Okonomiyaki-Style Omurice

I absolutely love the idea behind omurice (fried rice omelet, which I’ve been making with Chinese leftovers before I even knew it was a Japanese dish). But I am not a fan of ketchup, which plays into many versions of the dish. Not this okonomiyaki-influenced one, though. We adored the flavors here. My omelet was a little messy but still rather impressive, I think.

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 2 cups cooked white sushi rice (12 ounces; 350g) (see note above)
4 tablespoons (60ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided
1/2 cup minced yellow onion (100g; about 1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup (40g) diced green cabbage
2 strips (50g) thinly sliced fresh pork belly or bacon
1/4 cup (60ml) okonomiyaki sauce, plus more for garnish (see note above)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
Kewpie mayonnaise and ao-nori, for serving (optional; see note above)

If using day-old rice (which I used), transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up with your hands into individual grains before proceeding. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a 10-inch carbon steel or nonstick skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown and toasted and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

Add another tablespoon oil to skillet, return to high heat, and heat until smoking. Add onion and cabbage and cook, stirring and tossing, until just tender and lightly browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Add pork and cook, stirring, until cooked through and starting to lightly brown, about 3 minutes.

Return rice to pan and toss until well combined with vegetables. Add okonomiyaki sauce and cook, stirring and tossing, until sauce is reduced and each grain of rice is separate and coated in a shiny sheen of sauce. Toss in scallion, then season with cayenne, salt, and pepper. Scrape rice mixture into a small heatproof bowl, packing it down. Invert a serving plate on top of the bowl of rice, then rotate both so that bowl is sitting inverted on top of plate. Set aside.

Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering. Add eggs and stir rapidly with a spatula, while shaking pan to agitate eggs; make sure to move spatula all around pan to break up curds and scrape them from bottom of skillet as they form. Stop stirring as soon as eggs are very softly scrambled and creamy (but still loose enough to come together into a single mass), 1 to 2 minutes.

Using spatula, gently spread egg in an even layer around skillet and scrape down any wispy bits around the edges. The top surface should be loose and creamy, but if it looks too liquid and raw, let cook, undisturbed, for another few seconds. (If it still flows, you can swirl skillet to send loose egg to the edges, where it will set more quickly.) Remove from heat.

Lift bowl from rice; rice should hold a mound-like form. Slide open-face omelette on top of rice mound. Garnish with a squeeze of okonomiyaki sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, if using. Garnish with ao-nori, if using. Serve right away.

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Filed under japanese challenge, pork dishes, Uncategorized

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