Omuraisu is favourite with kids in Japan: fried rice with chicken, seasoned with ketchup served in an omelette covered with more ketchup.
I do it slightly differently adding different vegetables, using tomato puree or passata in the rice and saving ketchup for a token drizzle on top. You can add any finely diced vegetables and use brown or white rice. Tofu or tempeh is an easy sub for chicken.
I also sometimes use passata or puree with a little soy sauce and honey in a squeezy bottle in place of ketchup. And I’m experimenting with a fermented version at the moment!
But sometimes a little ketchup is OK and my kids enjoy squirting different shapes and making little flags to stick in as they do in Japan.
This recipe was a winner in the Guardian Cook’s kid issue.
·150g chicken, diced
·2 carrots, finely chopped
·¼ red pepper, chopped
·4 mushrooms, finely chopped
·2 spring onions, sliced
·400g cold, cooked rice
·2-4 tbs tomato puree
·Ketchup or more spring onions to serve
·In a large pan heat some oil over a medium heat
·Sauté the onion and chicken to brown
·Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes
·Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes to heat through
·Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper and mix well
·Turn off the heat and put to one side
·In a frying pan, heat a little oil over a medium heat
·Beat one egg in a bowl and season
·Add to the pan and swirl to spread evenly in the pan
·Cook until just set, slide onto a plate
·Place a quarter of the rice on half the omelette
·Fold over the empty side over to cover the rice and let your little ones squirt ketchup on top
·Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs
·Grown-ups may prefer a sprinkling of spring onion
Zousui translates as a hodgepodge or medley soup. It is typically prepared after a nabe, a Japanese hotpot, which is simmered throughout the meal and continuously topped up with meat or fish and vegetables and cooked like a fondue at the table with everyone helping themselves. At the end of the evening a tasty stock remains to which you mix in rice, crack an egg on top, cover and cook until the egg has set.
In our house though, it also refers to a one-pot dish we often make for breakfast (or lunch) using left over miso soup and rice. It is incredibly quick and simple, and is very warming on a chilly winter morning.
My children and I prefer the consistency of a creamy risotto, whereas my husband likes his more soupy so adjust the liquid to rice ratio as you like. If you don’t have enough soup add some water and mix in some more miso or shoyu. I like to finely slice the konbu originally used to make the dashi for the miso soup and add that in, too. Japanese often discard it but it is full of magnesium so I also eat it or make tsukudani (konbu relish) from it.
Cooked miso soup (or you could use a sachet of instant miso if you don’t have leftovers to hand)
Cooked rice, hot or cold, enough to serve the number of people eating
1-2 Eggs (obviously use more for large quantities!)
Cubes of tofu
Handful of green leaves (spinach, mizuna, kale etc)
Any cooked vegetables, pulse or grain
Chopped spring onion
Slivers of ginger
Heat the miso soup in a pan
Mix in the rice, if cold heat till piping hot.
Crack in 1-2 eggs. You can either swirl the egg around on top as above or mix in the eggs and cook until lightly set for a creamy zousui.
Add the green leaves to wilt, if using.
Serve hot topped with spring onion and sesame and or ginger. I also like natto on mine! Pickles on the side is also good.