Fuwa Fuwa! Fun Facts about Japan’s Famous, Fluffy Omurice (オムライス)

Fuwa Fuwa, Fluffy Omurice

Did you know that fuwa fuwa means “fluffy fluffy” in Japanese? Whenever we hear this word, we automatically think about one of Japan’s most famous (and fluffy!) dishes: omurice. Also known as “Omelet Rice” in English, omurice is a delicious, comforting, and irresistible dish of artfully folded egg served on top of a ketchup fried rice.

But, how exactly did this dish originate? Keep reading for a brief history of one of our favorite dishes and our take on a Zojirushi omurice recipe. We can almost smell the buttery, tangy aromas of egg and ketchup in the air!

First thing’s first, what is omurice?

Eggs and rice - a perfect pairing

Eggs and rice, what a perfect pairing! Omurice is a classic Japanese dish that consists of an omelet filled with fried rice and ketchup. The word “omu” in Japanese means “to wrap,” which is why you’ll see it used in many other traditional dishes, and the combination of omu with raisu (rice) gives us the word for this dish: omurice. 

If you want to pronounce it like the Japanese do, “omurice” is a 5-syllable word pronounced as “o-mu-ra-i-su.”

Where does omurice come from?

Closeup of Omurice

Omurice is said to have been invented at a Western-inspired restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza district when Western-style cafes were becoming widespread. It was so popular that it quickly spread all over Asia, and the world!

This type of fusion Japanese cuisine is known as “yōshoku.” Ketchup may be American, but it is actually a very popular Japanese condiment. Ketchup is one of the stars of this dish because it adds a sweet and tangy character to the dish.

The egg on top serves a purpose!

Whisking the eggs for omurice

Omelets, cooked rice and ketchup were not the only ingredients in omurice‘s infancy. The dish was born as a way to use up leftovers, which included the day’s left-over egg and meat or fish. In order to make sure that the food didn’t get soggy from sitting out for too long, it was served with an omelet on top of it so that all of its moisture would be absorbed by the egg instead of seeping through it and ruining your meal.

This method worked so well that many Japanese restaurants began serving omurice as a regular menu item—and they still do today!

From comfort food to art.

Omurice - from comfort food to fine dining

These days, omurice is available at restaurants and cafes, but it’s also available in convenience stores. And its popularity has spread to other countries as well. In fact, this dish has evolved from a simple egg and rice dish into a culinary art form.

Nowadays there are many varieties of omurice: some people add vegetables or meat or make the sauce thicker with soy sauce or mayonnaise; others make it spicy by adding chili pepper flakes…the options are truly endless.

Make Omurice at Home

Zojirushi Blog - Omurice

At Zojirushi, we like to make a classic version of omurice using leftover ingredients like chicken thigh, mushroom, onion, butter, and Worcestershire sauce. If you want some insider tips and tricks on how to make the perfect omurice, read our “Mom’s Home Cooking: Rice Omelet (Omu-rice)” article.

How do you like to enjoy omurice? Do you have your own special recipe or go-to restaurant that you’d like to share with us? Remember to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan