Open Omurice with Hot Gochujang Sauce and Mushrooms

omurice_My favourite omelette is the French-style, rugby ball-shaped fluffy one, which apparently gives a very clear idea of a professional chef’s skills. I often order it for lunch in France, but I haven’t mastered it yet, so whenever I make an omelette, it has to be the easiest flat one. The famous Japanese omurice (fried rice with an omelette) has two main versions: rice wrapped into a round thin omelette or topped with the fluffy thick one. I was glad to discover that Japanese Soul Cooking, from which I sourced my very first omurice, features the former version. Yesterday I decided to “koreanise” it a bit and replaced the customary ketchup with hot gochujang sauce. It proved such a great idea, I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Actually, I think I will never go back to the standard mild omurice!

For those who have never heard about this dish, omurice/omuraisu (オムライス) belongs to “youshoku” (洋食), Japanised Western dishes, the category which includes such dishes as korokke (croquettes).  The dish was apparently invented in Tokyo at the beginning of the XXth century and its name is a contraction of “omelette” and “rice”. As I have mentioned, it consists of two parts: “chikin rice” (cooked rice, fried with chicken, onion and carrot, then seasoned with ketchup) and the omelette, either wrapped around the rice or made into a fluffy shape and put on top. Whatever the version, the dish is served either with more ketchup on top or with a generous amount of demi-glace sauce.

The omurice where fluffy soft omelette served on top of the rice is often called “Tampopo omurice”, with reference to the legendary Japanese film “Tampopo” (if you like Japanese cuisine, you must see it, not only because of omurice!). See the beautiful Hiroyuki’s Tampopo omurice here.

I have never tasted omurice in Japan and while preparing my first homemade version I was afraid double presence of ketchup would spoil the rather promising result, but maybe because I’ve used my own homemade ketchup, I found it surprisingly good. On one hand, I was thrilled to discover another egg dish in my long collection, but at the same time this way of using leftover rice is a nice alternative for fried rice or rice-based salads I’ve been making for years.

Apart from the gochujang sauce, I have also changed the “chikin rice” ingredients, skipping the carrot and peas and replacing them with mushrooms. As you see above, I have also made too much “stuffing” to close the omelette properly (by “properly closed” I mean something like Nami’s perfect Omurice you can admire here), so I named it “open” 😉  If you want to follow the original recipe, I invite you to buy the wonderful Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.

TIPS: If you are don’t like ginger, you can skip it and the gochujang sauce will be equally good (I liked it here though; it added a nice fresh kick).

Egg dishes get cold very quickly, so I strongly advise serving omurice on a warmed plate (heated in the oven, set at lowest temperature).

Whenever using leftover cooked rice I always warm it a bit in the microwave. Thus grains are easier to separate.

Preparation: about 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

1/4 chicken breast

3 medium or big button mushrooms (called cremini, when dark)

1 small onion or shallot

3 heaped tablespoons steamed Japanese rice

3 tablespoons chicken stock



2 eggs

3 tablespoons of milk or cream

salt, pepper

Gochujang sauce:

2 tablespoons gochujang

1 tablespoon sake

1 tablespoon honey or syrup

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or 1 teaspoon normal soy sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed or grated

(1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger)

toasted sesame seeds

Cut the chicken and the mushrooms into small pieces.

Slice the onion finely.

Put a bowl and a plate to warm in a cool oven (set at lowest temperature).

Fry the chicken bits, the onion and the mushrooms.

Add the rice, the gochujang sauce and the stock.

Simmer at low heat until everything is hot (make the liquids thicken if the sauce is not thick enough).

Place the rice mixture into the warm bowl and keep in the oven until needed.

Prepare the omelette mixture.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the omelette, destroying the bubbles which will form.

When the top of the omelette is almost set, put the pan aside.

Place the omelette on the heated plate.

Place the rice stuffing at the half of the omelette. (You can also do it in the pan but I found the transferring process very difficult).

Cover it with the other half, spread some gochujang sauce on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


18 Replies to “Open Omurice with Hot Gochujang Sauce and Mushrooms”

  1. I laughed when I noticed the sentence, “See the beautiful Hiroyuki’s Tampopo omurice here.” I hope your readers take it as a joke!

    I understand from my experience on eGullet that omurice is not very well received by American people. I’m interested to hear what people from other countries will have to say about this dish.

    As for me, I like the combination of eggs and tomato ketchup very much!

