Bento no. 52: Special Occasion Omuraisu (Omurice) Bento

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Bento contents:

  • Fried rice made with 2/3 cup brown rice and assorted chopped vegetables, 250 cal
  • 1 1/2 wiener sausages, 200 cal
  • Omelette made with 2 eggs, 230 cal
  • Broccoli, 20 cal

Total calories (approx): 700 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 20-30 minutes

Type: Japanese, kyaraben-ish, special occasion bento!

This week actually marks the real first year anniversary of Just Bento. Although I officially opened the site in late October (see Welcome to Just Bento) I started writing up some articles and designing and installing the site after 2 years of procrastinating about it in early October. It’s rather like the olden days in Japan, when a baby would be officially registered some time after being born so that the official birthday would be a bit later than the actual birthday.

I’m planning a bigger celebration for Just Bento’s ‘official’ birthday later on, but in the meantime, to commemorate the moment when the site actually popped out from my head onto my server so to speak, I’ve stepped out of my usual pattern of quick-assembly bento to make a special occasion one, featuring an omuraisu (omurice) or rice omelette. The THX on the top is um, LOLspeak for Thanks (I meant to cut in Thanks but I cut the T in too far to the right, and too big) to thank all Just Bento readers for your support and encouragement. Without you, the site wouldn’t exist!

Since I’m no kyaraben/charaben artist, this bento can be assembled quite easily without any experience. It took me about 20 minutes to make. While the calorie count is a bit higher than usual, it is still loaded with vegetables and is quite a nutritionally complete bento.

Omuraisu (omurice) or rice omelette is a Japanese yohshoku (Western-style Japanese cooking) classic, and a perennial favorite with kids of all ages. This omuraisu is adapted for bento. It differs from the recipe for an omuraisu meant to be consumed immediately, since it’s safer to cook the egg through if you intend to use it in a bento. The omelette part is really a large thin omelette or usuyaki tamago, made without adding sugar or soy sauce.

Ingredients

For the wiener and broccoli ‘flower meadow’:

  • 1 1/2 regular or 2 thin wieners or frankfurers. A vegetarian frank will sort of work, though you won’t get the spreading-petal effect that much .
  • About 2 cups of broccoli florets

For the omelette:

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil or butter (1 tsp. or so)
  • Equipment: a large non-stick frying pan

For the rice filling:

  • 2/3 cup (about 130g) cooked brown rice (from my frozen rice stash)
  • About 1 1/2 cup+ chopped vegetables, whatever you have: I used 1/2 a red pepper, a bit of celery, and peeled broccoli stalks left over after cutting off the florets
  • 1 green onion, chopped (Chopping up the vegetables the night before will make your morning tasks easier.)
  • The bits of sausage left over from cutting the flowers, chopped up
  • About 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. oil

Procedure

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Make the omelette: Beat together the eggs, salt and pepper while heating up the large non-stick frying pan. Add the oil to the pan and spread around (or use a cooking spray). Add the egg mixture and swirl the pan around to spread the mixture evenly and thinly. Lower the heat, and let the egg set through. Turn it out of the pan onto a plate, and let cool.
  2. In the meantime, heat up some water in an electric kettle (or a regular kettle).
  3. Chop up the vegetables, cut the broccoli florets.
  4. Heat up the frying pan again with a little oil. Add the chopped vegetables . Spread around, lower the heat to about medium-low, and put a lid on. You can leave it like this to cook on its own while you work elsewhere.
  5. Cut the wiener flowers. Cut the ends of the sausages off (chop them up and add to the sautéeing vegetables), then cut into about 2cm / 1 inch long sections. Cut into both ends of each section in a criss-cross 3 times, to make the ‘petals’, then cut each section in the middle in half. (Having a bit longer lengths of sausage to work with makes things a lot easier.)
  6. Put some of the boiling water from the kettle into a small saucepan. Add the broccoli with a little salt, and boil for about 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  7. In the same pan, add more boiling water. Add the wiener bits and boil until the ‘petals’ spread apart, about a minute or so. Drain and set aside.
  8. The sautéeing vegetables should be soft by now. Turn the heat up to high, crumble in the rice, and stir-fry. Add the ketchup, salt and pepper and toss around well.

Now the fun part - assembling the bento!

Spread the omelette out on a plate (a concave one like this pasta plate is ideal):

omuraisu-step1.jpg

Mound about 4 tablespoons of rice in the middle of the omelette. The rice shouldn’t cover more than half the area of the omelette.

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Turn your bento box upside down on top of the plate.

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Fiip the bento box and plate and take the plate off. If the omelette fell apart a bit, tuck the ends underneath neatly.

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Arrange the rest of the rice around the omelette.

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Stick the broccoli florets around the omelette into the rice.

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Tuck the wiener ‘flowers’ in between the broccoli.

omuraisu-step7.jpg

Cut a design into the top of the omelette with a sharp knife, or a cookie cutter. Clear up the edges of the bento box. (I actually messed up the H, but patched it up with the piece I accidentally cut off.)

omuraisu-step8.jpg

Even if I made this bento myself, it was still fun to open up at lunch time. Try making something like this for someone special on their birthday, or to cheer them up - it’s just as fun, if not as sugary, as a cake! You could cut in their initials perhaps, age, or even their full name if you’re adept with a knife.

