The Origins of Omu-rice
Omu-rice originated in Japan. Rice fried with chicken and flavoured in a “western” style with ketchup is cloaked in an omelette, which are associated with French cuisine.
The dish is thought to have appeared about a century ago when western-style cuisine was spreading around Japan. Japan had only opened up to the outside world about fifty years earlier. People were adapting western-style dishes to suit Japanese tastes. Various western-inspired dishes were created, including omu-rice. Omu-rice is believed to have been devised by restaurants offering reasonably priced, western-style cuisine to the masses.
Several theories exist as to which place first created this dish. One theory is that it was created as a meal for staff at a western-style restaurant in Tokyo. It is thought to have devised something that could be eaten single-handedly by the busy kitchen staff, giving them a free hand to tend to pans over the heat. Another theory is that the dish was created by a western-style restaurant in Osaka. It is said to have offered regular patrons rice fried with mushrooms, onion and ketchup, and cloaked with an omelette. It was so popular that it became a regular item on the menu.
One thing for certain is that this dish has always been popular among children. And its popularity among adults is such that there are a number of restaurants specialising in omu-rice. Numerous versions of omu-rice exist. A deluxe version cloaks fried rice with a very lightly cooked omelette and a topping of demi-glace sauce.