Seriously, I cannot believe I never posted this recipe up. I went through all the Om Nom Nommies tagged entries, and it astounds me that my rice omelette never made it into here. So, um, let’s remedy that right now, shall we?

Have you ever seen the movie Tampopo? Will Dearest and I like to call it a ramen noodle western, and it’s one of our favorites. A japanese film from the eighties, it’s one of the very best movies about food I’ve ever seen.  It has a number of vignettes about food, weaved through the story of a woman who wants to open the best ramen stand in all of Japan. Nestled in there is this little gem about a hobo and a little boy who break into a closed restaurant kitchen to make an omelette –

And when I watched this with a friend who grew up in Japan, I was like, What in the world are they doing? Ken explained to me that rice omelettes were something he grew up with, a ketchupy delight, a treat. And I didn’t believe him – until he decided to prove it to me in the best of all ways, with breakfast. True story: zomg, rice omelette is for treat.

Many years later, I had a similar discussion with Will Dearest, wherein he gave me the suspicious eye about plans for dinner. And I would have said whatever and made something else,* only the cupboards were kinda bare, but for the leftovers and a carton of eggs. Among the leftovers was some yellow rice with Ro-Tel from the chicken and rice that we had eaten for dinner the night before. Well! Guess what? The rice omelette is now a dinner staple at No. 208, it was so well enjoyed.

The rice omelette I make is not the traditional ketchupy business, but it certainly can be made with white rice and ketchup instead (skip the cheese). I could also see it made with plain buttered and peppered rice with some veggies chopped up in it, or with leftover fried rice from chinese carryout (again, skip the cheese). So here’s the skinny:

Rice Omelette makes one omelette

2-3tbsp leftover rice**
2 eggs, beaten with a dash of water
a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese
butter for the pan

1. Before beating eggs, warm up the rice. If you have a microwave, that would probably be the easiest thing. We have no microwave, so I just warm it in the pan and set it aside.
2. Bring a pat of butter to a froth in a pan over medium high heat. Drop in the beaten egg, and sprinkle with the cheese.*** Now don’t touch it for a bit. You can push the edges in and let the wet egg slide out onto the pan to get cooked, but you really want the bottom to firm up. Once the bottom has firmed a bit, make a line of rice, about an inch and a half wide, in the middle, and wrap the sides up around the rice.  You can slide it right onto a plate just like that, or turn the whole thing over for another little bit of cooking if you like firmer eggs.

That’s the whole thing – totes simple. You can serve this with salsa or tomato slices, if you like. If folks are really hungry, a side of refried beans and/or handful of tortilla chips goes really well with it too. Enjoy!


*Will and I have different experiences with food, and so on occasion, different tastes. This is to be expected, and I have absolutely no judgement. I am not above switching up meal plans if something isn’t appealing. I mean, really, is there anything worse than lovingly preparing a meal that grosses out everyone at the table upon presentation?
**I make an individual omelette for each person, mixing up the eggs one pair at a time. I warm up all the rice together, tho’, just for the sake of making things a little quicker.
***The hobo in the Tampopo clip has fantastic omelette technique – what a gorgeous thing he comes up with, right? My omelettes don’t look like that >.< Also, I like a stuffed omelette, and so I fold up the sides around the filling. They look a little like a flattened burrito, if you wanna get technical about it. But they are delicious. Just sayin’.