    1. Hi, Hiroyuki;. It’s not a joke at all! I really think your omuraisu is beautiful, especially the omelette… I have never managed to make such a fluffy one, so I’m really impressed by yours (see I am not even able to close properly the easier omelette…).
      Well, I think that in Japan you are more open-minded about foreign ingredients and you judge them by the taste.
      Before this gochujang version I did the standard ketchup one several times and loved it (especially since it was my own homemade preserved ketchup!). In France for example ketchup is often considered as a part of unhealthy fast food and I’m sure many people wouldn’t like to see so much ketchup in a dish out of pure snobism 😉 but good quality mayonnaise is held in high esteem (contrary to the USA, where I think many people consider it greasy and useless stuff). I guess such an attitude depends on the country, though for many Europeans ketchup is associated with US origins.

  2. I just love omelettes too Sissy and my favourite is definitely the French kind, although these days I find them so very rich. I also adore Asian influenced Western food. I’ve made a few different Asian inspired omelettes and one of my fav’s is the Japanese rolled version. Mine is not yet perfect (why I haven’t posted about it) but it always is tasty and well received. Great tip about the leftover rice, I usually give mine a rinse with water because I find it dries out (even in a covered dish).
    I hope your weather is starting to warm up and some vestiges of spring are beginning to show, sadly we are still buried under quite a bit of snow and my lovely snow drops would need to be Olympic climbers to get out from underneath.

    1. Thank you, Eva. My tamagoyaki is not perfect either, but I don’t care 😉 The taste is the most important… (as you see this omelette is also far from perfection…).
      Try microwaving next time (I’m sure you rinse flavours with water…).
      We’ve been having nice spring weather, between 10 and 15°C during the day. The nights are still cold, but I’ve already started my balcony herb garden 🙂 I hope it gets warmer in Canada soon.

  3. I love omurice! Especially when I’m tired and grumpy…’I must have it!’ I feel happy when my favorite blogger likes what I like. The photo looks great!

    1. Dear Nipponnin… thank you so much for such kind words and compliments. You warm my heart 🙂

  4. I honestly can’t make an omelette of any kind — football, rugby, hockey puck shaped or otherwise 😉 — truly though, one day I will have to dedicate some patience to the task and rise above (literally) my scrambled eggs. Personally, I love the look of your side-lying Omurice Sissi (not to mention its delicious contents) and unless I’m misunderstanding Nami’s photos, I don’t believe her lovely Omurice was closed either — (she just popped it onto its belly and shaped it) — clever! With all the delicious contents, I suspect it would be tough to close it fully. Either you’d need a lot more egg or less stuffing but I quite like the balance here 😀 . Great capture too. Love the crispness of this shot, revealing the layers and different colors – even the seeds pop!

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly, for kind compliments… I am sure everyone is able to make this simple flat omelette, especially you! I was slightly ashamed of my omelette at first but then I thought I’d never bother to close it properly (I’m too lazy!), so I’d better post it the way it is 😉 I will try to practice the French fluffy omelette because it’s always soooo good… maybe I’ll post it one day too?

  5. I have to check that fluffy French omelette you mention as it triggered my chef’s instincts haha! This is a completely new way to change omelette from a somewhat bland dish to a very interesting one. Keep this in mind! Thanks for all the valuable info Sissi!

  6. Have never had a dish like this…I love omelet and rice…therefore is a win win situation for me…looks delicious Sissi.
    Thanks for the recipe…hope you are having a great week 🙂

  7. I love this omelet! Here in New Mexico we do a breakfast burrito with rice, eggs, chicken and a spicy chile sauce (of course). It’s pretty much a standard on any breakfast menu. This reminds me of that breakfast but without the tortilla. This is a dish that Bobby and I both could really dig our forks into and will be doing very soon! Oh and BTW – the omelet in the picture looks like a professional made it for sure!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. You are very kind :-)The burrito sounds like a marvellous brunch I could start making… especially now that I have everything I need for the genuine chile sauce 😉

  8. Sissi, I’m going to try this recipe for my lunch in 2 hours! I had some eggs that I need to start using more and going to use some of my defrosted chicken, so this is perfect recipe to enjoy today. I love that you used gochujang. I haven’t made omurice with it, and I know already that this sounds amazing! Also thanks for introducing the book. I haven’t heard of it before. Finally you’re too kind to include my omurice recipe link in your post. It’s not perfect but it’s better than maybe 10 years ago after many practice making it for kids. LOL.

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. I appreciate so much your approval and kind words… Your omurice is the goal I’ll never achieve! It looks really perfect. If you like gochujang, I think you will love this version.

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