Monday, July 11, 2016


     Japanese Omu!
     Omuraisu has been a trendy item in recent years.  Omuraisu is a petite omelette made with a fried rice filling.  The origins of Omuraisu date back to the early 1900's when a Japanese visitor became fond of American style omelets.  Many Americans were pouring ketchup on their omelets back in those days.  The Japanese visitor took it for granted that ketchup was a traditional topping.
     Soon American style omelets became a popular food item in the Tokyo Ginza district.  The omelets were made with Japanese ingredients and presented with Japanese style.  Of course the Japanese Omu were topped with ketchup and this tradition had continues to the present day.
     Japanese Omu can be served for any meal and they are a popular street food item.  The list of modern Japanese Omu variations is practically endless.  One of the most popular Omu is the Omutaco.  An Omutaco is an omelette stuffed with ground beef taco meat filling.  Since ketchup is a Japanese Omu topping tradition, Spicy Habanero Ketchup is a good choice for an Omutaco.
     There are several varieties of Perilla.  Perilla leaves are used as an herb and as a garnish.  Perilla leaves have a complex basil mint flavor that tastes nice with eggs and spicy food.  Fresh Perilla leaves can be found in nearly every Asian food market.

     Habanero Ketchup:
     This recipe yields a little more than 1/2 cup.
     Place 1/2 cup of organic ketchup in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Mexican style bottled habanero hot sauce.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the Habanero Ketchup in a plastic squirt bottle.
     Chill the Habanero Ketchup in a refrigerator till it is needed.

     Ground Beef Taco Meat:
     This recipe yields enough taco meat for 1 Omutaco. 
     This recipe yields a little extra.  It is better to have a little too much taco meat, than not enough. 
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 6 ounces of lean ground beef.
     Sauté the ground beef till it is lightly browned.
     *Stir with a wire whisk and break up any clumps!
     Step 2:  Drain off most of the excess grease.
     Return the pan to medium heat.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 cup of beef broth.
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ground ancho chile.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper or ground chile arbol.
     Step 4:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground anatto.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1 pinch of minced epazote.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 5:  Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till the liquid evaporates.  Stir with a wire whisk and break up any clumps.
     Keep the taco meat warm on a stove top.

     This recipe yields 1 Omutaco.  
     Step 1:  Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of water.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Whisk the ingredients till they are blended.
     Step 2:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  (No butter for Omutaco!)
     Add the egg mixture.
     Gently sauté the omelette till the bottom half is cooked firm, with no golden brown highlights.  Tilt the pan occasionally and use a rubber spatula to even the edges.
     Step 3:  Flip the omelette.
     Sauté till the omelette is fully cooked, with no browning.
     Step 4:  Slide the omelette onto a cutting board.
     Mound the warm Taco Meat evenly across the center of the omelette.
     *Use your judgement for figuring how much taco meat is needed.  There may be a little bit leftover.
     Step 5:  Carefully roll the Omutaco into a cylinder shape.
     Trim the ends of the Omutaco, so they look nice.

     Omutaco with Habanero Ketchup:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Place 6 perilla leaves on the center of a plate as a bed for the Omutaco.  Try to fan out the leaves, so the tips point outward from center.
     Use a long spatula to transfer the Omutaco to the bed of perilla leaves.
     Step 2:  Use a knife to poke 3 holes on top of the Omutaco, so they are evenly spaced.
     Gently insert 3 long thin bias slices of green jalapeño into the holes, so they stand vertically.
     Step 3:  Use the squirt bottle to paint streaks of Habanero Ketchup on the Omutaco.
     Sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of diced onion over the Omutaco.
     Viola!  A noodle house style Omutaco!

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