Omurice topped with ketchup
Alternative namesJapanese Egg Roll Fried Rice
Place of originJapan
Main ingredientsChicken eggs, rice and ketchup optional
VariationsOmu Curry, Omuhayashi (with hayashi rice), Omu-Soba, Tampopo omurice

Omurice or omu-rice (オムライス, Omu-raisu) is a Japanese dish[1] consisting of an omelette made with fried rice and thin, fried scrambled eggs, usually topped with ketchup.[2][3] It is a popular dish also commonly cooked at home. Children in particular enjoy omurice. It is often featured in Japan's version of a children's meal, okosama-ranchi (お子様ランチ).[1]


With omu and raisu being derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the French word omelette and the English word rice,[4] the name is an example of wasei-eigo.


Stories about the origins of omurice vary. One story says that it originated around the turn of the 20th century[4] at a Western-style restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district called Renga-tei, inspired by chakin-zushi.[5]

Another story says that the dish originated in 1925 at another Western-style restaurant – Hokkyokusei in Minami, Osaka – when a cook decided to enliven a regular customer's order of an omelet with rice.[6]


The dish typically consists of chikin raisu(ja) (chicken rice: rice pan-fried with ketchup and chicken) wrapped in a thin sheet of fried scrambled eggs. The ingredients flavoring the rice vary. Often, the rice is fried with various meats (but typically chicken) or vegetables, and can be flavored with beef stock, ketchup, demi-glace, white sauce or simply salt and pepper. Sometimes, rice is replaced with fried noodles (yakisoba) to make omusoba. A variant in Okinawa is omutako, consisting of an omelet over taco rice. Fried hot dog and Spam are also two popular meats to include in the dish.

Volga rice is another variation, albeit topped with crumb-covered pork cutlet and the whole dish is covered in rich sauce.[7][8]

Similar dishes

Indonesian version of nasi goreng pattaya in Pekanbaru, Sumatra

A similar dish exists in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, and is called nasi goreng pattaya. It is a fried rice dish, covering chicken fried rice in thin fried egg or omelet.

In popular culture

A new kind of omurice was developed for the 1985 comedy film Tampopo in collaboration with Taimeiken, a famous restaurant in Nihonbashi. This version has the rice covered with a half-cooked omelet which is cut open to spread and cover the rice. This version has become so popular that it is the restaurant standard now. Home cooks typically cook a thin omelet completely and then place it over the seasoned rice and decorate it with ketchup.

Homestyle omurice is a frequent item on maid cafe menus since the addition of ketchup allows a maid to decorate the meal easily at the table as a form of "service."

See also


  1. ^ a b "Omuraisu (also known as omurice or omu rice, Japanese rice omelet)",
  2. ^ Nishimoto, Miyoko (June 1992). "Beyond Sushi: Japanese Cooking in the Great Home-Style Tradition", Vegetarian Times, No. 178. ISSN 0164-8497.
  3. ^ Paxton, Norbert (2008). The Rough Guide to Korea, p.249. ISBN 978-1-4053-8420-9.
  4. ^ a b Shimbo, Hiroko (2000). The Japanese Kitchen, p.148. ISBN 1-55832-177-2.
  5. ^ Kishi Asako (March 15, 2002). "NIPPONIA No.20: Omuraisu",
  6. ^ "Omu-rice". Osaka Info. Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  7. ^ "Japanese traditional recipes with "Kamisho Satoimo" from Fukui". WOW U-media. Retrieved Jul 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Volga Rice - 【郷土料理ものがたり】". Retrieved Jul 19, 2019.