Omurice

Omeu-raiseu 오므라이스

Today I’m going to introduce you to a popular dish that came to Korea from Japan called omurice, or omeu-raiseu: 오므라이스 in Korean. It’s sweet sour, and savory fried rice packed with crispy vegetables wrapped in a soft and thin omelette.

This dish has an interesting history. For a long time Japan had a very strict foreign policy where it interacted very little with the West, until around 1866. Korea also had a similar policy, which is how we got the nickname “The Hermit Kingdom,” because we didn’t associate with a lot of countries.

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Once the policy was lifted Japan started trading with foreign countries and they got new ideas for food, too. These foods included “beefsteak,” curry rice, cutlets, and spaghetti, all of these were new to Japan and they called them “Western foods” even though they were Japanese interpretations of Western-style foods. They often used tomato ketchup and Worcester sauce, which were a new thing at the time. They also used Japanese pronunciations of English words like raisu (for”rice”) and sutēki (for “steak”).

How did Japanese omurice come to Korea?

When Japan occupied Korea (1910-1945) they introduced these new Western-style foods there. Eventually Korean had “Western restaurants” (Kyoungyang-sik: 경양식, “light Western food”) all over.

We adapted some of the recipes to our own tastes, and we used the Japanese pronunciations of these English words, which had no meaning at all in Korean. I ate omeu-raiseu for many years but when I learned English I figured out that “omeu” was supposed to be “omelette” and “raiseu” was supposed to be “rice”! It suddenly made a lot of sense.

I ate omurice as a kid and I made it for my own children when I grew up. It was a lunchbox favorite of theirs and I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 1 cup (6 ounces) mixture of green and red bell peppers, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • 5 white mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup (4 to 5 ounces) chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 smoked sausage (4 ounces), chopped
  • a few chunks of aged cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • a few bay or mint leaves for garnish (optional)

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Directions

It’s a two-step dish: first we make fried rice and a thin omelette, and then we wrap the rice in the omelette.

Make the fried rice:

You can put almost anything you want into the fried rice, but I like to fill it with delicious, nutritious stuff.

  1. Heat up a large pan. Add butter, sausage and garlic and stir for 1 minute until the garlic turns a little crispy.
  2. Add the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, celery, carrot, mushroom, and onion. Stir a few minutes until the onion turns a little translucent.
  3. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and the ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
  4. Add the rice, ketchup, and mix it well. Let it cook without stirring for a minute, so that the bottom of the rice gets a little crunchy. Stir it again.
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. Transfer the fried rice to a bowl that can fit all of it, plus a bit more. Fill it about halfway with the fried rice, then if you’re using cheddar cheese stash it in there before filling the rest of the bowl.
  7. If you’re using chopped green chili pepper, put it on top. Gently press everything down with a spoon so that it’ll mold nicely to the inside of the bowl.

Make a beautiful round omelette:

Our goal is to make a beautiful, smooth, thin omelette that’s a uniform color, in a similar way that we make a traditional Korean egg garnish (gyeran-jidan: 계란지단).

  1. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl with ¼ teaspoon salt and sugar.
  2. Put a strainer over another bowl and strain the egg mixture through, to make it smooth, remove any lumps, and to catch the chalazae (white thing that hangs off the yolk).
  3. Heat up a non-stick pan. Add vegetable oil and swirl the oil around so it covers the pan. Then wipe off the excess heated oil with a paper towel so only a thin layer remains. Turn down the heat to medium low, so we don’t burn or brown the egg at all.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and swirl the pan around to make a nice round circle. Keep moving the pan around and let the low heat cook the egg until it doesn’t flow anymore. Remove from the heat.

Put it together:

  1. Put a large plate over the bowl of stir-fried rice. Flip everything over and remove the bowl, so you have a perfect dome of fried rice.
  2. Place the omelette over top of the dome. Tuck the edges close under the rice.
  3. Top with a bit of ketchup and or any other garnish you like, and serve.

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22 Comments:

  1. Victoria08 Texas joined 6/17
    Posted June 20th, 2017 at 12:08 am | # |

    I tried this recipe today for the first time. My cousin hates vegetables so I had to alter it a bit. Over all it was great!! I love your funny comments in the videos and enjoy your humor. Love your work. Keep it up!


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  2. Hadar Israel joined 4/17
    Posted April 16th, 2017 at 12:18 pm | # |

    looks amazing! would love to try this, but is there any option for a vegeterian version? (which one do you think will be better- using tofu or not using any meat supplement at all?)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 24th, 2017 at 8:58 am | # |

      Yes, you can skip the sausage. The omu-rice will still turn out delicious.

