February 21, 2019

Food for Thought

Four men from three countries known for being cocky and overly-confident (UK, France x 2, and Japan) tackled the challenge of making omu-rice. After eight attempts, reviewing the YouTube videos countless times, and telling each other what to do, we failed. It’s hard. As we fumbled with rolling over the egg, it invariably overcooked. Fortunately, they all tasted good, so we stuffed ourselves and consumed 4 bottles of wine, and spent the whole evening comparing and ridiculing each other’s country.

I’ve seen a Japanese chef practice making an omelet using a napkin in a frying pan, just to master the movement. I should probably do that first before I waste any more eggs.

Omu rice is a peculiar creation by the Japanese. The omelet and demi-glace parts are French but the rice part is quintessentially Japanese. The latter is typically made with ketchup. It combines ordinary ingredients with extraordinary techniques. Making demi-glace took me literally 24 hours. Mastering the omelet would probably take many months of practice. The Japanese chef who became a YouTube star for his omu-rice videos makes nothing but omu-rice every day, over and over, very much like Jiro in the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

My French friends made fun of the Japanese for being too obsessive, but that’s obviously projection. The French too are anally obsessive. And, the Brits, being the ruling class, generally act as though they are above that sort of detail.

We all want to believe that we are unique, independent thinkers, but last night reminded me how typical we are of our native cultures.

#omurice #japanesefood #nycfoodie #nycfood #omelet #rice #demiglace #frenchfood #cookingtechniques