Alternative decoration for the omuraisu: Draw a face or other decoration on with ketchup! Note that the nozzle of a regular size Heinz ketchup squeeze bottle is too big to make a neat face, so you may want to transfer some into a fine-nozzle decoration bottle. I used the squeeze bottle pictured here.

omuraisu-alt.jpg

Timeline

While this bento may seem a bit complicated, it really isn’t! There are just two burners in use, 1 frying pan and 1 saucepan.

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For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

20 comments

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Thank YOU!

Congrats on your anniversary. Really, we should be thanking YOU for all the fun posts, great education, and a crazy good combo of cuteness and goodness. I so enjoy reading your posts! Whenever I go visit Japan, I always buy a new bento box. However, mine are never filled as beautifully as yours!

Happy Anniversary! And

Happy Anniversary! And thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. This is such a wonderful site, and you’re just fantastic!

That bento is too cute. The flowers are awesome!

i LURVE it!!!

happy anniversary and thank you for this wonderful site!

Congrats!

It’s always a fun and informative read! Here’s to many more healthy bento years!

Well Done!

Congratulations on your site anniversary!! I’ve been reading it for a couple months and really enjoy it, Just Hungry too. I love japanese food and have been having fun learning from your site and making it at home! Thanks for two great sites!!

CONGRATS!!!

And thanks for all the inspiration your blog has provided!!

As a bento newbie it has been an important resource for me.

Thanks - and may the future bring bigger and better !!!

Omedetou!

What a charming bento! And yes, thank you for sharing your bento ideas! Happy 1st anniversary!

MAKI! Congratulations on the

MAKI! Congratulations on the anniversary. I stumbled upon Just Bento about a month ago and now I am basically visiting it everyday waiting for updates. Food has been good and advice have been helpful. Hope to have more recipes and ideas in the future. Congratulations again

Congratulations!!

How cool! I love seeing all your bentos. I started a recipe section in my computer cookbook for bentos - just because of you. (Side note: we ate potato oyaki last night - the only way I can get my youngest to voluntarily eat potatoes.)

Wow, Just bento is only

Wow, Just bento is only 1-year-old ?!

I made omuraisu not so far ago for the first time :)

Happy blog-anniversary Maki !!!! And continue to share with us, it’s everytime a real pleasure.

Congratulations on your first year!

Wow, Just Bento is the first blog I started reading right when it started and I still read. My compliments on a useful, interesting, and entertaining site. I hope you have many more anniversaries.

Congratulations! :) I

Congratulations! :) I started reading yesterday, so I sincerely hope there are many more years to come!

Thank you!

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful comments! (Yes, JustBento is just a year old, though JustHungry is nearly 5 years old). Your encouragement and comments really keep me going and striving to make my sites better!

Thanks, Maki — you’ve

Thanks, Maki — you’ve given me many delicious lunch ideas and my bento/baon (Filipino for “food for the trip”) has never been dull!

Looking forward to many more tasty and nutritious lunches in the years to come. :)

I’m late, but

I’m late, but congratulations! Here’s to another year of bento!

Thank You!

Congratulations Maki! Thank you so much for all your awesome recipes and information! I’m vegan and I make one of your recipes almost every day. You’re so wonderful for putting this site up! I hope it stays up for many more years!

An inspiration

A huge thank you for doing this site. My family started eating bento about six weeks ago as part of a study on Japan for homeschool and it has stuck with us. Your tips on how to streamline the whole bento process has really helped us stick with it, saved us money and both my husband and I are losing weight. Your time and effort in all of this are greatly appreciated.

Thank YOU! I just discovered

Thank YOU! I just discovered “Just Bento”. I am a French bento lover, currently in the US for few monthes. I just find your bentos and specially this one, marvellous. And all the explanations of how to make it, are wonderfull. So we don’t have to struggle to try to understand how the hell did you manage to put this omelette so nicely on the rice. The home made furikake section is also very nice… Bravo and please continue to give us some nice advices and ideas about bento making.

Re: Bento no. 52: Special Occasion Omuraisu (Omurice) Bento

こんにちは 牧子さん、ベッキーです。
I wont try an write this message in Japanese as I am only 6 months in to seriously studying and my sentance structure resembles that of a kindagarten student.
I just wanted to say thankyou for sharing all your wonderful recipes and ideas for bentos and meals both here and on Just Hunrgy.

Ive been a visitor to your site for a while now and ive long used your recipes and ideas as inspiration for my own attepmts at bentoing and also Japanese cooking.

Today because I felt the need to celebrate and I decided to try making your Omurice for my lunch today and It worked out wonderfully, i was a little worried that it would be a failure but I followed your steps and it look nearly as good as yours.

ありがとうございます
Becki @ Natsu no Tsuki

Thank you!

I grew up with omuraisu as a child - I always thought it was "home rice" - and it's great to have a recipe. Its not the sort of dish that shows up in most Japanese cookbooks, sadly!

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