice has absorbed all the water, turn off the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
- Then stir in the chili sauce.
- Mash the tofu until it’s smooth. Then add the salt, turmeric, soy milk, potato starch, and sift in the besan flour.
- Lightly oil the pan and set it on medium heat. Pour in half of the mixture and fry for about 7 minutes. While frying, try to gently separate the edges of the omelette from the pan. If it resists, don’t force it, otherwise it will become a “scrambled-egg” (not good). When the surface looks cooked, give it 3-5 more minutes to cook on the inside. As long as the bottom doesn’t burn there’s no rush. (It shouldn’t burn, but if it does – lower the heat).
- Once the inside is cooked through, flip it over and fry for 5 more minutes.
- Then turn off the heat and put the omelette on a plate.
- Add a few spoonfuls of the rice to the middle of the omelette and fold it over. Don’t over-fill it, otherwise you won’t be able to fold it. Decorate your vegan omurice with some ketchup on top and enjoy your meal!