What To Eat In Japan Besides Washoku: Omurice
Let’s say you are visiting Japan and have enjoyed Japanese cuisine or washoku from sushi and tempura to sukiyaki to your heart’s content. At some point, however, you will start to think that you’ve had enough of soy sauce flavored foods. Should you grab a cheeseburger and French fries? No, that’s silly. You should try “Omurice”!
Omurice was first invented around 1900 in Japan. Rice and diced chicken are stir-fried with butter and seasoned with ketchup. The fried rice is formed into a spindle-shape and wrapped in thinly cooked eggs.
An evolved version of omurice emerged in the 1980s. Instead of wrapping the fried rice with cooked eggs, a fluffy omelet was placed on the fried rice, which became equally popular as the original version. Today, both types of omurice are commonly available at restaurants in Japan. Browse Instagram, and you will find people enjoying the art of making this uniquely developed omurice in a variety of shapes.
Author Bryan Washington of The New Yorker expressed his love for omurice in his article “The Japanese Fried-Rice Omelette That Rewired My Brain.” In the article, he details the various different interpretations of omurice and expounds on what he likes so much about it. Reading his article will help you understand what omurice is.
While omurice holds irresistible appeal to those tourists who want to deviate from washoku for a change, it is also very popular among Japanese people. In the early 20th century, traveling overseas was like a dream within a dream for many families. The ketchup flavored fried rice and fluffy eggs together with buttery aroma made them think of America and Europe. Although it is not an authentic Japanese dish, omurice has been loved by Japanese people for more than 100 years, just like ramen and curry.
TAIMEIKEN in Nihonbashi
Established in 1951, Taimeiken is one of the most famous restaurants in Japan. They offer both types of omurice: the wrapped in cooked eggs variety and the fluffy omelet on top style. We strongly recommend you try the wrapped version. At most restaurants, you will find the eggs are cooked thinly to wrap the fried rice, but Taimeiken cooks them thick. It looks like a silky omelet has been filled with fried rice. Watch their skill at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87KRKEISALo
TAMAGO TO WATASHI
You can find this omurice specialty chain restaurant in Tokyo and Osaka. Both types of omurice are available at their restaurants. Their menu also offers a variety of omurice, such as with cheese, bacon, and demi-glaze sauces. This is a perfect spot for those who want to try omurice out for the first time or dine with children.
Check out the photos of the omurice at TAMAGO TO WATASHI, located inside the Tokyo Station at https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1302/A130201/13040235/
YOSHIKAMI in Asakusa
Asakusa’s YOSHIKAMI is another long-established restaurant in Tokyo. Their omurice is cooked in the traditional way; fried rice is wrapped in thinly cooked eggs. To our surprise, YOSHIKAMI boasts how the beloved taste and shape of their omurice has not changed at all since it opened in 1951. Take a seat at the YOSHIKAMI’s famously long counter (20 seats at the counter!) and watch one of their chefs skillfully create the spindle-shaped omurice for you.
YOU in Ginza
YOU is a small café located right next to the Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza. It offers the “omelet on top of fried rice” version of omurice. The eggs are cooked just to perfection. The omelet is fluffy overall and creamy on the inside. Once you slice open the omelet, the warm creamy eggs will burst forth, covering the rice, just like a lava flow!
See the photos of the omurice at https://www.favy.jp/topics/15631
SHISEIDO PARLOUR in Ginza
SHISEIDO PARLOUR’s omurice is said to be the best in Japan. Opened in 1928, this high-end restaurant is located in the heart of the Ginza district. Rice is cooked with Daisendori chicken thighs, onions, mushrooms, and butter. Edam cheese is added to bring out a rich taste. A thin layer of beautifully cooked eggs wraps around the fried rice to its perfection. It is not too bold to say their omurice is a work of art. To complete the dish, tangy tomato sauce made with fond de volaille is poured over the omurice. Enjoy SHISEIDO PARLOUR’s exceptionally beautiful omurice, their gorgeous interior, and their professional services. We bet you will have an unforgettable dining experience.
You can see SHISEIDO PARLOUR’s omurice at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxwgL24zY6s
- Yasushi Kurita was born in Tokyo. He has spent the last 30 years as a writer for print publications and TV. When he was in college, he spent two years in New York. His favorite band is the Atlanta Rhythm Section, making him one of about 15 Japanese people who actually like that band.