  3. TexasSammy77 Hewitt,Texas joined 3/17
    Posted March 26th, 2017 at 3:11 pm | # |

    Easy to make to make. :)


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  4. seattleandrew Seattle joined 3/17
    Posted March 20th, 2017 at 10:02 pm | # |

    After a long work day, I wanted to make my family a delicious dish and I was inspired by your video on youtube! I made my family this recipe and they all ate it super quickly, so quick I didn’t event get a full omu-rice to take a picture of! I can’t wait to make this again.


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  5. Moykyzma Seattle, WA joined 3/17
    Posted March 17th, 2017 at 12:00 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again.
    Thanks for great recipes. I tried your dumplings too and soup. Superb!

    • seattleandrew Seattle joined 3/17
      Posted March 20th, 2017 at 10:04 pm | # |

      Hey fellow Seattleite! I love Maangchi’s dishes :) glad to see I’m not the only one in the PNW watching this channel.

  6. Ermin Fei Indonesia joined 2/15
    Posted March 14th, 2017 at 5:40 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi ssi,

    I made it for my husband last Saturday, and he loved it very much. He finished the fried rice ’til the last grain in the container. I add about 1 tbs of milk instead of sugar in the omelette mixture to make it softer and creamier, and omitted the sugar. And as I didn’t have any mushroom, i added in fresh corn kernels instead. The cheese is a must. It was colorful and flavorful. I will definitely make this Omurice again the future ^^ Thanks so much for your delicious and easy-to-follow recipes… ^^

  7. Estee Malaysia joined 3/17
    Posted March 13th, 2017 at 9:54 am | # |

    Maangchi!! I made it today for my family!! The absolutely loved it and it looks and taste so good!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love u sooo much!! Cooking things that my family enjoys makes me so happy. My dad tot he couldn’t finish it because he said it was too much so he said he will eat half but then he finished it in the end..a tip out there…cheese is absolutely necessary, put lots just like maangchi, makes it yummy !!


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  8. Foodielover Australia joined 3/17
    Posted March 12th, 2017 at 1:08 am | # |

    I just made it and it’s so good, can’t wait to eat this for lunch everyday now


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 12th, 2017 at 2:14 pm | # |

      Omg, You made fantastic looking omurice! clap! clap! : )

  9. sunmee85 Maryland joined 12/16
    Posted March 11th, 2017 at 12:40 pm | # |

    The ketchup doesn’t look very pretty but it was a success! I would suggest using a ketchup bottle that is not almost empty.


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 12th, 2017 at 2:36 pm | # |

      The egg blanket looks gorgeous!
      Congratulations! BTW, I love your ketchup presentation. It looks like it was made on purpose with strong brush strokes by Jackson Pollack. : )

  10. mosheyager Albuquerque, New Mexico joined 3/17
    Posted March 11th, 2017 at 9:01 am | # |

    Thanks for doing this one. I love this stuff. I spent a a year and a half in Korea. There was a little restaurant not far from my little apartment in town, near the market, that sold this. It was sooooo good, I would go there at least once a week to get this, sometimes twice. I wiil be making this today!

  11. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted March 11th, 2017 at 6:32 am | # |

    My husband loves fried rice with kimchi and an egg on top – next time, I’ll serve it that way.
    I just hope he dares touching something that pretty! ;-)

    Bye, Sanne.

  12. robinli88 Princeton, NJ joined 3/17
    Posted March 10th, 2017 at 12:41 am | # |

    You forgot to add the two tablespoons of ketchup to the written recipe!!

    Thank you Maangchi for your amazing recipes <3

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 12th, 2017 at 2:13 pm | # |

      Thank you so much for letting me know about it. I just added the word “ketchup”. : )

      • Victoria08 Texas joined 6/17
        Posted June 20th, 2017 at 12:10 am | # |

        I also noticed for the omlette portion you forgot to add 2 pinch of salt which was in the youtube video. The recipe goes from eggs to sugar. :-)

  13. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16
    Posted March 9th, 2017 at 9:18 pm | # |

    This looks incredible!!! My mouth is watering!!! Beautiful!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 10th, 2017 at 10:43 am | # |

      I know you will make this soon! : )

  14. Fortran Alexandria, VA joined 6/11
    Posted March 9th, 2017 at 8:33 pm | # |

    There is a Korean-Chinese place near me that makes omurice, but I’ve never ordered it. Maybe now I will! :)

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